European Human Rights Instruments

  • European Conv. on HR and FF (ECHR) (1950).
  • European Social Charter (1961).
  • European Conv. for the Prevention of Torture
  • and IDTP (1989).
  • European Charter for Regional & Minority Languages (1992).
  • Framework Conv. for the Protection of National Minorities (1995).
  • European Conv. on Exercise of Childrens Rights (1996)
  • European Conv. on Human Rights & Biomedicine (1997)

Europe: CoE System – Institutions


  • Head of CoE Secretariat
  • Serves as depository for ratifications, reservations, renunciations
  • Receives collective complaints under Europ. Social Charter

Committee of Ministers

  • Primary decision-making body
  • Consists of foreign ministers or
  • deputies of member States
  • Executes Court judgments; considers new applications; monitors compliance; adopts resolutions.

Europe: European Union System

European Court of Justice (ECJ)

  • Highest court interpreting EU law
  • Initially reluctant to address HR issues but had to reconcile EU provisions with rights of nationals
  • European Court of HR (CoE) and ECJ
  • Overlaps jurisdictionally; may have conflict

Impact of EU System in HR

  • Pioneer in economic rights, incl. labor regulations
  • Strong work in combating discrimination
  • Regional authority on social rights

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