Implementing European Convention on Human Rights main focus for European human rights institutions
The European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI), which the Scottish Human Rights Commission chairs, has spoken of the need to focus on greater implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
At the “Implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights: Our shared responsibility” conference in Brussels last month, the ENNHRI recommended there be specific recognition of the role NHRIs play in implementing the ECHR and for NHRIs to be adequately resourced to fulfil this role. The ENNHRI strongly advised against “any further fundamental reform” of the European Court of Human Rights system. The 47 member states of the Council of Europe approved the "Declaration of Brussels".
The European Network co-ordinates work by 40 NHRIs across the Council of Europe region and is one of four regional networks within the International Co-ordinating Committee (ICC) of NHRIs.
Speaking in his capacity as ENNHRI chair, the Commission’s chair, Professor Alan Miller, said:
“The reason for this focus on implementation should not be to find a way to preserve the technical functioning of the Convention system, but to seek to attain the highest level of human rights protection for every person in all member states.
“National implementation has always been and will always be the most sustainable way to guarantee human rights; and clearly, an improved set of instruments for domestic execution of judgments will serve as an important support mechanism here.
“When, in 2050, we celebrate the Convention’s 100th birthday we should be in a position to look back at how all member states of the Council of Europe have fully implemented the Convention, and on the important role the court has played in advising them and encouraging them to do so. We do not want to look back and see how meddling with the Court has weakened it - and in the process weakened human rights protection throughout Europe.”
- The Scottish Human Rights Commission is an independent public body with a remit to promote and protect human rights for everyone in Scotland. It is accredited as an “A status” national human rights institution within the UN system.
- The European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) comprises National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) from across wider Europe. SHRC has been the Chair of the ENNHRI since 2011 and was re-elected in 2013 for a further three years. As a regional chair, SHRC is also a member of the ICC Bureau. You can read the ENNHRI presentation here.
- The High-level conference on "Implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights: Our shared responsibility" took place on 26 & 27 March in Brussels at the initiative of the Belgian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
- Scotland's National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP) was launched on 10 December 2013 and sets out a roadmap to realising human rights for everyone in Scotland.