We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to improve and customise your experience, where applicable. View our Cookies Policy. Click Accept and continue to use our website or Manage to review and update your preferences.

Over 6,000 ECtHR rulings not yet fully implemented
ECtHR in Strasbourg, with President Judge Siofra O'Leary (inset)

06 Apr 2023 / human rights Print

Over 6,000 ECtHR rulings not yet fully implemented

Russia is responsible for almost 40% of cases in which judgments made by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) have not yet been fully implemented, according to a report from the Council of Europe.

The council’s Committee of Ministers supervises the implementation of ECtHR rulings by its 46 member states.

Russia ceased being party to the European Convention on Human Rights last year, after its invasion of Ukraine, but remains obliged, under international law, to implement rulings from the ECtHR.

The report shows that 1,459 new cases were transferred by the court, headed by Irish judge Síofra O'Leary, to the Committee of Ministers last year.

A total of 880 cases were closed during the year – including 200 cases categorised as "leading", as they involve specific and often wide-ranging measures by states to prevent similar violations happening again.

Some 6,112 cases had yet to be fully implemented by the end of 2022 – including 1,299 leading cases. While the total represents an increase from 2021, the committee says it still one of the lowest figures of recent years.

Ukraine progress

Of the cases pending at the end of last year, 2,352 (38%) concerned the Russian Federation. The committee’s report says that Russia has now ceased all communication with the Council of Europe on implementing judgments of the ECtHR.

The report said that Russia’s war of aggression also affected Ukraine’s capacity to implement the court’s judgments in 2022.

“Nevertheless, Ukraine made significant progress during the year, in addition to the ratification of the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention on violence against women, underlining its commitment to the ECtHR system in extremely difficult circumstances,” the report stated.

No new Irish cases

There were no new cases against Ireland for implementation during 2022, but two cases are pending – one linked a to a failure to protect children from the consequences of sexual abuse committed by teachers, the other linked to the lack of an effective remedy for the excessive length of judicial proceedings.

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, urged member states to show increased political will to implement judgments from the court, and to improve their capacity for doing so.

“Complying with court rulings is essential to the rule of law. Over the years, our member states have made consistent progress in putting the European Court’s judgments into practice, but the court is now dealing with more and more cases of increasing complexity,” she said.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland