Legitimacy of European Court of Human Rights Judgments: Procedural Aspects
Den Haag, THE LEGITIMACY OF HIGHEST COURTS RULING, pp. 437-449, N.J.H. Huls, ed., T.M.C. Asser Press, 2009
13 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2011
Date Written: 2008
The legitimacy of judgments - by which we also mean the acceptance thereof by the parties involved - depends to a great extent on the structure and operation of the procedure that has resulted in these judgments. Important procedural defects may impair this legitimacy. On the other hand, a procedure that includes many safeguards and that is completed within a reasonable period may contribute essentially to the acceptance (and hence legitimacy) of judgments, even in the eyes of unsuccessful parties. I It is safe to assume that the same applies to the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR, or 'the Court').
This is why this chapter will focus on the quality of the procedure before the Court. In this context; the term 'procedure' is used in a broad sense, it concerns the strict procedural position of the relevant parties as well as the grounds and consistency of the judgments. This contribution does not aim to present a detailed analysis of the foregoing, but rather a relatively concise and thought-provoking statement for the purpose of encouraging the debate about the quality of the present procedure. In our opinion, this is badly needed because the problems affecting the Court's procedure may well give rise to a legitimacy crisis.
Keywords: legitimacy, judgment, acceptance, procedure, ECtHR, ECHR
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