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Mechanisms of influence John Bell (Cambridge). Need to build a team ECtHR is not integrated into judicial hierarchy decisions, as such, do not upset res.

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Presentation on theme: "Mechanisms of influence John Bell (Cambridge). Need to build a team ECtHR is not integrated into judicial hierarchy decisions, as such, do not upset res."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mechanisms of influence John Bell (Cambridge)

2 Need to build a team ECtHR is not integrated into judicial hierarchy decisions, as such, do not upset res judicata national courts can t refer issues for decision National judges are front line implementers of Convention

3 Problems for national judges To understand and emulate decisions and reasons different style: how to read and then translate into national style reasons for the reasons assertion or justification? formal or policy-based arguments? (Lasser) Building commitment divergent policy/interpretative choices do they try to understand our decisions before they criticise them? commissaire du gouvernement Osman and Z v UK

4 How does Strasbourg reach out? Conferences by judges of ECtHR part of judicial continuing education chance for exchange of views No forum for national and ECtHR judges to debate common problems Visits to ECtHR, e.g. Lord Mackay In short, insular, remote, relying on text of decisions

5 Luxembourg v Strasbourg Visits to national judges National judges visit court Secondment into cabinets at Court Explain decisions through Advocate- General and rapporteur Visits to national judges No budget for visits No cabinets, merely Registrar No Advocate-General, but independent opinions

6 Are national judges part of team? Awareness through national training Internal debate Priority of national law? Status conferred by applying European law Natural instinct for conform interpretation Ability to deliver changes what can judges achieve? when does it have to be left to legislator? judges as agenda setter

7 Team-work: Mutual Influence Sources of ideas European Convention needs to build on national concepts and ideas Needs to produce autonomous ideas applicable in all systems Benchmark: not lowest common denominator, but most effective Communication/dialogue How far are national judges inspired? willingness to apply spill-over effect How far is ECtHR willing to respond to national judges?


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