Importance of Reputation of the Court

Given it’s outstanding role in the protection of Human Rights in Europe the reputation of the Court is of high importance. The behaviour of the Court has high influence on the development of Human Rights in Europe – one way or the other.

With the possible exception of countries where Human Rights are violated on purpose and out of political reasons the way in which the court deals with Human Rights is likely to influence the behaviour of the member states. Where the court declares violation of Human Rights whenever they exist and the member states are declared to be responsible, the member states are motivated to ensure Human Rights also on the national level. Fair trials not only are a Human Right, they also play an important role in the protection of Human Rights on the national level and if trials are declared not fair by the Court this is likely to have influence into the national court systems.

If on the other hand member states can rely that most likely violations of Human Rights are not judged in the Court (ECtHR), but the applications are rejected by (inappropriate, faulty) decisions on admissibility, the lack of protection on the international level may have negative influence on the protection of Human Rights on the national level.

This is especially the case in states with highly corrupt court systems. A decision based on corruption in court is mostly a decision on personal benefits of the judge. As far as the judge can rely that he gets through with a corrupt decision the balance is on the side of corruption. If the judge however is aware of serious risk that the corrupt decision might be declared to be in contrast to the rules of a fair trial on the international level, violating the Human Right to a fair trial, that is likely to prevent a judgement influenced by corruption.

Considering that and the role of fair trials as a protective measure against violation of other Human Rights, inappropriate decisions on inadmissability of a case, refusal of a jugdment in the matter, bear a high destructive potential for the situation of Human Rights in all forms. As a result maintaining a high quality in admisssion decicions needs to be a major goal in Human Rights policy and court practice.

If in contrast ECtHR itself violates the principles of a right to effective remedy (Article 13) by erroneous inadmissibility decisions and the right to a fair trial (Article 6) by delivering non-public decisions without appropriate reasoning, how does it want to have the legitimation to demand that from the member states of the Convention?