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The Rule of Law, the European Court of Human Rights, and the UK: A New Court for a New Era?

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It may be argued that, in the light of the Interlaken-Izmir-Brighton-Brussels reform process, the European Court of Human Rights/Convention system has reshaped itself significantly over the last 5 or so years, possibly reflecting a new distribution of powers between Strasbourg and the member states. This may or may not be a good thing. Does it reflect a natural evolution of the Convention system, or the necessary adjustments required of a Court that is under pressure and strain?

This half-day event, held on the fourth anniversary of the Brighton Declaration of April 2012, provided an opportunity to hear leading experts consider how the Strasbourg Court has evolved in recent years, and reflect upon its longer-term future. Speakers also considered how the reform process might inform debate in the UK about the European Court/Convention system and a possible British Bill of Rights.

Part one of the event addressed how the Court has evolved in recent years, in terms of the approach it adopts to resolving certain cases on their substantive merits. Part two looked more specifically at the reform process initiated at Interlaken and Brighton. A focal point was the CDDH's report of the 'Longer-term Future of the system of the European Convention on Human Rights', and its implications.

Keynote speaker:

  • Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP


  • Ms Merris Amos (Reader in Human Rights Law, Department of Law, QMUL)
  • Dr Ed Bates (Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Leicester)
  • Richard Clayton QC (UK member, Venice Commission; Deputy High Court Judge; and 4-5 Gray's Inn Square)
  • Dr Alice Donald (Senior Lecturer, School of Law, Middlesex University London)
  • Prof Dr Martin Kuijer (Chairperson of the Council of Europe Working Group on Longer-term Future of the System of the European Convention on Human Rights; Substitute member, Venice Commission; Senior Legal Adviser, Netherlands Ministry of Security and Justice; and Professor Human Rights Law, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
  • Prof Philip Leach (Professor of Human Rights Law, School of Law, Middlesex University London; and Director of the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre)
  • Mr Rob Linham OBE (Assistant Director, Europe and Domestic Human Rights, Ministry of Justice)
  • Dr Matthew William Saul (Postdoctoral Fellow, PluriCourts Centre for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo)
  • Jessica Simor QC (Matrix Chambers and Bingham Centre external fellow)
  • John Wadham (Associate, Doughty Street Chambers)
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