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Title: The limits of the International Petition Right for Individuals: A Case Study of the ECtHR
Authors: Verrijdt, Willem
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Host Document: Facing the Limits of the Law pages:333-354
Conference: Limits of the Law location:Leuven date:15 September 2006
Article number: 19
Abstract: This paper examines a current and expanding problem the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has been facing for many years. Since the founding of the Court in 1959, three procedural reforms have theoretically increased the individual access to the Court. Although these operations have brought the Convention system closer to its own objectives, they have, among other causes, given rise to an ever-growing problem of backlog before the Court, as a consequence of the frequent use the Member States’ citizens have been making of this individually-based procedure. This leads to the paradoxical statement that the theoretical increase of the individual access to the Court goes together with a decrease of the effectiveness of the system. Since the entry into force of the procedure set out by the 11th Protocol, the balance inclines in favour of the loss of effectiveness.

Firstly, the goals of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECnHR) and the ECtHR are explained, pointing out the evolution towards the recognition of an international right of individual petition (IRIP) to enforce ones human rights. Secondly, an internal and inherent limit to the protective function of human rights, mainly caused by the conflict between two main aspects of the IRIP, is analysed. Its several interinfluencing causes are explained, as well as its consequences for every function international human rights have. Finally, the question how to deal with the examined limit leads to another question, this is how to perceive the ECtHR’s role, as an approachable court providing for individual justice in every possible case, or as a constitutional court sui generis, merely striving to systematically raise human right’s standards where they are the least developed.
ISBN: 978-3-540-79856-9
VABB publication type: VABB-4
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IHb
Appears in Collections:Institute for Constitutional Law

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