From Interlaken to Copenhagen: What Has Become of the Proposals Aiming to Reform the Functioning of the European Court of Human Rights?

Abstract

The States Parties to the European Convention on Human Rights have adopted five declarations on the future of the European Court of Human Rights since 2010. These declarations identified problems surrounding the Convention system and proposed reform measures. This article examines what has become of the proposals aiming to reform the Court’s functioning, which will lead to insight into the problems surrounding the system, the type of solutions proposed and whether the declarations have led to change. The article also discusses the background to the conferences and characterises the focus of each declaration. The conclusion is that most proposals have not been implemented, mainly due to principled or practical opposition of the Court, and that the implemented proposals have not led to profound change. The influence of the declarations should not be overstated therefore, although they can be of political significance by offering support to or criticising the Court.