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Hague Journal on the Rule of Law

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 111–137 | Cite as

Impact of the European Court of Human Rights on the Rule of Law in Central and Eastern Europe

  • Jernej Letnar Černič
Article

Abstract

Central and Eastern European countries have in last decades faced several obstacles to establish full-functioning liberal constitutional democracies and the rule of law. This article studies the impact of the European Court of Human Rights on the rule of law in Central and Eastern Europe by examining reasons for high number of judgements finding violations and difficulties in executing judgements in several of Central and Eastern Europe states. It analyses the contribution of the European Court of Human Rights in Central and Eastern Europe and asks whether its judgements have provided fundamental standards in the key dimensions of the rule of law. It does so by establishing the quadruple theoretical framework of the rule of law composed of: dealing with the past violations; the independence, impartiality and fairness of judiciary; pluralism, broadmindedness and tolerance; and protections under the right to life and the prohibition on torture, inhumane and degrading treatment. Central and Eastern European states have in last decades attempted to translate the rule of law de iure within governmental institutions and beyond. They have also attempted to internalise the values of the rule of law, constitutional democracy and democratic process. Equipped with this knowledge, this article argues that the European Court of Human Rights has contributed to establishing the rule of law de iure in Central and Eastern European countries, however its impact on the rule of law has been in practice limited due to institutional and policy limitations and wide-spread conundrums relating to the separation of powers, weak institutions and corruption. Therefore its values have yet to be internalised fully in domestic settings.

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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Government and European Studies, Nova Univerza in SloveniaLjubljana, KranjSlovenia

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