The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), based in Strasbourg, recently released its annual report for 2010.
The ECHR hears complaints from individuals living in any of the member states of the Council of Europe about violations of the European Convention of Human Rights. The Council of Europe is one of the continent’s oldest political organizations, founded in 1949. It has 47 member countries.
Among the statistical highlights of 2010:
- approximately half of the judgments delivered by the Court concerned four of the Council of Europe’s forty-seven member States: Turkey (278 judgments), Russia (217 judgments), Romania (143 judgments) and Ukraine (109 judgments)
- the Court delivered a total of 1,499 judgments, slightly down on the 1,625 judgments delivered in 2009
- on 1 June 2010 Protocol No. 14 to the Convention entered into force with the aim of guaranteeing the Court’s long-term effectiveness by optimising the screening and processing of applications. Among other matters covered, it established a new admissibility criterion and a new judicial formation – the single judge – to deal with inadmissible cases. In all, 38,576 cases were declared inadmissible or struck out of the list in 2010 (compared with 33,067 in 2009). The number of cases declared admissible was 2,474 (compared with 2,141 in 2009)
- more than a third of the judgments in which the Court found a violation included a violation of Article 6 of the Convention, whether on account of the fairness or the length of the proceedings. More than 20% of violations found by the Court concern the right to life or the prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment (Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention)
- more than 93% of the Court’s judgments since its creation in 1959 have been delivered between 1998 and 2010