Sponsored by the Research Programme Democracy as Idea and Practice – University of Oslo
Organized by PluriCourts – Faculty of Law – University of Oslo and Center for Global Public Law at Koҫ University – Istanbul September 19-20 2015
The mandate of the European Court of Human Rights has always been since its creation the anchoring of “effective political democracy” in its Member States. These objectives have assumed a variety of forms according to the different phases of democratic development within the states parties to the Convention.
The workshop aim is primarily to:
- define and analyze varieties of “democratic models” and “democratic transitions” on the basis of the jurisprudence of the Strasbourg Court
There are different typologies or phases of democratic transitions in which the Court has been involved: from post-World War II transitions, as in Italy and Germany, to authoritarian transitions in late 70s in Greece and Spain, to more recent cases of democratic shifts with former Soviet Union states.
These examples do not exhaust the range of democratic transitions relevant to the Court. Other possible forms include:
- “transitions within democracies” or “uncompleted transitions”, as it might be the case of Turkey and others
- recent cases of “reverse transitions” or “stalled transitions” e.g. in various successor states to the former Soviet Union
A working hypothesis of the workshop is that different instances of democratic or reverse transitions highlight alternative and possibly competing ways in which the Court adopts a proportionality standard and assess the reasonability of deliberations in national parliaments and constitutional Courts.
Relevant questions concerning how the Court promotes and hinders increased democratic standards concern whether such improvements or setbacks are achieved by means of corrective devices of last resort or by attempts to change basic state structures. This latter case is illustrated clearly by the role that the Court is playing in the Caucasian context, for example in Azerbaijan. Also, of particular interest is whether general mechanisms of transitional justice improvements can be detected as spanning across different countries or whether the Court maintains a context-specific understanding.
In evaluating the effectiveness of the Court’s enhancement of democracy, key indicators must be identified to enable assessment of whether the Court promotes the independence of domestic courts
Contributions are welcome from a multidisciplinary perspective in the assessment of comparative analysis of Court’s standards, remedies and effectiveness. Also, a selected number of theory-oriented papers will complement case law analysis by focusing on more general questions concerning the legal-philosophical import in the notion of ‘democratic transitions’ and the apparent paradox of democracy enhancement by means of rights restrictions adopted in “transitional contexts” by the Court as with the case of banning of communist party in electoral competitions as, for instance, in Latvia and other Baltic states.
Deadline for submissions
Submissions of abstracts of maximum 300 words are expected by August 1. Authors will be invited to submit full papers no later than September 1 to Claudio.Corradetti@jus.uio.no
Costs for invited speakers will be covered by the Research Programme Democracy as Idea and Practice
For other organizational matters please contact our research assistant Annette.Hovdal@jus.uio.no
Special issue to be submitted to The German Law Journal.