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The European Court of Human Rights and the protection of civil liberties: an overview

Gearty, Conor ORCID: 0000-0002-3885-2650 (1993) The European Court of Human Rights and the protection of civil liberties: an overview. Cambridge Law Journal, 52 (1). pp. 89-127. ISSN 0008-1973

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0008197300017256


It is doubtful whether there is a more famous court in Europe than the European Court of Human Rights. The town in which it is located, Strasbourg, has become a rallying cry for disappointed litigants from Iceland to Istanbul. Through its application of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Court is seen to have played an important role in the protection of individual freedom in western Europe, and its case-law has ballooned dramatically in recent years. So successful has it been that the Court's jurisdiction is coveted by the newly emerging democracies in eastern and central Europe as a badge of legitimacy and a bulwark against future tyranny. Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Bulgaria already have judges on the Court and representatives from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are expected in the not too distant future. There is even talk of Russian membership. Moves are afoot to rationalise the Court's procedures, and to incorporate its law within the European Community.1 Some- time in the next few years it will have a fine new building, designed by Sir Richard Rogers. All the signs are that its jurisprudence will continue to grow at a hectic pace. It is not improbable that the Court will emerge over time as a supreme court of Europe, at least so far as human rights are concerned.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 1993 Cambridge Law Journal and Contributors
Divisions: LSE Human Rights
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JX International law
K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 07 May 2008 12:59
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 23:34

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