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 (1)

  • Secretary-General

–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