The Chevron – Lago Agrio Litigation Saga: The Beginning of the End?

Yesterday, Chevron was handed a victory in relation to its long running environmental tort suit in Ecuador. But it was a victory in US courts and so many may be asking what is the relation between this US court judgment and the Ecuadorian judgment upon which the US case is based. Read more »

Towards An International Human Rights Judiciary?

Towards An International Human Rights Judiciary?


Matthew Saul, MultiRights

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Upcoming decision of the Inter American Court of Human Rights on access to therapeutic abortion?

Author: PluriCourts Researcher Camila Gianella Malca
Last August the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights- IACHR received a new petition on behalf of a Costa Rican woman who was denied the therapeutic abortion she requested.

The negotiations on the European Union’s accession to the ECHR have resumed

The Agora building of the Council of Europe, where the negotiations are taking place.A couple of weeks ago, between June 19 and 22, the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee for Human Rights (french acronym: CDDH) held its 75th meeting. Two topics of particular interest for the MultiRights project were key points on the agenda: the follow-up of the Brighton declaration, and the European Union’s accession to the ECHR. As the title already suggests, this blog post will deal with only the fact that negotiations on the latter has in fact restarted. Read more »

Correlations, Statistics and Judicial Politics Studies – A MultiRights Morning Coffee Impromptu

One of the great things about working on the MultiRights project is the 10 a.m. morning coffee discussion, which can range from the mundane of the Norwegian system of inspection of public transport “cheats” (while resisting the urge to go into a discussion of Foucault’s Governmentality concept) to the more on-topic discussion, like this morning’s statistical analysis of judicial politics studies and patterns of voting. The discussion started with our sharing of experiences with citation reference managers and how best to use them, at which point we all agreed that the best one would be the one who, upon imputing the bibliography of the paper would proceed to writing it (Google please get the hint) which then migrated to voting patterns of judges and their correlation to the right-left political divide where the judge’s political leanings are discerned from the fact of which political party was in power at the time of the judge’s appointment.

The Trouble with Persuasion – Courts and Legitimacy


Recently I attended two conferences (pdf) devoted to the same topic, the legitimacy of the international judiciary, a collection of variable who’s-who in the field of international judicial studies. As always when there is an intersection of lawyers, philosophers and political scientists one gets the impression that the points of the discussion somehow manage to go over or under the radar of one group or another and there is a happy confusion of comments or which I myself am surely guilty of. But this is not the reason for this post for if the communication between the disciplines was so easy, if they had shared language, methodology, tradition of inquiry then they would not be different disciplines at all (but different subgroups of the same discipline) which is not to say that talking with each other is impossible. No, the reason for this post is the almost unequivocal difference drawn between the legitimacy of a court and its persuasive power a difference drawn from the start, in the definition of legitimacy.


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European Parliamentarians welcomes the EU's accession to the ECHR

As noted by Antoine Buyse over at the ECHR blog, the parliamentarians of Europe recently welcomed the decision by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers1 to resume the negotiations on the European Union’s accession to the ECHR. The most interesting parts of the press release from the joint informal body2 of members of the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) reads as follows:3

“A joint informal body of members of the European Parliament and Council of Europe parliamentarians has welcomed the prospect of talks resuming on EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).


The two co-chairs of the Joint Informal Body, Pietro Marcenaro and Carlo Casini, said it was “of the utmost importance” that these negotiations reach a speedy conclusion and that the momentum towards an agreement is not lost.

‘EU accession to the ECHR is crucial with a view to securing a common space for human rights protection across the European continent,’ they said. ‘It is thus essential that the modalities of such accession are completed at a political level as rapidly as possible, and that all outstanding questions are settled.’”

Negotiations on the EU's Accession to the ECHR to be finalized "without delay"

As mentioned in an earlier post on this blog, where an overview of the negotiation process was given, the EU's internal negotiations on the draft Agreement on the Accession of the European Union to the ECHR have been concluded. Thus, it was assumed that the negotiations would continue in a forum that would also include the non-EU member states. Exactly how and when was nevertheless unclear.

This issue was put on the agenda of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe's meeting 13 June 2012.[1] After today’s release of the decisions adopted during that meeting, it is now clear how the parties to the negotiations intend to go forward: Read more »

The EU's Accession to the ECHR: Negotiations to resume after 7 month hiatus

Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009, the European Union has been obliged to accede to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).1 As a result of this obligation, negotiations with a view to drawing up an accession agreement between the Union, on the one hand, and the state parties to the ECHR, on the other, have been underway for more than a year.2

The Union's accession to the ECHR is of particular interest to the MultiRights project, because it aims to streamline Europe's multi-leveled system of human rights protection by creating formal links between the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). In this blog post I will briefly explain the complex negotiation process, and outline the next likely steps. Read more »

Preliminary opinion of the ECtHR in preparation for the Brighton Conference

The Plenary Court adopted on 20 February 2012 a preliminary opinon in preparation for the Brighton Conference.

In this document the Court proposes new steps that should be taken in the future with respect to the four different categories of cases, according to the Court's prioritisation policy: Inadmissible cases; Repetitive cases; Non repetitive, non-priority cases; and Priority cases. Read more »

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