Logo Assembly Logo Hemicycle

PACE encourages dialogue between Strasbourg and national courts

George Katrougalos

While Council of Europe member states must implement the final judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, and comply with any interim measures it issues, national courts and the Strasbourg Court should show “mutual respect” and engage in judicial dialogue to uphold human rights, according to PACE.

Approving a report by George Katrougalos (Greece, UEL), the Assembly said states should “refrain from taking any steps which could exacerbate any potential conflict between the national constitutional order and the Strasbourg Court”.

Full respect of the Convention and the national constitutional order should be “fully complementary”, they said, while taking into account the principles of subsidiarity and the “margin of appreciation”. Domestic judges should be encouraged to engage more with Strasbourg case-law, improving the quality of judgments both in national courts and in the European Court, and relieving the pressure on the Strasbourg machinery.

States should also make use of the new system of “advisory opinions” by the Court, as provided by Protocol No. 16 to the Convention, to resolve any potential conflicts between national courts and Strasbourg, the parliamentarians said.