Speaking at the annual press conference of the European Court of Human Rights on 26 January 2017, President Raimondi took stock of the year 2016 and reported that the volume of incoming cases, after falling over the previous two years, had considerably increased. This had largely been the result of the situation in three countries: Hungary and Romania, for complaints about detention conditions, and Turkey, especially since the dramatic attempted coup d’état in July 2016. While acknowledging the difficult situation in that country and underlining the importance of the most recent measures to allow judicial oversight of decisions relating to the state of emergency, the President made a point of commending the key role played in that context by the Council of Europe’s Secretary General, who had maintained an ongoing dialogue with the Turkish authorities.
By the end of 2016 the number of pending cases stood at 79,750, up 23% compared to the end of 2015 (when there were 64,850 applications pending).
At the press conference the Court also released its annual activity report and its statistics for 2016. The annual table of violations by country shows that the States with the highest number of judgments against them, finding at least one violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, were Russia (228 judgments), Turkey (88), Romania (86), Ukraine (73), Greece (45) and Hungary (41). At 31 December 2016 the majority of pending cases were against Ukraine (22.8 %), Turkey (15.8 %), Hungary (11.2%), Russia (9.8 %), and Romania (9.3 %). Half the priority cases concerned Ukraine.
The President emphasised the importance of effective implementation of the Convention at national level, to ensure that the principle of subsidiarity fully served its purpose.