“The European Convention on Human Rights and the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg have changed Europe. Consider the impact of the judgments of the Court in harmonising legislation in our members states over the decades,” highlighted Bjørn Berge while giving the opening address of the conference “The European Convention on Human Rights: its Application, Successes, Challenges and Opportunities” held in Valletta, Malta on 7 November.
“The story of the European Convention and the Council of Europe is a remarkable story of victories won, year by year, bit by bit, by citizens across our continent. But the dilemma is that very few of our citizens know about it”, stated the Deputy Secretary General. The conference aimed at enhancing the visibility of the Council of Europe in preparation of Malta’s forthcoming Presidency of the Committee of Ministers in 2025 and to reflect on Malta’s human rights protection since its ratification of the Convention in 1967. As the Deputy Secretary General underlined: “In the 55 years since the European Convention entered into force here, this country has implemented 111 cases. And while national authorities may have found these difficult at the time, it is clear that they have advanced justice in the interests of Malta’s people.”
The Deputy Secretary General opened the conference together with the Permanent Representative of Malta to the Council of Europe, Lorenzo Vella. The conference, which was organised by the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade of Malta and the University of Malta, brought together government representatives, judges, academics and civil society. During his mission, the Deputy Secretary General also met with the Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade of Malta, Ian Borg, and the Minister of Justice of Malta, Jonathan Attard.