The Euro Clowns Combo – just before lunch is served.
The ANNUAL REPORT 2019 – hot off the charts.
59,800 pending applications (increase of 6%)
33,288 applications declared inadmissible or struck out by single judges!!!
Who needs these blokes?
Here are some numbers of prior years:
The number of Single-Judge decisions in 2011 was 100,000, in 2015 they struck out 36,300 complaints, in 2016 they eliminated 30,100 cases, in 2017 out went 60,150 complaints and 2018 some 33,200 cases got the axe.
Let us consult the lofty European Convention on Human Rights.
Registry and rapporteurs
2. When sitting in a single-judge formation, the Court shall be assisted by rapporteurs who shall function under the authority of the President of the Court. They shall form part of the Court’s Registry.
Oh really? It is BULLSHIT because in Rule 18A2 you read about “Non-judicial rapporteurs“. You heard that right, NON-JUDICIAL rapporteurs!
Rules of Court, 1 August 2018, Registry of the Court, Strasbourg.
Rule 18A2 – Non-judicial rapporteurs
1. When sitting in a single-judge formation, the Court shall be assisted by non-judicial rapporteurs who shall function under the authority of the President of the Court. They shall form part of the Court’s Registry.
Here is Dinah Shelton of George Washington University Law School in “Significantly Disadvantaged? Shrinking Access to the European Court of Human Rights”
“Cameron notes that this can create problems of integrity when the Registry is partly staffed with temporarily seconded personnel paid for by individual states: see ibid. at 34.”
“Importantly for the purposes of this paper, international courts are also advised to treat different states differently. States that enjoy a high-reputation for compliance with international law pose a greater threat to the court. Their non-compliance or even their criticism can significantly harm the court’s reputation. To counter this threat, international courts treat high-reputation states more leniently than they do low-reputation states. They will reserve their most demanding judgments—especially those that are based on doctrinal novelties—to states that have a low-reputation.”
Or as Dinah L. Shelton put it:
“As states do not like to be found in violation of their human rights obligations, it is not surprising that they would seek to limit admissibility, even (or especially) in respect to meritorious claims.”
Here is a damning assessment in “Access to justice in the European Convention on Human Rights system” by Gerards and Glas from Utrecht in The Netherlands:
“It has been well documented that non-judicial rapporteurs (Registry officers) sift through, assess and categorise the many incoming applications. When they allocate cases to the single judges, these are presented with lists containing single-sentence descriptions of each case.”
It gets better:
“Relying on the quality of these preparatory documents, the judges usually simply rubber-stamp them, without looking into the file.
Given that the single-judge decisions currently make up nearly 80% of all the applications disposed of, this means that in all these cases, the decisions are taken in substance by Registry staff. This may be problematic from a perspective of independence, since it means an important responsibility for non-judicial rapporteurs who do not need to meet the strict requirements that are set for judges.”
That fulfills the essentials for a Clown Court.
“Macdonald, a former judge of the ECtHR, has pointed out that the whole system of European human rights protection ‘rests on the fragile foundations of the consent of the Contracting Parties’. Macdonald, ‘The Margin of Appreciation’ in Macdonald, Matscher and Petzold (eds), The European System for the Protection of Human Rights (1993).”
The problem of Europe is that it is a hodgepodge of culturally, politically and judicially different nation states without a common goal or aspiration.
“The Strasbourg Court does not sit at the apex of an integrated court structure. Rather, it is a court set up by a treaty among participating countries, and it operates independently of the courts of any of the member states. It exists solely to interpret and apply the provisions of the Convention, and there is no national body of law upon which it is competent to rule. The participating countries do not share a common source of law and have major cultural differences. A substantial number are, at best, emerging democracies. The problems of administering a single system of fundamental rights in such a context can be formidable. Thus, there are legitimate issues as to exactly what the nature of the review of member state decisions should be.”
Don’t forget to listen to Nigel Farage’s farewell address.