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PACE and national parliamentarians can play a more active role in improving the timely and effective implementation of Court judgments

Constantinos Efstathiou (Cyprus, SOC)

In an information note declassified on 1st December by the Legal Affairs Committee, Constantinos Efstathiou (Cyprus, SOC), outlined possible ways for PACE and national parliamentarians to become more actively engaged in promoting the timely and effective implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.

Mr Efstathiou recalled that at the May 2023 Reykjavik Summit, member states reaffirmed their deep and abiding commitment to the European Convention on Human Rights and the Strasbourg Court as the ultimate guarantors of human rights in Europe, as well as their unconditional obligation to abide by the Court's final judgments, and stressed “the importance of involving national parliaments in the execution of judgments”.

In this context, the rapporteur proposed setting up “a Network of PACE representatives for the implementation of Court judgments”. These would be representatives from their own countries who would maximise their dual role as national legislators and PACE members, sharing best practice in this area, and encouraging the promotion of the necessary reforms needed to implement Court judgments.

Among the other options listed in the information note, some can be undertaken as part of the regular cycle of Assembly work (rapporteurs country visits, briefing for the President of the Assembly), and others might be occasional events depending on demand (e.g. training sessions for the staff and members of national parliaments, briefings for PACE delegations, conferences).

Some of the options proposed by Mr Efstathiou could be of a more exceptional nature (e.g. liaison group visits for cases of most concern, compatibility studies visits in the case of systemic or structural problems), or relate more to co-operation between committees (e.g. enhanced cooperation with the Monitoring Committee).