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Ulla Tørnæs: 'The Convention system has done a remarkable job, but it is not perfect'

'The Convention system has done a remarkable job in promoting human rights, democracy and the rule of law across Europe. Yet, at the same time, the system is not perfect,' said Ulla Tørnæs, Denmark's Minister for Development Co-operation, representing the Danish Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, addressing the PACE Standing Committee today in Copenhagen.

'The enormous case-load of the Court is deeply troubling. And it is equally troubling that many of its decisions and judgements are not being implemented. It is also a problem that the practice of the Court does not resonate with the general public's understanding of human rights,' Ms Tørnæs added. According to the Minister, 'we need to find ways to deal with these challenges'.

During the current reform process great emphasis has been put on the principle of subsidiarity. 'And for good reason. Accepting the shared responsibility between member States and the Court is vital if we are to future-proof the Convention system,' she said.

'Our focus will, first of all, be to ensure that reforms already agreed are put into effect." "We also want to explore new tools on how to ensure a closer dialogue between the European and national level, ensuring that member States have a fair say on the interpretation of the Convention,' Ms Tørnæs stated.