Activities of the CAHDI

Under its terms of reference, the CAHDI is required to "review recent developments regarding international disputes, namely cases before the European Court of Human Rights involving issues of public international law".

The CAHDI has addressed this issue since its 34th meeting (Strasbourg, 10-11 September 2007), the aim being to review cases (both cases pending and judgments and decisions) before the European Court of Human Rights involving issues of public international law.

In practice, national delegations to refer and comment on cases to which they are parties or in which they have a particular interest.

This CAHDI activity has two main benefits:

  • keeping states informed of current cases;
  • highlighting the great interaction between the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights and public international law. In this regard, the Court often reiterates that the Convention must be applied in accordance with the principles of international law. An example of this can be seen in the case of Hassan v the United Kingdom where the Court stated that “As the Court has observed on many occasions, the Convention cannot be interpreted in a vacuum and should so far as possible be interpreted in harmony with other rules of international law of which it forms part” *.

A compilation on “Case law of the European Court of Human Rights related to Public International Law” was prepared in 2017 (document PIL (2018) Case Law) containing those judgments and decisions up to 31 December 2017 related to public international law for which official press releases and legal summaries are available. This compilation is updated on an annual basis, through Appendices, and published on the CAHDI website in order to facilitate access to it and make it readily available. Appendix I includes the relevant case law from the European Court of Human Rights from 2018, while Appendix II contains a compilation of relevant judgments from 2019.

* ECHR, Hassan v The United Kingdom, Application no. 29750/09, Grand Chamber Judgment of the 16 September 2014, para 77.

Special guests

At its 53rd meeting (Strasbourg, 23-24 March 2017) Mr Guido Raimondi provided the CAHDI experts with a general overview of the role and functioning of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as well as its current caseload before turning, in more detail, to recent judgments before the ECHR relating to public international law (full version of the presentation of Mr Guido Raimondi is available at the following link in French only).

At its 26th meeting (18-19 September 2003) the CAHDI held an exchange of views with Mr Jean-Paul Costa, President of the European Court of Human Rights who gave a presentation on the developments concerning the Court (a summary of his presentation is contained in the meeting report at the following link).

At its 21st meeting (Strasbourg, 6-7 March 2001), Mr Marc Fischbach, judge at the European Court of Human Rights, gave the experts of the CAHDI a presentation on the “Developments concerning the preparation of a Charter of Fundamental Rights in the European Union” and an exchange of views on the matter was then held with Mr Christian Krüger, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe (a summary of his presentation and of the exchange of views is contained in the meeting report at the following link).

At its 19th meeting (Berlin, 13-14 March 2000), Mr Theodore Meron, Professor of Public International Law at New York University School of Law, presented to the CAHDI experts his report on the Implications of the European Convention on Human Rights for the Development of Public International Law, which was subsequently published (see Appendix III to the meeting report).