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The exceptionality of America's Supreme Court has long been conventional wisdom. But the United States Supreme Court is no longer the only one changing the landscape of public rights and values. Over the past thirty years, the European Court of Human Rights has developed an ambitious, American-style body of law. Unheralded by the mass press, this obscure tribunal in Strasbourg, France has become, in many ways, the Supreme Court of Europe.
Michael Goldhaber introduces American audiences to the judicial arm of the Council of Europe-a group distinct from the European Union, and much larger-whose mission is centered on interpreting the European Convention on Human Rights. The Council routinely confronts nations over their most culturally-sensitive, hot-button issues. It has stared down France on the issue of Muslim immigration; Ireland on abortion; Greece on Greek Orthodoxy; Turkey on Kurdish separatism; Austria on Nazism; and Britain on gay rights and corporal punishment. And what is most extraordinary is that nations commonly comply.
In the battle for the world's conscience, Goldhaber shows how the court in Strasbourg may be pulling ahead.
Michael D. Goldhaber is a contributing editor at The American Lawyer, where he has also served as chief European correspondent.
"A gripping account of the stories behind the cases that have made European human rights jurisprudence the force for moral good that it is today."-Conor Gearty, director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, London School of Economics
"A one-of-a kind account of Strasbourg law."-Mark Janis, William F. Starr Professor of Law, University of Connecticut School of Law
"We in the United States, who have watched the deterioration of constitutional rights in the absence of strong judicial oversight, can learn from the remarkable example of the European Court of Human Rights in this wonderful book."-Howard Zinn
"A wonderfully written and researched book that celebrates Europe's achievements in defending human rights through the stories of the victims who took their complaints to the European Court of Human Rights."-Professor Kevin Boyle, Human Rights Centre, University of Essex