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Forum LockedEuropean Court of Human Rights, anybody collect?

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    Posted: 27-Apr-2009 at 16:38
Hello,
 
Just out of curiosity, has any sovereign nation under the "jurisdiction" of the European Court of Human rights ever actually paid an award ordered by the court?
 
Their website states that the court cannot over ride national laws and that enforcement of judgements are the responsibility of another organization. The first point seems to indicate that their orders are meaningless.  


Edited by Cryptic - 27-Apr-2009 at 16:40
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Apr-2009 at 18:58
Not meaningless. No payment springs immediately to mind, but what does is that the UK government was forced to sentence the child killers in the Bolger case to a fixed term in prison, rather than, as was traditional in England, to imprisonment for an uinspecified term ('detained at the Queen's pleasure')
 
Since the ECHR is not an EU institution, I guess the UK could have abrogated its treaty if it wanted, but it followed the court's decision.


Edited by gcle2003 - 27-Apr-2009 at 19:00
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Apr-2009 at 20:22
Thanks for the information.  The award that I was thinking about was the award given to three Polish women for an abortion issue and possibly similar awards given to Portuguese or Irish women. I am interested because Presdient Obama is appointing an advocate of "trans-national law" to a senior legal position.
 
I am surprised that Great Britain followed the international court's ruling regarding an internal policy matter.  This is especially so since the treaty seems to have a built in "escape clause" (EU court can't over rule local law).   
 
 


Edited by Cryptic - 27-Apr-2009 at 20:41
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Apr-2009 at 20:38
Well, in common with the other members of the Council of Europe (47 of them currently, including e.g. Russia and Turkey) the UK is signatory to the convention setting it up, and at one point incorporated into national law by act of Parliament the European Declaration of Human Rights, which guides the court.
 
The way it mostly works is that if the court rules, say, that a provision of national law is contrary to the European Declaration of Human Rights, then the country concerned changes its legislation, and if necessary retries or resentences the case. So the country would be responsible for enforcement.
 
It's a bit like the role played by the Supreme Court in the US, though the ECHR can act as a court of first instance in cases between countries. Both courts actually refuse to hear most of the cases brought before them for review.
 
(It's also important to distinguish the ECHR from the European Court of Justice here in Luxembourg, which is a European Union institution with jurisdiction over the member states in accordance with the treaties setting up the EU. This hears cases brought under the law derived from those treaties. Again unlike the Supreme Court the ECJ is not only an appeal court, it also hears cases brought by one state against another, or the European Commission against a member state.)
 
With regard to non-payment I found this: http://tinyurl.com/cld4af
 


Edited by gcle2003 - 27-Apr-2009 at 20:50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Apr-2009 at 20:49
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 
The way it mostly works is that if the court rules, say, that a provision of national law is contrary to the European Declaration of Human Rights, then the country concerned changes its legislation, and if necessary retries or resentences the case. So the country would be responsible for enforcement.
Thanks again. This appears to be the direction that Obama's appointee is sympathetic towards. Such a direction, however, will not work here due to both political and in some cases internal constitutional reasons (U.S. states are near autonomous in many matters)


Edited by Cryptic - 27-Apr-2009 at 21:01
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Apr-2009 at 20:59
I seem to have updated my post seconds after you posted. Sorry.
 
Scotland has retained its own legal system though the House of Lords is still the highest court of appeal. For instance, in criminal cases Scotland allows three verdicts - guilty, not guilty and not proven. Someone found 'not proven' walks but can be tried again. And there is a prosecuting official similar to a juge d'instruction in France or a DA in the US (though he is appointed, not elected).
 
Even before the setting up of the Scottish assembly recently, legislation passed by the Westminster Parliament was flagged as for Scotland or for Northern Ireland or for 'England and Wales' since Wales is not a kingdom.
 
I can't speak for other European countries.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Apr-2009 at 21:16

Its Ok, I realized after I initially posted that you had already answered my question. (treaty obligations are tied to the highest national authority in the member nation. All local jurisdictions are subordinate through some manner to the signing national authority).

 


Edited by Cryptic - 27-Apr-2009 at 21:21
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Apr-2009 at 22:25

Both the European Convention and the European Union are creatures of treaties, agreement between countries to act in a certain way. So if the UK goes against the decision of the Court of Human Rights or the ECJ, it is in violation of treaty committments, nothing more.

The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Apr-2009 at 15:17
In traditional terms that would be right, and would still be true of the ECHR. But the EU treaties are rather a different matter: it raises the question of whether secession from the EU is allowed. After all South Carolina thought it could secede.
 
PS: Might be worth noting that British judges seem to have done well in going along with the ECHR even against the government.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Apr-2009 at 23:55
All EC and EU treaties expressly allow for secession of a member country or an associate of a member country (as actually happened with Greenland in the 80's).
 
The line where an entity stops being a grouping of independant states and starts being a proper nation state is a blurry one, especially considering the variety of sub national entities in existancel but the EU as of now is clearly not a nation state or anything more than a creature of a treaty*.
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Apr-2009 at 12:15
Aren't you jumping the gun? The Lisbon Treaty isn't ratified yet. The situation is still therefore not clear.
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