Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland today welcomed moves to reform Europe’s human rights system and challenged governments to tackle the remaining shortcomings.
In his address to the Brighton conference on the future of the European Court of Human Rights, Jagland said the 47 Council of Europe member states needed to improve implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights at national level. They should also make sure they acted quickly and effectively on the court’s judgements, so as to both meet their obligations and cut the court’s backlog of cases.
“Effective human rights protection starts at home,” the Secretary General declared. “The meaning of the Court was never to take over responsibility of the national courts.
“Member states have themselves freely chosen to submit to an international judicial control mechanism, because they are deeply convinced that this is a vital safeguard for democracy, freedom and peace across our continent.
“Basic human rights do not come from any majority or any authority. They come from the fact that we are all human beings and that every nation has an obligation to uphold these rights by law.”
Speech: Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland’s address to the Brighton Conference on court reform
Background: Conference on the future of the European Court of Human Rights