Turning Criticism into Strength
Edited by Spyridon Flogaitis, Tom Zwart and Julie Fraser
Chapter 2: Criticism and case-overload: Comments on the future of the European Court of Human Rights
Given the increase of size, dimension and impact of the parameters of the European Convention on Human Rights (‘ECHR’), the Convention system was bound to be confronted with an increase of criticism, too. As The Economist put it, in its inimitable style, the Strasbourg Court ‘annoy(s) most national politicians some of the time and infuriate(s) some most of the time’. In a recent speech, the former European Court of Human Rights (‘ECtHR’) President Jean-Paul Costa indicated a few reasons for the growing criticism. President Costa referred to terrorism and security concerns; the wide-spread economic and financial crisis and its effect of giving priority to economic policies; the growing influence of populist movements; the unpopularity of criminals, prisoners, immigrants, vagrants or minorities who are allegedly overprotected by the ECtHR;as well as Euroscepticism and a longing for greater sovereignty. Without further elaboration, this chapter categorises the reproaches to the Court and proceeds to discuss them in the spirit of the saying that institutions and states will perish, if those who love them do not criticise them and if those who criticise them do not love them. Criticism against the Convention system and the Strasbourg Court has been expressed inter alia with respect to the perception of exaggerated judicial activism, neglect of the system’s subsidiarity principle and the perception of an underlying human rights-centralism, which, it is alleged, is not necessary in a democratic society.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.