Journal Article

Changes in the Procedural Practice of the European Court of Human Rights: Consequences for the Convention System and Lessons to be Drawn

Lize R. Glas

in Human Rights Law Review

Volume 14, issue 4, pages 671-699
Published in print December 2014 | ISSN: 1461-7781
Published online September 2014 | e-ISSN: 1744-1021 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hrlr/ngu026
Changes in the Procedural Practice of the European Court of Human Rights: Consequences for the Convention System and Lessons to be Drawn

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Since the end of the 1990s, the procedural practice of the European Court of Human Rights has changed as a result of formal reform measures and developments in the Court’s case law. This change is mainly manifest in the fact that the Court is now moving in two directions, which are neither inherently connected nor mutually exclusive. First, the Court appears to be distancing itself from certain categories of applications in order to protect the efficient working of the system and, secondly, it seems to be gaining increasing influence over the execution of its judgments. This article discusses the reforms and case law developments which have shaped these two directions and contextualises the directions by outlining factors which help to explain why the reforms and developments have come about. It is then possible to answer the central question in this article, namely what impact the two directions in which the Court is travelling have on the position of the applicant and on how the Court, the states parties and the Committee of Ministers fulfil their tasks in the Convention system. After evaluating the changes per actor, the article characterises the nature of this change more generally. Additionally, the article points out which lessons can be drawn from the changes and their characterisation.

Keywords: Execution of judgments; procedural reform; European Court of Human Rights; Committee of Ministers; European Convention on Human Rights

Journal Article.  14951 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration ; Human Rights

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