EHU Fosters Discussion on the Challenges to the European Human Rights System]

EHU Fosters Discussion on the Challenges to the European Human Rights System

On December 8-9 European Humanities University (EHU) brought together academics, members of the judiciary, and practicing lawyers from across Europe for the international conference “Regional Challenges in Implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights” in Vilnius.

With this conference, EHU fosters a wider discussion on the challenges to the European Human Rights System and takes a closer look at relevant practices of national apex courts. Thanks to the generous support of the Council of Europe, and the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania EHU has become a platform for the discussion of different experiences of implementing the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) standards in states, which ratified the Convention.

The initial idea to launch a discussion on the challenges of the implementation and application of the ECHR emerged two years ago. “We suggested that the challenges regarding the implementation of ECHR might have had a regional dimension. For example, post-Soviet countries in their transition from totalitarianism to democracy face similar challenges. We noticed that this problem was interesting not only to the academic society but also to judges and legal practitioners. The conference aims at finding the answers to the following questions: Are there indeed regional challenges in the implementation of the ECHR? What are the reasons? How should we deal with it?” tells Assoc. Prof. Maxim Timofeev.

Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool, and EHU’s Visiting Prof. Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou emphasizes: “We are proud to become a mediator between academics, law practitioners, and various stakeholders. The aim of this conference is to answer questions and produce new knowledge”. Visiting Prof. Dzehtsiarou and Assoc. Prof. Timofeev have already organized a series of discussions dedicated to the issues of the states’ compliance with the ECHR.

Mr. Sergey Dikman, Representative of the Council of Europe Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law, stresses: “In the frame of this conference we aim to interpret the reasons for non-compliance with the ECHR - are there particular regional political and legal challenges? We have talked a lot about the “constitutional identity” as a possible reason for limiting the effect of the ECtHR judgments. The experience of Western countries might be useful for Central and Eastern European countries, that recently signed the Convention. I want to praise the Constitutional Court of Lithuania and the activism of Lithuanian judges regarding the implementation of the ECHR and extensive approach to the protection of human rights”.

European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) Judge Ganna Yudkivska agrees that there are numerous issues related to the implementation of the ECHR. According to Judge Yudkivska: “These problems are rather global, than local, and the reason for it is a general crisis of the international law, and human rights in particular. Contrary to popular belief, Central and Eastern European countries turn out to be more receptive to the lessons from Strasbourg, although they do not always have the resources for its implementation. Western countries distance themselves from the European Court and implement its judgments more cautiously”.

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