PACE approves draft Protocol No. 16 to the European Convention on Human Rights

Strasbourg, 28.06.2013 – Draft Protocol No. 16 to the European Convention on Human Rights may be adopted by the Committee of Ministers and opened for signature and ratification as presently drafted, according to the Parliamentary Assembly.

The opinion adopted today by PACE, on the basis of the report by Christopher Chope (United Kingdom, EDG), states that this draft protocol – which will enter into force once it has been ratified by ten Parties to the Convention – provides for the possibility for the highest courts in states “to obtain, from the European Court of Human Rights opinions on questions of principle relating to the interpretation or application of rights and freedoms defined in the Convention and its protocols.”

According to the Assembly, this text will “strengthen the link between the Court and States’ highest courts by creating a platform for judicial dialogue, thereby facilitating the application of the Court’s case law by national courts”. It will help solve, ex ante rather than ex post, questions of interpretation in the domestic forum, which will result in the speedier resolution of similar cases at national level.