The European Court of Human Rights: achievements and prospects

Leach, Philip ORCID logoORCID: (2018) The European Court of Human Rights: achievements and prospects. In: International Human Rights Institutions, Tribunals and Courts: Legacy and Promise. Oberleitner, Gerd, ed. International Human Rights . Springer, Berlin, pp. 423-442. ISBN 9789811052057. [Book Section] (doi:10.1007/978-981-10-5206-4_16)


This chapter discusses and analyses the origins, workings, and future prospects of the most significant human rights mechanism that Europe has seen – the European Court of Human Rights. Created by European governments in the immediate aftermath of the atrocities experienced during World War II, over the ensuing decades, the Court has laid down a remarkably comprehensive set of standards for states in upholding core civil and political rights, notably the right to a fair trial, the prohibition of torture, and the right to freedom of expression. As state accession to the Council of Europe increased following the breakup of the former Yugoslavia and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Court has been faced with increasing numbers of large-scale systemic cases which have necessitated changes in its practice and procedure and a more creative, incisive approach to providing redress. The Court has succeeded in setting credible standards for the continent (and beyond) but has been weighed down with a huge back load of cases for several decades. Within a regional polity that has become less receptive and indeed increasingly hostile, toward the very concept of human rights, the future challenges for the Court are to maintain its independence, its legitimacy, and its potency as a safety net for victims of human rights violations across the continent.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
Item ID: 24013
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Philip Leach
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2018 17:20
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2019 16:41

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.