Press release - 100(2010)

“The Strasbourg Court is a source of hope for many – its continued effective functioning must be guaranteed” says Commissioner Hammarberg

Strasbourg, 08.02.2010 - “The Strasbourg Court is essential to sustain the European system of human rights protection. Further measures are therefore needed to reinforce its functioning and to ensure that member states implement its decisions”, said Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, in his latest Viewpoint.

“The Court’s decisions have concrete effects on peoples’ lives and governments should give a higher priority to their implementation. The discussions about the difficulties of the Court must to a larger extent focus on the need for prevention. The main question is not why the Court has difficulties coping, but why so many individuals feel the need to go there with their complaints.”

In view of the high-level Conference on the future of the European Court which takes place in Interlaken on 18-19 February 2010, Commissioner Hammarberg calls on member states to adopt a systematic and holistic strategy to bridge the implementation gap and ensure the full realisation of the European human rights treaties. “The development of a national plan for the implementation of the human rights obligations would be an ideal framework for such a systematic approach” he said.

Published fortnightly in English, French and Russian, Viewpoints can be used without prior consent, provided that the text is not modified and the original source is indicated in the following way: “Also available at the Commissioner’s website at”.

Readers’ comments on this Viewpoint can be posted directly on the Commissioner’s website.

Press contacts in the Commissioner’s Office: Stefano Montanari, +33 (0)6 61 14 70 37;

Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights
Communication Unit
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 35 38
Fax:+33 (0)3 90 21 50 53