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COMMENTS 

An interview with the President of the European Court of Human Rights

Dean Spielmann, President of the European Court of Human Rights since September 2012, has served as a Judge in the Court for over a decade. In a recent interview with the UCL Law Society’s Silk v. Brief, highlights of which are condensed in the blog post below, he discusses the evolving role of human rights in Europe, and explores the complicated relationship between the UK and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Dean Spielmann
23 March 2015 More...

Starts: Mar 23, 2015 12:00:00 AM

In Defence of Rights

Philippe Sands, Professor of Law at UCL and practising barrister in international law, and Helena Kennedy, a leading barrister and academic in human rights law, civil liberties and constitutional issues, were members of the 2011 Commission on a Bill of Rights. In highlights from a recent article in the London Review of Books, they discuss how human rights intersect with politics, examine the UK’s strained relationship with the European Convention on Human Rights, and question the possible motivations lying behind the proposed Bill.
Prof. Philippe Sands 
Helena Kennedy
1 April 2015 More...

Starts: May 2, 2015 12:00:00 AM

Exploring ‘Exploratory Governance': the Hertie Governance Report 2015

With the Eurozone crisis not yet over, Albert Weale, Professor of Political Theory and Public Policy at UCL, reviews the Hertie Governance Report 2015 as it analyses the key issues facing the European Institutions in terms of economic governance. As ad hoc solutions are found to deal with urgent matters, what does this mean for political accountability and reform in the EU, and what lessons have been learnt?
Prof. Albert Weale
14 April 2015 More...

Starts: May 2, 2015 12:00:00 AM

UCL academics in the media: the European Court of Human Rights

25 April 2012

Prof Philippe Sands (UCL Laws) and Prof Richard Bellamy (UCL Public Policy) comment on recent British reactions to the ECtHR.


Human rights and Europe: Down to the Wire

Britain’s campaign to change the ECHR is about to be tested
14 Apr 2012 | The Economist

Many in Britain and elsewhere think the ECtHR has grown too big for its boots. The reforms currently proposed under British Chairmanship of the ECtHR would lighten the court’s load in part by tightening criteria for accepting cases and amending the convention to give national judicial systems more wriggle room. Some fear these measures would reduce not only the court’s workload but also its power. That power,As Philippe Sands argues, may not be vital in countries like Britain and Germany, but vital in states where, in the absence of an independent and effective local judiciary, “the court serves as a first and a last resort for individuals who are subject to real and extensive abuses.”

Read the full article here.


U.K.’s Fight to Deport Cleric Mirrors Old European Feuds

By Kit Chellel
24 April 2012 | Bloomberg

The U.K. hosted a summit last week on the future of the European Court of Human Rights even as relations were strained by a dispute over extraditing terrorism suspect Abu Qatada. Qatada’s case, in which he claims evidence obtained through torture will be used against him, has revived old arguments about Europe’s role in British affairs. Prime Minister David Cameron wants to limit the ECtHR’s remit; other British politicians want to go further and ignore the court’s rulings altogether. Yet the perception that the ECtHR tells the U.K. what to do is wrong, argues Richard Bellamy in this article. Less than 2 percent of cases the court heard since 1966 have resulted in local rulings being overturned. “Those very small number of cases that go against us is probably a salutary thing. It makes people think,” Bellamy said.

Read the full article here.