A recent report by Civitas, otherwise the Institute for the Study of Civil Society, under the title of “Strasbourg in the Dock: Prisoner voting, human rights and the case for democracy” has trenchantly analysed some of the current problems with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and in particular with the functioning of the Court of Human Rights (CHR) in Strasbourg. It carries much the same message as the other recent report on the subject, “Bringing Rights back home” by Michael Pinto-Duschinsky”, which was published in February. That report drew attention to the shortcomings of the CHR, the fact that each of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe, including such tiddlers as San Marino and Liechtenstein, has the right to appoint one of the judges and many of those so appointed have little or no judicial experience or experience as practising lawyers. The same point is made by the Civitas report, which says that currently only 23 of the 47 judges have prior judicial experience.
To read the full document go to Briefing Paper No 8.54.