Full Fact: ‘Human rights court: “pseudo-judges” or super judges?’ #echr

judge_not_lest_ye_be_judgedAgainst the backdrop of sweeping claims made by some about the nature of the Strasbourg judiciary, the website ‘Full Fact’ (details of which: here) has published a short document on the background and status of the Strasbourg bench, as of July 2015.

It makes some interesting reading, rebutting many of the ‘tabloid like’ claims that Strasbourg Judges are unqualified and inappropriate for judicial office. There are also some very useful links embedded within the piece.

Further details on ‘electing Strasbourg judges’ may be found on this website (here), as well as, of course, the Court’s website and that of the Council of Europe.

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Electing new judges to the Strasbourg Court

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In the United Kingdom the Court is often criticised for being made up of ‘unelected’ judges. In fact, the judges at Strasbourg are elected, and, indeed, four new judges were elected to the Court recently. These were the judges in respect of Armenia, Latvia, Luxembourg and Monaco (for more details see Prof Antoine Buyse’s ECHR blog here). The details of the newly elected judges will soon appear on the Court’s web site, where all the current judges on the Court (including their c.v.s) are listed by seniority (time on the Court) (here).

The Court is made up of full-time professional judges, the number being equal to the number of High Contracting Parties to the Convention (47). Each judge sits for a single term of nine years. The criteria for office are set out in Article 21 of the Convention. The procedure for electing judges is found in Article 22 of the Convention, and see also Article 23.

It will be noted that under these procedures it is down to each State Party to draw up a list of three candidates Continue reading