Rethinking the Mechanisms for Judgment Compliance in the Council of Europe and Eliminating the “Legal/Political Gap”’ (2010) Cork Online Law Review 136

This article examines the mechanisms through which the Committee of Ministers ensures that the Council of Europe Member States comply with the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. It then offers new ideas as to how these mechanisms can be improved and evaluates the organisation’s attempt to deal with non-compliance problems through Protocol 14. It concludes that only by eliminating what has been termed the ‘legal/political gap’, will the organisation be truly effective in policing human rights abuses in Europe. This should be done through a series of changes, namely a more dynamic approach by the Committee, greater involvement of the court in the implementation process and better cooperation with the European Union and the European Commissioner for Human Rights. The organisation’s nature has changed from a group of self-policing States to largely a training centre for new democracies. The Council needs to adapt quickly: unless its authority is firmly established in this new state of affairs, its ineffectiveness will encourage further non-compliance by the newer Member States.

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