European Human Rights Law Unit
Our European human rights law unit undertakes research, teaching, training and consultancy work on European human rights law. It focuses on the international human rights instruments and mechanisms that are concerned with civil and political rights.
The unit focuses on the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Social Charter, the European Torture Convention, the European Framework Convention for the Protection of Minorities and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. It covers both the international systems that operate these instruments and their implementation at the national level.
Sangeeta Shah, Associate Professor in Law
- Marie Auter, Research Assistant,
- Laura Wills, Research Officer
Unit members are involved in an array of activities, including our project conducted for the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights', and involves data collection and research services on fundamental rights issues in the United Kingdom.
UK Fundamental Rights Reports (FRANET)
The unit prepares reports and studies on social and legal issues, promotion and protection of fundamental rights in the UK for the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA).
The Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights
The Human Rights Law Centre’s European Human Rights Law Unit is engaged in a project to analyse and critique the Council of Europe procedures for the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and the remedial steps taken by states found by the Court to be in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. The output will be proposals for reform and recommendations for ‘best practice.’ The justification for the project is that the Council of Europe procedures have been the subject of criticism and states have in many cases been slow to implement judgements or not implemented them at all.
The first step in the project was an expert workshop on The Execution of European Court of Human Rights Judgements organised by the centre in partnership with the Council of Europe’s Department for the Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (Execution Department) that was held at the university in September 2017. Read the transcript of the proceedings. The results of the workshop were presented by Professor David Harris and Judge Paul Mahoney at a Council of Europe workshop in Strasbourg in December 2018.
In April 2019, Robert Linham, the UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe, presented a paper on “The Execution of Court Judgments: a Government View” to the centre’s Annual Nottingham Student Conference. A paper on NGO participation in the execution process was presented at the same Conference by Elif Erken, a PhD student at the University of Utrecht.
In the summer of 2019 the centre’s European Human Rights Law Unit continued research on its ongoing project on the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. Interviews were conducted by David Harris and Carla Buckley at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg with European Court judges, Government diplomats, Execution Department staff, the Co-Directors of the European Implementation Network and the European Commissioner for Human Rights Deputy Director. Carla Buckley also worked in the Execution Department, preparing cases for Committee of Ministers meetings. In addition, reports were researched and written by Dr Romana Lemishka on the record of Ukraine in implementing judgments and by Dr Ruth Brittle on the implementation by states of judgments on child migrants.
A number of reasons for delay in implementation were found. These included the financial cost of implementation (eg to improve prison conditions or expedite trials); political and public opposition to the European Convention generally (as in some quarters in the UK) or to particular judgments (eg on prisoners voting rights); opposition from vested interests (eg from landowners in Ukraine); lack of parliamentary support or time; difficulties in amending the national constitution; and challenges to established legal procedures. The interviews and reports were funded by the Faculty of Social Sciences.
Publications, news and events
As one of the six research units within the HRLC, you can find all our unit publications, news and events on the publications, news and events pages.