European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

Protecting human rights and political freedoms in Europe

 

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is an international convention to protect human rights and political freedoms in Europe.

Introduction

Drafted in 1950 by the then newly formed Council of Europe, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) entered into force on 3rd September 1953. All Council of Europe member states are party to the Convention and new members are expected to ratify the convention at the earliest opportunity.

The Convention established the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Any person who feels his or her rights have been violated under the Convention by a state party can take a case to the Court. Judgments finding violations are binding on the States concerned and they are obliged to implement them. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe monitors the carrying out of judgments, particularly to ensure payment of the amounts awarded by the Court to the applicants in compensation for the damage they have sustained. The citizens of St Helena can have a case heard in the ECtHR if they do not get satisfaction from the local legal system.

Drafting

The Convention is drafted in broad terms, in a similar (albeit more modern) manner to the English Bill of Rights, the U.S. Bill of Rights, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man or Section 2 of the Constitution of St Helena.

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