margin of appreciation

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A concept created by the European Court of Human Rights to allow a certain amount of freedom for each signatory state to regulate its own activities and its application of the European Convention on Human Rights without being subject to review by the Court. This freedom is not available to national courts when considering Convention issues arising within their own countries. However, in some cases the domestic courts, when reviewing decisions of public authorities under the Convention, may defer on democratic grounds to those elected bodies (see judicial deference).

Subjects: International Law.

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