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The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) entered into force on September 3, 1953 with binding effect on all Member States of the Council of Europe. It grants the people of Europe a number of fundamental rights and freedoms (right to life, prohibition of torture, prohibition of slavery and forced labour, right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial, no punishment without law, right to respect for private and family life, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, right to marry, right to an effective remedy, prohibition of discrimination) plus some more by additional protocols to the Convention (Protocols 1 (ETS No. 009), 4 (ETS No. 046), 6 (ETS No. 114), 7 (ETS No. 117), 12 (ETS No. 177) and 13 (ETS No. 187)).
Any person who feels his or her rights under the ECHR have been violated by the authorities of one of the Member States can bring a case to the European Court of Human Rights, established under the Convention. The States are bound by the Court's decisions. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe make sure that the decisions are properly executed. Today the Court receives thousands of petitions annually, demonstrating the immense impact of the Convention and the Strasbourg Court.
Professor Grabenwarter's Commentary deals with the Convention systematically, article-by-article, considering the development and scope of each article, together with the relevant case-law and literature.