Yearbook of European Law - Vol. 14

By Francis Geoffrey Jacobs | Go to book overview

The European Convention on Human Rights

COLIN WARBRICK


I. Introduction

By the end of 1994, thirty States were parties to the European Convention on Human Rights. All of them had accepted the jurisdiction of the Court under Article 46 and the right of individual application under Article 25. In addition, Andorra, Estonia, and Lithuania had signed the Convention. Further expansion (with the exception of Latvia, which is already a member) depends upon the admission of more States into the Council of Europe. Although it may not prejudice the position other east Europe aspirants to membership, the Report by four members of the Court and Commission to the Parliamentary Assembly on the situation in Russia indicates that future extension of Council of Europe membership will not be a foregone conclusion. The Report on Russia indicated grave reservations about the compatibility of the actual situation in Russia with the conditions of membership of the Council of Europe, specifically on the protection of minorities, on the guarantees of fundamental human rights, and the protection of the rule of law.1

The work of the institutions continues to increase. In 1993, the Commission registered 2,037 applications and declared 218 admissible. It issued reports on the merits in 179 cases. In 1994, the equivalent figures were 2,927, 583 and 348. In 1994, disposed of 1,790 applications, considerably less than the number of new applications it registered. The Commission is thus being pressurized from two directions: the overall number of applications exceeds its capacity to deal with them and the number of those applications that it does look at which require substantial further consideration more than doubled between 1993 and 1994. A proportion of the overall extra case-load is to be attributed to the

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1
Bernhardt Trechsel, Weitzel and Ermacora, Report on the Conformity of the legal order of the Russian Federation with Council of Europe standards Doc.AS/Bur/Russia ( 1994) 7, 28 Sept 1994, in 15 HRLJ249 ( 1994).
© Colin Warbrick, Durham European Law Institute, University of Durham. I am very grateful to officials of the Council of Europe for supplying the materials on which these notes are based. Issues which were not proceeded with before the Court, issues which the Court found no need to consider, and issues under Article 50 will not generally be dealt with. It was not possible to prepare a survey for 1993 and it has not been possible to catch up in one go. This survey considers the judgments for 1993 and 1994 for all provisions except Articles 5 and 6. They will be dealt with in a single (large) group next year.

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