Assessing the European Court of Human Rights

The ‘Conscience of Europe?’ Navigating Shifting Tides at the European Court of Human Rights Robert Clarke, Ed.Kairos Publishing, 2017; 240 pages, £17.97 (As Dr. Portaru is one of the authors whose work is contained in this volume, this essay is meant as a presentation of the book, rather than a formal review.) The European Court of Human Rights is a fascinating court in many respects. With a jurisdiction extending over more than 800 million citizens from 47 different Member States, it seeks to secure and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms within that jurisdiction. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) was set up in 1959 by the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, better known as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), with the goal of securing individual human rights and preventing the recurrence of the horrors which took place during the two World Wars. Since 1998, the ECtHR has operated as a full-time court to which individuals have direct access. Throughout the years, however, the ECtHR has come under criticism for its methods of interpretation, its rather erratic methodology, and its lack of predictability in its judgments. The ‘Conscience of Europe?’ investigates the unpredictable jurisprudence in the sensitive and controversial areas of marriage, family, sanctity of human life, and religious freedom. The contributors to this book are Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) International lawyers. ADF International is a legal organization dedicated to protecting fundamental freedoms including the right to life, marriage, and the family, and also the freedom of religion. In addition to holding ECOSOC consultative status with the United Nations, ADF International has accreditation with the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Organization of American States. ADF International also works with the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union and the Organization for Secur
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