Chapter

Enlargement of the Council of Europe and Constitutionalization of the European Court of Human Rights

Wojciech Sadurski

in Constitutionalism and the Enlargement of Europe

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199696789
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741722 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199696789.003.0002
Enlargement of the Council of Europe and Constitutionalization of the European Court of Human Rights

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The accession of Central and Eastern European states into the Council of Europe and therefore the European Court of Human Rights system, prompted a shift of the European Court of Human Rights towards a quasi-constitutional role. The Court moved beyond the simple identification of incorrect individual decisions (in largely Western countries) towards the consideration of systemic legal defects, triggered by structural problems within the new CEE Member States, and further facilitated by collaboration between the Court and the national constitutional courts of the new Member States. The emergence of so-called ‘pilot judgments’ (which mainly originate from CEE states) is the best and most recent illustration of this trend. The way in which a national court may form a de facto alliance with the European Court of Human Rights effectively ‘pierces the veil of the State’ and positions the European Court as a quasi-constitutional judicial body at the pan-European level.

Keywords: European Court of Human Rights; European Convention of Human Rights; Council of Europe; pilot judgments; constitutional courts; Central and Eastern Europe

Chapter.  22819 words. 

Subjects: EU Law

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