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Constitutionalism and the Enlargement of Europe$
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Wojciech Sadurski

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199696789

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199696789.001.0001

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Enlargement of the Council of Europe and Constitutionalization of the European Court of Human Rights

Enlargement of the Council of Europe and Constitutionalization of the European Court of Human Rights

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Enlargement of the Council of Europe and Constitutionalization of the European Court of Human Rights
Source:
Constitutionalism and the Enlargement of Europe
Author(s):

Wojciech Sadurski

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199696789.003.0002

The accession of Central and Eastern European states into the Council of Europe and therefore the European Court of Human Rights system, prompted a shift of the European Court of Human Rights towards a quasi-constitutional role. The Court moved beyond the simple identification of incorrect individual decisions (in largely Western countries) towards the consideration of systemic legal defects, triggered by structural problems within the new CEE Member States, and further facilitated by collaboration between the Court and the national constitutional courts of the new Member States. The emergence of so-called ‘pilot judgments’ (which mainly originate from CEE states) is the best and most recent illustration of this trend. The way in which a national court may form a de facto alliance with the European Court of Human Rights effectively ‘pierces the veil of the State’ and positions the European Court as a quasi-constitutional judicial body at the pan-European level.

Keywords:   European Court of Human Rights, European Convention of Human Rights, Council of Europe, pilot judgments, constitutional courts, Central and Eastern Europe

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