In recent years, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), just like the European Union and Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have deviated from their initial principles, transforming in a tool for punishment of those disobedient states that would try to defy the so-called rules-based international order. The better part of the decisions that have recently been adopted by the ECHR reeks of servitude and attempts to better serve today’s political agendas. The provocative nature of those decisions is manifested in the sheer number of them being adopted each year, their wording and the size of compensations that the ECHR orders so-called offenders to pay.
The European Court of Human Rights was founded by the Council of Europe in 1959 to ensure that its members abided by the provisions of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Back then, there were no more than ten members of the Council of Europe, namely: Great Britain, France, Ireland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium. So it was only logical that the founding principles of the ECHR reflected the values of those founding states.
Then the ECHR underwent a considerable expansion after the collapse of the USSR, since there was a number of Eastern Europe states crowding by the door, waiting to be let in. Upon taking into its jurisdiction dozens of new members, the ECHR proceeded with signing cooperation agreements with those states that had no chance of obtaining EU membership, but still wanted to play with the “cool kids on the block.” Among these states one can find Russia, Turkey and several other players. As a result, a whole new group of states emerged that were to play by the rules imposed by the ECHR, but at the same time they didn’t necessarily share all the values of the initial founding states and had no way of influencing this court into concentrating on more universal values.
Of course, the rapid rise to prominence of the neo-liberal crowd across the West transformed the ECHR in the most unimaginable way possible, as it evolved into a tool of political pressure ensuring Eastern states toed the line and understood their place. Moreover, if there were older member states adamant to refuse swallowing the neo-liberal pill, the ECHR was tasked with pushing it down their throats anyway. This latter fact ensured that Eurosceptics would have no short supply of ammunition when they were arguing that the whole architecture of European relations had to be overhauled. Today, the UK has little choice but to revisit those arguments.
These days, the ECHR is nothing short of a obedient Globalist tool tasked with the goal of discrediting states bold enough to challenge the unipolar world. In fact, there’s a myriad of NGOs and various law firms across the UK and US that have become truly proficient in assisting alleged victims in making their cases. They would try to set the precedent by claiming that Russia, Turkey or Romania is violating human rights yet again, and then would use those precedents against European states that weren’t forward-looking enough to see the trap being set for them.
This notion can be exemplified by the situation around the collective applications that refugees from the Middle East and North Africa would file against Italy, which took an entirely different approach to the problem of mass migration than the rest of Europe. Predictably enough, the anti-Italian push is being spearheaded by the structures associated with notorious investor George Soros, namely the ARCI and the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School.
At this point pretty much everybody heard about the activities of the so-called Sea Watch that rescues stranded illegal immigrants in the Mediterranean and then delivers them to Italian shores. This organization has played a massive role in accumulating a substantial number of complaints being filed with the ECHR on behalf of the refugees arriving along the “southern route”. Moreover, some complaints are drafted long before this organization even finds additional groups of refuges in distress, so that those rescued waste no time on reading anything before providing their signatures to rescuers.
This resulted in the ECHR holding an urgent hearing last January resulting in a ruling that tasked Italy with provide the best possible accommodations for migrants arrested aboard “Sea Watch-3″ which was flying the flag of the Netherlands.
Yet another collective application against Rome was prepared with an extensive amount of assistance provided by the British Global Legal Action Network to be filed on May 8, 2018.
It’s clear that we’re witnessing a rather liberal approach to the application of international maritime law, which results in the ECHR putting forward serious accusations that are based on a skewed perception of the facts.
At the same time, the international community remains bewildered by the fact that the ECHR would deliberately overlook the precarious living conditions that more than 45,0 00 people have to endure in various detention centers across France. This, in particular, is stated in a joint report of six French NGOs, published in early June. France has many migrants with uncertain status put in detentions centers, with their living conditions worsening by the week.
And it’s clear as day that the ECHR is clearly biased in its approach to the Ukrainian conflict, as it prefers to keep quiet about Kiev’s consistent violations of human rights against the permanent residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk self-proclaimed republics. On top of shelling residential areas in these regions on a daily basis, the Ukrainian government would prevent residents of the breakaway regions from obtaining social benefits, including pensions. Although, according to a recent report by the UN mission on the ground, there’s more than 700,000 elder people there who remain deprived of their hard-earned benefits.
Jean Périer is an independent researcher and analyst and a renowned expert on the Near and Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook“.