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Brighton Declaration Adopted at the High Level Conference on the Future of the European Court of Human Rights

Through the Brighton Declaration adopted at the High Level Conference on the Future of the European Court of Human Rights meeting at Brighton on 19 and 20 April 2012 at the initiative of the United Kingdom Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe the Member States of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR or Convention) reaffirmed their deep and abiding commitment to the Convention, and to the fulfilment of their obligation under the Convention to secure to everyone within their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms defined in the Convention, as well as  their attachment to the right of individual application to the European Court of Human Rights as a cornerstone of the system for protecting the rights and freedoms set forth in the Convention. The Declaration includes many recommendations.

The structure of this Declaration and issues covered is as follows:

A. Implementation of the Convention at national level

B. Interaction between the Court and national authorities

C. Applications to the Court

D. Processing of applications

E. Judges and jurisprudence of the Court

F. Execution of judgments of the Court

G. Longer-term future of the Convention system and the Court

H. General and final provisions

This last part reads as follows:

36.   The accession of the European Union to the Convention will enhance the coherent application of human rights in Europe. The Conference therefore notes with satisfaction progress on the preparation of the draft accession agreement, and calls for a swift and successful conclusion to this work.

37.   The Conference also notes with appreciation the continued consideration, as mandated by the Interlaken and Izmir Conferences, as to whether a simplified procedure for amending provisions of the Convention relating to organisational matters could be introduced, whether by means of a Statute for the Court or a new provision in the Convention, and calls for a swift and successful conclusion to this work that takes full account of the constitutional arrangements of the States Parties.

38.   Where decisions to give effect to this Declaration have financial implications for the Council of Europe, the Conference invites the Court and the Committee of Ministers to quantify these costs as soon as possible, taking into account the budgetary principles of the Council of Europe and the need for budgetary caution.

39.   The Conference:

a)       Invites the United Kingdom Chairmanship to transmit the present Declaration and the Proceedings of the Conference to the Committee of Ministers;

b)      Invites the States Parties, the Committee of Ministers, the Court and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to give full effect to this Declaration; and

c)      Invites the future Chairmanships of the Committee of Ministers to ensure the future impetus of the reform of the Court and the implementation of the Convention.

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