Relations internationales

Working seminar at the European Court of Human Rights

A delegation of eight members of the Council of State, led by Vice-President Bruno Lasserre, visited the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg on Monday 27 September for a working seminar chaired by Robert Spano, President of the Court. The programme included discussions on freedom of expression, proportionality review of rights and interim measures under Rule 39 of the ECHR.

Held alternately every two years in Paris and Strasbourg, these seminars provide an opportunity to discuss the different levels of protection of fundamental rights in Council of Europe member states and the work of national courts in incorporating the guarantees of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into their law.

Round tables to discuss legal developments

The first round table dealt with freedom of expression. Consecrated by Article 10 of the ECHR, it is protected by the Council of State through a close control of the proportionality of the infringements that can be made, notably in the name of public order. Recent decisions of the Council of State reflecting this balancing of interests have been discussed. 

The proportionality review of rights protected by the ECHR was then discussed in the second round table. This topic led to questions about the influence of treaty law on review carried out by the Council of State.

Finally, the third round table dealt with interim measures under Rule 39 of the Rules of the ECHR. According to this Rule, interim measures may be indicated to the parties when the Chamber, the President of the Section or a duty judge of the ECHR considers that they should be adopted in the interests of the parties or of the proper conduct of the proceedings. The debate was fed by a comparison between interim measures under Article 39 and decisions taken by the Council of State under the provisional judicial emergency order procedure.

Established in 1959, the ECHR is responsible for ensuring the protection of the civil and political rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights, an international treaty signed by the 47 member states of the Council of Europe. Any person or group of persons may apply to the ECHR in case of these rights violated. It also has jurisdiction to hear an application lodged by a State against another State party to the Convention.