The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has revised its rules to clarify that bar associations, law societies and other lawyers’ associations can make formal submissions to the committee concerning the implementation of judgments from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
Consider any communication
Rule 6 now states that the Committee of Ministers is entitled to consider any communication from non-governmental organisations, as well as national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, with regard to the execution of judgments under Article 46, paragraph 2, of the European Convention on Human Rights.
This clarification underlines that bar associations should be considered as NGOs in relation to the execution of ECtHR judgments, and are therefore able to make formal submissions to the Committee of Ministers.
A number of such submissions have already been taken into account by the Committee of Ministers in the past, from bodies including from the French Conseil national des barreaux and the Polish Bar Council.
The Council of Europe has been working with NGOs and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) for some time to increase their level of involvement in the execution process.
This led to a record number of 207 NGO/NHRI submissions in 2021 – up from just 47 in 2011 – as detailed in the latest annual report on the execution of ECtHR judgments.