Recommendation adopted on 27 January 2012

The Reform of the European Court of Human Rights

The Conference of International Non Governmental Organisations (INGOs) of the Council of Europe, meeting in Strasbourg on 27 January 2012

Being determined to maintain the outstanding mechanism for the protection of human rights by the European Court of Human Rights which ensures effective compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights and is accessible to all persons under the jurisdiction of one of the 47 member States of the Council of Europe;

Taking into account the work carried out by the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) and the Committee of Experts on the Reform of the Court (DH-GDR);

Bearing in mind the Ministerial Conference on the reform of the Court to be held in Brighton in April 2012;

Recognising that, in keeping with the principle of subsidiarity, primary responsibility for implementation of the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights lies with the States, and that it is up to the Court to ensure respect by States of their obligations under the Convention;

Adopts the following positions:

The Conference of INGOs consequently,

calls on the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and the April 2012 Ministerial Conference on reform of the Court to take fully into account the positions expressed above;

urges INGOs enjoying participatory status with the Council of Europe to alert all those responsible for the protection of Human Rights in their respective countries, where appropriate through their national sections, about the contents of this Recommendation and the vital issues which are at stake.