oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The present control machinery under the European Convention on Human Rights: its future reform and the possible implications for the African Court on Human Rights

Volume 29, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



The European Convention on Human Rights (hereafter the convention), was opened for signature in 1950 and has been in operation since 1953. The Council of Europe which drafted the convention, was founded in London in 1949 after the devastation of World War II, to preserve the moral values and democratic principles forming the common heritage of the European states; to assure the rule of law; and to guarantee human rights and fundamental freedoms. The outcome of this commitment was the adoption of the convention - a binding treaty protecting the individual against human rights violations by state organs with a control machinery to supervise its effective application. It is this control machinery - its structures, procedures and effectiveness, and its possible reform - that are adressed in this article. The present control machinery is made up of three organs: the European Commission of Human Rights (the commission); the European Court of Human Rights (the court); and the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (the committee). However, a new control mechanism is envisaged under Protocol 11 to the convention.

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