The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms affects judicature of the Senate even more
6 March, 2013
The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms has become an instrument applied in daily work in the Senate of the Supreme Court, - this is concluded in research about interaction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and the Supreme Court performed by Martins MIts, the doctor of law, by an order of the Supreme Court.
The goal of the study was to specify influence of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in work of the Senate of the Supreme Court, how its role has been expressed and how it has been applied in judicature of the Senate, what can be concluded of that, grounding on analysis of case-law of the Senate.
The author of the study has analysed three indicators for each department of the Senate – analysis of the case-law of the ECtHR by initiative of the department itself, initiative of general application of case-law of the ECHR and ECtHR and the role or the function of the ECHR in rulings of the Senate (whether it is used as material source of law, or as means of interpretation of national standards). Summarising trends of influence of the ECHR to the case-law of the Senate, it has been concluded in the study: in the Department of Criminal Cases, although the ECHR is applied quite often, going into details of expression of its standards, by initiative of the department itself, in circumstances of corresponding case, occurs rarely, and the ECHR is not used for interpretation of national standards. In the Department of Civil Cases, going into details of application of standards of the ECHR in circumstances of corresponding case, by initiative of the department itself, occurs in 50 per cent of rulings, and mostly conclusion is made about (non)existence of violation of the ECHR rather than it is used for interpretation of national legal standards. In the Department of Administrative Cases, the department itself mainly studies, how the ECtHR has interpreted standards, in circumstances of corresponding case, and then national legal standards have been interpreted and applied similarly.
In all three departments, there are rulings, in which essential influence of the ECHR to the outcome of the case is established. As the author of the study has indicated – it approves application of the ECHR in daily work of the Senate and testifies that common influence of the ECHR to the judicature of the Senate has been expressed mainly through application of national standards.
In comparison with similar research, which was performed earlier about rulings of the Senate adopted between 2000 and 2007, the author established two trends, which should be taken into account: role of the ECHR as of means of interpretation has increased in the Department of Civil Cases of the Senate, and identified influence of the ECHR to the result of a case has increased in all three departments. These trends in general testify increase of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms to judicature of the Senate.
Regarding rights of the ECHR applied in rulings of the Senate most, it is concluded in the study that rights invoked in all three departments with certainty are the Article 6 – Right to a fair trial, the Article 3 – Prohibition of torture, and the Article 13 – Right to an effective remedy in conjunction with the Article 34 of the Convention – Individual applications, which can be considered as a variety of means of protection of rights.
Rulings of all three departments of the Senate adopted during a year and a half as from the 1st of January, 2011, were analysed in a study. Among 170 judgements and decisions of the Senate, in which the Convention or case-law of the ECtHR is mentioned, 56 were adopted in the Department of Criminal Cases, 60 – in the Department of Civil Cases, and 54 rulings – in the Department of Administrative Cases.
The study “Judicature of the European Court of Human Rights in rulings of the Supreme court of the Republic of Latvia” is available on the home page of the Supreme Court in the chapter Judicature/Compilations of Court Decisions.
Information prepared by
Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court
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