Online Module: The Holocaust and Fundamental Rights

Doc 11: Increasing accountability for human rights violations

About

Nowadays, violations such as those presented would have been clear violations of article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) which grants the right to fair trial.

Following the massive human rights violations committed under Nazi dictatorship, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) was signed in Rome on 15 November 1950. The convention established common human rights standards in Europe and created a mechanism to safeguard these rights by setting up the European Court of Human Rights in Strassbourg.

European Court of Human RightsThe European Court of Human Rights in Strassbourg, Wiki Commons

According to the ECHR, all member states of the Council of Europe must accept the competence of the Court to receive applications from individuals and nongovernmental organizations and respect the judgments of the Court. The existence of the Court thus allows citizens of the member states of the Council of Europe to denounce human rights violations by their governments and demand remedy.

In order to ensure that also the organs of the European Union are bound by the ECHR the Lisbon Treaty of 13 December 2007 stipulates that the European Union shall accede to the ECHR (article 6.2).

 

Treaty establishing the European Community, signed at Lisbon, 13 December 2007

[...] 

Article 6

1. The Union recognises the rights, freedoms and principles set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union of 7 December 2000, as adapted at Strasbourg, on 12 December 2007, which shall have the same legal value as the Treaties.
The provisions of the Charter shall not extend in any way the competences of the Union as defined in the Treaties.
The rights, freedoms and principles in the Charter shall be interpreted in accordance with the general provisions in Title VII of the Charter governing its interpretation and application and with due regard to the explanations referred to in the Charter, that set out the sources of those provisions.

2. The Union shall accede to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Such accession shall not affect the Union's competences as defined in the Treaties.

3. Fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and as they result from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States, shall constitute general principles of the Union's law.

[...]

Communication of European Commission

In 2010 the European Commission has presented a communication in which it outlines how the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union – made legally binding by the Lisbon Treaty – shall be implemented and how the European Union could acceed to the ECHR. This would complement the system to protect the fundamental rights in the EU by making the European Court of Human Rights in Strassbourg also competent to review acts of the EU organs.

The Union's accession to the European Convention on Human Rights was made obligatory by the Lisbon Treaty (Article 6.2) and will complement the system to protect the fundamental rights in the EU by making the European Court of Human Rights in Strassbourg also competent to review acts of the EU organs.

 

Add comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.