Institution Definition

The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, better known as the European Convention on Human Rights, was opened for signature in Rome on 4 November 1950 and came into force in 1953. It was the first instrument to give effect to certain of the rights stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and make them binding. Since its adoption in 1950 the Convention has been amended a number of times and supplemented with many rights in addition to those set forth in the original text. © European Court of Human Rights

Although the EU Courts appraise the legality of EU acts in light of the ECHR, the fact remains that such acts are essentially shielded from ECtHR scrutiny. This is because the EU is not a signatory to the ECHR, and Member State implementation of EU law, to a large extent, remains protected from oversight by the ECtHR. Under the current state of the law, as a non-signatory to the Convention, the EU cannot be brought before the ECtHR. The EU’s accession to the ECHR, as previously considered during the 1990s, would be the most obvious way of holding the EU accountable before the ECtHR. However, under the realm of the Maastricht version of the Treaties, the Court of Justice considered, in Opinion 2/94, that the European Community was not competent to accede to the ECHR. In particular, the EC legal system did not, at that time, contain any legal provision enabling the EC to take measures in the field of human rights.In addition, Member State implementation of EU law is largely protected from ECtHR scrutiny. Excerpt from the e-Competitions special issue "Competition law and the ECHR: An overview of ECHR and EU case law"

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