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Vol 23 No 3 March/April 2018

Book of the Month

Cover of Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

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Evolution of the European Convention on Human Rights

ISBN13: 9780199207992
Published: December 2010
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £135.00

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The European Convention on Human Rights underwent a spectacular evolution over the first fifty years of its life. In recent times the European Court of Human Rights has been compared to a quasi-constitutional court for Europe in the field of human rights, and for some time the Convention has been viewed as a European Bill of Rights. The 'coming of age' of the ECHR system in the late 1990s was marked by the entry into force of Protocol 11, creating a new, full time Court.

By contrast those who first proposed a European human rights guarantee were driven by an ambition to put in place a collective pact to prevent the re-emergence of totalitarianism in 'free' Europe. They were motivated by grisly memories of human rights abuse associated with World War Two, and the protection of 'human rights' was seen in that light.

When the Convention was opened for signature in 1950 it was viewed by many with scepticism and disappointment. The Convention system took many years to get established. In the mid-1960s doubts were expressed as to whether the Court had a future and in the 1970s the Convention system of control faced a number of serious challenges.

This book examines the story of the evolution of the Convention over its first 50 years (1948-1998). It reflects on the Convention's origins and charts the slow progress that it made over the 1950s and 1960s, before, in the late 1970s, the European Court of Human Rights delivered a series of landmark judgments which proved to be the foundation stones for the European Bill of Rights that we know today.

Human Rights and Civil Liberties
1. Introduction: The European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
2. The beginning of international human rights law in modern times
3. Proposals for a Convention to safeguard Europe from tyranny and oppression
4. The drafting of the Convention by the governments of the Council of Europe
5. The first steps for the collective enforcement of the UDHR
6. An overview of the Convention's evolution (i): A difficult infancy (1955-1974)
7. An overview of the Convention's evolution (ii): After 1975 - the emergence of the European Bill of Rights
8. The European Commission of Human Rights
9. The European Court of Human Rights and its key case law 1974-1980
10. The United Kingdom and the European Convention
11. The coming of age of the European Convention
12. Conclusions
A. Key dates
B. Key cases concluded by 1974
C. Key cases after 1975