The European Convention on Human Rights

Author:Catalina Mititelu
European Integration - Realities and Perspectives. Proceedings 2015
Cătălina Mititelu1
Abstract: Since 1950 - when it was ratified the European Convention on Human Rights has had a decisive
impact on the legislation, jurisprudence and judicial practice of the signatory States of its text. A true
“Charter” of Human Rights, th e Convention - which was revised and amended by additional Protocols
enounced not only the human rights and fundamental freedoms, but also provided the framework of their
legal protection, which laid the foundation of a new era in the history of human rights. Among others, our
paper emphasizes also the fact that the European Convention on Human Rights sets not only the general
principles of the EU law, principles that have the force of “Jus cogens” for all EU states in the field of human
rights and fundamental freedoms, but also it guarantee them a proper legal protection. Since this reality was
not yet fully noticed and analyzed in the juridical literature, we believe that, by emphasizing it, we bring a
real contribution to a better understanding and to a better capitalization of the first “Charter” of European
Human Rights.
Keywords: European Union; rights and freedoms; legal protection
1. Introduction
“The European Convention on Human Rights” which was drafted by the Council of Europe and
ratified by the representatives of governments-member, in Rome, on 4 November 1950 would
become, across time, “one of the most important and effective international instruments for the
protection of human rights in the world” (Bîrsan, 2005, p. V). Moreover, as Professor Jean-Paul Costa
former Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights noticed, the Convention exercises
“a profound influence on the legislation, jurisprudence and legal practice” of the States that ratified it.
Additionally, it actually involves “a supranational judicial mechanism” (Bîrsan, 2005, p. V), hence the
obligation of these States to affirm and respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms
proclaimed by the force of “Jus cogens”.
The Convention had been ratified “with more than forty years before the entry into force of Protocol
11, which profoundly changed the institutional mechanism of protection by abolishing the European
Commission of Human Rights. This led to the transformation of the European Court of Human Rights
into a permanent and unique jurisdiction, eliminating the judicial role of the Committee of Ministers of
the Council of Europe” (Bîrsan, 2005, p. VI).
1 Associate P rofessor, PhD, Ovidius University of Constanta, Romania, Address: 124 Mamaia Blvd., Aleea Universității
no.1, Constanta, Romania, Tel./fax: +4 0241670900, Corresponding author:

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