AbstractsLaw & Legal Studies

Interim Measures under Rule 39 of the Rules of the European Court of Human Rights: Protecting Human Rights in Cases of Urgency

by Soffía Dóra Jóhannsdóttir 1987

Institution: University of Iceland
Year: 2015
Keywords: Lögfræði; Mannréttindadómstóll Evrópu; Mannréttindi; Réttarheimildir
Record ID: 1221953
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/20225


Even though the European Court of Human Rights is not a national appeal court, the organ is in many cases the only hope for individuals who face deportation and have either exhausted national remedies or live in a country where viable national remedies are simply not available. In a system that is instituted for protecting human rights, there is a need for certain safeguards to ensure that a final decision is not left ineffective because irreparable damage has occurred. Human rights protection may thus undoubtedly require interim measures of protection to secure the effectiveness of its purpose. The so-called interim measures of the Court, enshrined in Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, are of supreme importance in the context of people seeking asylum and fleeing persecution and should lead domestic authorities to comply with international standards and respect core human rights. The main objective of this thesis is to study interim measures according to Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. As will be demonstrated in the research, the Court has held that interim measures under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court are binding on Contracting States, even though they are not explicitly included in the text of the Convention. This fact leads to questions regarding the legitimacy of the binding character of such measures, which will be dealt with in the present thesis. In this context, the question as to whether the binding character of Rule 39 is an unwarranted limitation of the Contracting States’ sovereignty, or whether this should rather be seen as a logical step in successfully promoting the protection of human rights, will be discussed. In addition to this, non-compliance of interim measures – an issue of current interest and importance – will be dealt with. The concept of interim measures and Rule 39 of the Rules of Court will be presented in Chapter 2. In Chapter 3 the application of Rule 39 will be looked into. The scope of the rule will be examined, including the grounds for issuing interim measures under Rule 39 and the procedure that applies when the rule is ordered. Following this, Chapter 4 specially examines the application of Rule 39 in asylum cases. Chapter 5 particularly enquires into the binding character of Rule 39. The compliance of interim measures will be discussed, encompassing the current concern of non-compliance by Contracting States and effects of non-compliance. In Chapter 6, considerations on the binding character of Rule 39 will be continued by looking into the legitimacy of the binding nature of interim measures. The growing number of non-compliance instances will further be addressed in the chapter and the possibility of an explicit legal basis in the Convention contemplated upon. In conclusion, the findings and results of the study will be summarized in Chapter 7.