Whether you studied in college or heard from other sources about the ECHR, you are probably wondering how to analyze the Court’s decisions. We all know that a court decision is often very long and difficult to understand at first. So we offer you a short guide on how you should make a file of an ECHR decision that you have to analyze.
Our lawyers in Romania answer some of the most important questions on this topic below.
Table of Contents
What is the ECHR?
The ECHR or the European Court of Human Rights was established by the European Convention on Human Rights. The Convention was signed on 4 November 1950 in Rome and entered into force on 3 September 1953.
The ECHR is based in Strasbourg and adjudicates requests made by “any natural person, non-governmental organization or group of individuals who claim to be the victim of a violation by one of the High Contracting Parties of the rights recognized in the Convention or its Protocols”. The experts at our Romanian law firm can give you more information on this.
How do you structure a file for an ECHR decision?
In order to better understand how to make a file for an ECHR decision, it is good to have a logical structure. When analyzing a decision in ECHR case law, you should answer the following questions listed below by our Romanian lawyers:
- What actually happened in this case?
- What are the parties involved in the process?
- Which article of the Convention has been violated?
- What did the Court decide?
- What is the relevance of that decision?
- What is the actual situation?
In order to be able to analyze a decision, and, implicitly, a file for an ECHR decision, you must read and understand the factual situation, ie what actually happened in that case. To do this, read carefully the decision you have to analyze. Even several times, until you got a clear idea of what happened in this case.
The experts at pur law firm in Romania can assist.
Who are the parties to the process?
After reading the decision very carefully, it will be easy for you to identify the parties involved in the process. They are usually found at the beginning of the decision.
You can ask our Romanian lawyers for more details.
Which article of the Convention has been violated?
In order to make a full analysis of the decision, you need to identify which article of the European Convention on Human Rights was invoked in this case. Based on this, you will also identify the arguments brought by the parties, for or against the violation of that article.
What did the Court decide?
The decision of the Court is always to be found at the end of the judgment in a short and to the point sentence. In addition, the reasons why the Court adopted that judgment are set out.
Now you have almost reached the end of the file for an ECHR decision.
What is the relevance of the decision?
After analyzing the decision, it is good to see how important it is for the jurisprudence of the ECHR. Perhaps it is a pilot judgment, in which the Court rules on structural issues underlying repeated violations of the Convention. Or maybe it’s a decision that changes the Court’s jurisprudence on a certain subject by 180 degrees. Or it is simply a judgment by which the Court maintains its position adopted by previous judgments.
In addition, on the ECHR website you can even find a summary of the decisions. This helps you a lot to get an overview, to realize what is being talked about in that case. It is very useful when looking for decisions on certain keywords or legal issues.
Example of a file for an ECHR decision
To better understand what a fact sheet for an ECHR decision should look like, let’s take an applied example. For example, you have the Rezmiveș decision against Romania, pronounced in 2017.
The actual situation
In the present case, there are 4 applications lodged with the Court by the detained applicants. They complain in particular about the conditions of detention in various prisons or police detention and pre-trial detention centers.
The first applicant complained, in particular, of overcrowding, lack of natural light, short duration of daily walks and lack of leisure activities. He claimed that all these conditions and the lack of sociocultural and educational programs or vocational training courses were a reason for him to be depressed.
The second applicant complained about the conditions of detention in the three places where he had been detained. According to him, in the Craiova Penitentiary he benefited from a reduced personal space in the room and was able to take a shower twice a week, having at his disposal, together with the other detainees, an hour at most. He claims that after two years of detention in such conditions, he developed chronic prostatitis and lost a few teeth. He also states that, after the transfer to Târgu-Jiu Penitentiary, he had to sleep in the same bed with another detainee, the room having only 27 beds for 33 people. There was only one toilet, one shower and two sinks. Hot water is supplied twice a week, each time for a very short time. Transferred to Pelendava Penitentiary, he shared with another 38 persons.
Our lawyers in Romania can give you more deatils. Please contact us if you need assistance.