As delivered by Bjørn Berge, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe
President of the European Court of Human Rights,
Judges of the Court,
Ladies and gentlemen,
The launch of our new Knowledge-sharing Platform is an important moment for all of us.
It will give access to the Court’s case law analysis not only to judges across our member states –
But to all legal professionals and to the general public too.
More than that, this new tool will strengthen the dialogue between the European Court of Human Rights and national courts, so that Convention-related issues can be identified more quickly – and addressed more efficiently – at the national level.
This initiative will therefore improve the understanding and knowledge of the European Convention on Human Rights and help ensure its efficient application in our modern and fast-changing societies.
This is vital and a major new reform initiative.
The implementation of the Court judgments are fundamental to the efficient functioning of the entire Convention-system.
And it is of course primarily the responsibility of national authorities themselves to ensure that this happens.
But I believe that we need to do even more to help this happen.
And in particular at a time when our values – human rights themselves and the Court and Convention-system – are being challenged by some political forces in Europe.
At the same time, it is crucial that authorities fulfil their obligations and that we do what we can to help them do so.
I believe that externalising the Knowledge-sharing Platform will also be important in this regard.
Yes, the decade-long Interlaken Process aimed at reform of the Court, that would improve its efficiency and effectiveness, underpinned by the subsidiarity principle that has ensured important progress.
But the Knowledge-sharing Platform represents yet a further, ambitious step taking advantage of the evolution of our ambitions, as well as the growth in our technological possibilities.
Alongside efforts to strengthen pan-European judicial dialogue on human rights through the Superior Courts’ Network, we also plan to equip member states’ judges with the methodology and IT tools needed to ensure that they have access to the same information available to judges at the Court itself.
Therefore what we have today – in sum - is a project that will help the European Convention on Human Rights put down deeper roots than ever in justice systems throughout all our 46 member states.
So, I want to thank you, in particular, President Spano, as well as the Court’s Registrar Marialena Tsirli, Director General Giakoumopoulos and all of the excellent staff across the Court and DGI and the DIT for their joint efforts in making the Knowledge-sharing Platform a reality.
Again, it is a credit to our organisation’s ability to deliver and shows the strength of our collective efforts.
I also want to thank those that have invested in it financially, which are our member states.
Over recent months funding has been provided by France, Ireland and the Human Rights Trust Fund, which was created by Norway together with the Council of Europe and the Council of Europe Development Bank and of which Finland, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom are members.
Our deep gratitude go to all of them.
Thank you very much for your attention.