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PACE urges States to fulfill legal obligations by implementing judgments of the Strasbourg Court

Constantinos EFSTATHIOU

Adopting a resolution on the implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, based on a report presented by Constantinos Efstathiou (Cyprus, SOC), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) expressed its concern about the delays in implementing the Court's judgments.

The Assembly reminded States Parties to the Convention that they are legally obliged to execute the Court's final binding judgments “in good faith, and without delay”. This obligation cannot be avoided by citing technical problems or obstacles, such as the lack of political will, insufficient resources, or national legislation, including the Constitution.

PACE highlighted the importance of implementing leading and complex cases, including inter-State cases or cases showing inter-State features, which must be prioritised. It called on all States Parties to the Convention involved in the process of implementation of such judgments to fully co-operate with the Committee of Ministers and urged the Member States, as well as instances of the Council of Europe, “to consider employing innovative and creative techniques and measures to seek to make progress in addressing intractable problems in such cases”.

The Assembly also noted that Ukraine, Romania, Türkiye, Azerbaijan, and Hungary have the highest number of non-implemented Court judgments and still face serious structural or complex problems, some of which have not been resolved for over ten years. These five countries, in addition to Russia, account for more than seventy per cent of the pending cases awaiting implementation.

Finally, the Assembly called on the Committee of Ministers to provide an annual update to the Assembly on the progress made in implementing the Court's judgments. It has also proposed launching projects to assist national parliaments and parliamentarians in undertaking the necessary legislative reforms to implement the Court's judgments effectively, and in holding the governments to account “for taking timely action to implement such judgments”.