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Retrospection on Execution of the Judgments of the ECtHR

Advent Candelabrum as I dream of. Source: Google images

Advent Candelabrum as I dream of. Source: Google images

One light bulb of my advent candles broken, it was only tonight I could set the advent candles up in my windows. That again brought to my mind Christmas carols about Last Christmas, compared to this year, to save me from tears, …

Also the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe seems thinking of the end of the year, holding its last, 1072, Human Rights meeting of 2009 from 1st to 4th December at Strasbourg. The meeting focuses on execution of the ECtHR’s judgments.

What exactly happens after the ECtHR delivers a judgment? Is the judgment executed? Is someone supervising the execution? What is exactly the role of the Committee of Ministers here? Who does the Committee of Ministers consist of and what does it do?

The Committee of Ministers consists of the States Parties representatives. According to Article 46 (2) of the ECHR, the ECtHR sends its final judgment to the Committee of Ministers who invites the respondent state to inform it of the steps taken according to the Rules adopted by the Committee of Ministers. When the state has sent the relevant information, the Committee examines it. If the Committee establishes that the state has taken all the necessary measures to abide by the judgment, it adopts a resolution concluding that its functions under Article 46 (2) of the ECHR have been exercised.

The Committee of Ministers is assisted here by the Directorate General of Human Rights, offering on demand its opinion and advice.

The Committee of Ministers does not adopt a final resolution striking the judgment off its list of cases until the state has adopted satisfactory measures, which means that the state is required to provide further explanations or to take the necessary action. During such examination of the case, the Committee may take various measures to facilitate execution of the judgment (interim resolutions, provisional calendar, etc).

If difficulties persist, the Directorate General of Human Rights may examine possible solutions with the authorities concerned. The Committee of Ministers may exert political and diplomatic pressure.  You may wish to read further at  

The Committee of Ministers Annual Report (2008) is available at  

The present state of execution in different States Parties is available at

Alternatively, NGOs may supervise the execution of the ECtHR’s judgments. One can find the 38-page Human Rights Watch report examining Russia’s response to ECtHR’s judgments on cases from Chechnya at the ECHR BLOG at

FOLLOW: Link to the decisions adopted at the meeting of the Committee of Ministers

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