European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR or EHR treaty)



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European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR or EHR treaty)



The Convention has been referred to as “the jewel in the crown” of the Council of Europe. New member states are obliged to signECHR on becoming members and to ratify within one year.

The direct predecessor of the Convention is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. Other notable historical precedents include “England’s Magna Carta of 1215, which asserted the right to a fair trail and a just legal system; the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America of 1776; and the French Declaration of the Rights of Men and the Citizen of 1789. While inadequate for today, these represented important stages on the road towards full and equal rights for all human beings. The ECHR was signed on 4 November, 1950 and entered into force on 3 September, 1953. The European Convention on Human Rights represents ” the first steps of the collective enforcement of certain of the rights stated in the Universal Declaration”. Contracting States undertake to secure to everyone within their jurisdiction a number of civil and political rights and freedoms set out in the Convention. Some of them are: the right to life (Art.2 ), freedom from torture and from inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Art.3), freedom from slavery and servitude (Art. 4), the right to liberty and security of the person (Art. 5), the right to a fair trail (Art. 6), the right to respect for one’s private and family life, one’s home and one’s correspondence (Art. 8), freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Art. 9), freedom of assembly and association (Art. 11).

Subsequent protocols have extended the initial list of rights, and the case-law of European Court has reinforced and developed these rights, demonstrating the dynamic and evolutive nature of the system. The first Protocols of 20 March 1952 added the following rights: the right to property (Art 1), the right to free elections (Art. 3). The Fourth Protocol adds some more rights: freedom from imprisonment for debt (Art. 1), liberty of movement and freedom to choose one’s residence (Art. 2).

All the Contracting States, with the exception of Ireland, Norway and the United Kingdom, have incorporated the Convention into their own law, enabling the domestic judiciary to take full account of its provisions when considering a grievance. Once domestic judicial remedies have been exhausted, an individual may still seek redress in Strasbourg for a breach of the Convention by a Contracting State. The Strasbourg machinery is not a substitute for national courts, but is an extension of them. The agreement of sovereign states to allow a supra-national court to review a judgement of the domestic judiciary represented a historic and unprecedented step in international law. It puts into practice the theory of the fundamental nature of human rights, placing rights firmly above the laws and practice of a state.

Structure and procedure.The most famous conventional body is the European Court of Human Rights, which enforces the European Convention on Human Rights. The European Court of Human Rights, created under the European Convention on Human Rights of 1950, is composed of a judge from each member state elected for a renewable term of six years by the Parliamentary Assembly and is headed by the elected President of the Court. Since 2007, Jean-Paul Costa from France is the President of the Court. Under the new Protocol No. 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights, the terms of office of judges shall be nine years but non-renewable. According to the Convention and the Statute the Court deals with cases related to the violation of the Convention and protocols. When a case is referred to the Court, there will be a public hearing. The Court’s judgement, reached by majority vote, is final. The Court may require a state to pay financial compensation, including damages and the costs of the proceedings. The Committee of Ministers supervises the execution of the judgement where a violation has been found.

 

II. DEVELOPMENT

Mark these statements T(true) or F (False) according to the text. Find the part of the text that gives correct information.

1. The direct predecessor of the European Convention on Human Rights is the Constitution of the USA.

2. Contracting States undertake to protect human rights set out in the Convention.

3. All the Contracting States have incorporated the Convention into their own law.

4. The Court’s judgement reached by majority vote is ultimate.

5. The Strasbourg Court is a substitute for every national court.

6. A Contracting State has no right to bring a case against another Contracting State.

7. The Court may require a state to pay financial compensation, including damages and the costs of the proceedings.

 

Make up sentences out of these words and expressions and translate them.

1.Austria / important/ modified/ of/ sections/ its code/ of/ concerning/ criminal/ procedure/ treatment of prisoners/ in/ hospitals.

2.Denmark/ the/ amended/ law/ on custody/ illegitimate children/ of.

3.France/ telephone communications/ passed/ a law/ of/ the security/ relating to.

4.Greece/ detention/ amended/ the/ law/on /provisional.

5.Sweden/ instruction/ religious /amended/ the/ on/ compulsory/law.

6.The/ UK/ in/ state / schools/ outlawed/ punishment/corporal.

 

Prepositions. Choose the right prepositions in brackets according to the content of the sentences.

(by, for, with, without, according to, in, on )

 

1. … recent years number of cases considered by the Court has increased considerably as the Convention’s reputation has grown.

2. The European Convention on Human Rights represents “the first steps … the collective enforcement of certain of the rights stated … the Universal Declaration”.

3. The Convention provides … a European Court of Human Rights to deal … individuals’ petitions and their interstate cases.

4. The right to a fair trail, both in civil and criminal proceedings, is guaranteed …Art. 6 of the ECHR.

5. The Additional Protocol of 1998 included the right to equal opportunities and treatment with regard to employment and careers, ... discrimination based ... sex.

6. Everyone charged … a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty … the law (Art. 5 of ECHR).

7. Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and found a family … the national laws governing the exercise of this right. (Art. 12 of ECHR).

Insert one of the following words in an appropriate form into the text.

convention, detention areas, human rights, force, experts, adopt, access, politics, make up, include

 

The European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and

Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

The European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was … in 1987 and came into … in 1989. The … supplements the protection available under the European Convention on Human Rights by establishing a European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT)

This Committee is … of independent and impartial … from a variety of backgrounds, including law, medicine, prison affairs and …

The Committee visits places of detention, which may … prisons, police stations, aliens’ holding centres, … at army barracks or psychiatric institutions, to see how detainees are treated. The Committee has unlimited … to places of detention and can interview, in private, detainees or any other persons who can provide relevant information, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs) concerned with … as well as the authorities themselves.

The aim of collecting this information is to strengthen the protecting of detainees against torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

5. Write down the following abbreviations in full words and compose sentences to illustrate their meaning: ECHR (EHR treaty), OAS, UN, Art., ECOSOC (of the United Nations), UNDR, CPT .

Translate these sentences.

Справа Кемпелл і Коданс проти Сполученого Королівства (1982). У цій справі матері скаржників скаржились на застосування тілесних покарань як дисциплінарного заходу в державних школах Шотландії, які відвідували їхні діти. В заявах стверджувалося, зокрема, що застосування тілесних покарань у школах порушує права, які гарантуються у статті 2 Конвенції, в тому, що освіта і навчання їхніх дітей мали відповідати їхнім філософським переконанням. Друга заявниця стверджувала, що виключeння її сина зі школи було порушенням права на освіту, яке гарантується в зазначеній статті.



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