The right of individual petition before the ECtHR: a guarantee for the effectiveness of human rights?
PhD student: Mr W. Verrijdt
Promotors: Prof A. Alen, P. Lemmens
Duration: 6/3/2006 - 31/12/2013
Article 34 ECHR grants 800 million citizens of 47 Member States the right if certain conditions are met to petition against their Member State before one supranational jurisdiction, alleging a violation of their human rights. This right of individual petition is currently in peril because of the high caseload and backlog the Court has to deal with. The solutions which have already been implemented, as well as the solutions currently discussed, all limit this petition right to a certain extent, without infringing upon its core. The research question is whether this right of individual petition can be maintained and in which form. Therefore, the history, the philosophy, the assets and the procedural requirements of this right of individual petition must first be discussed. Subsequently, the causes of the current backlog must be mentioned. Finally, the various proposals for enhancing the Courts output are examined, stressing the subsidiarity of the Strasbourg mechanism and the important role which all domestic judges, and especially the constitutional courts, must play in this regard.