The French Minister of Justice, Nicole Belloubet, has deposited, in Copenhagen, the instrument of ratification of Protocol No. 16 to the European Convention on Human Rights. This was the tenth ratification, which therefore triggered the entry into force of that protocol establishing dialogue between the Strasbourg Court and the higher courts designated by the member States.
This treaty will enable such courts to transmit to the Court requests for advisory opinions on questions of principle regarding the interpretation or application of the rights and freedoms set forth in the Convention. Such requests must concern cases pending before the national courts. The advisory opinions issued by the Court will be reasoned and non-binding.
During his visit to the European Court of Human Rights on 31 October 2017, Mr Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, stated the following: “I, for my part, defend a European justice envisaged as an area of dialogue and complementarity. This dialogue will surely be further strengthened once Protocol No. 16 enters into force. This is why France has decisively begun the ratification process for this protocol, and we secretly hope to be the 10th State to ratify it, enabling the Protocol to enter into force”.
The President of the European Court of Human Rights, Guido Raimondi, warmly welcomed this tenth ratification, with the following words: “The entry into force of Protocol No. 16 will strengthen dialogue between the European Convention on Human Rights and the national higher courts. This is a milestone in the history of the European Convention on Human Rights and a major step forward in human rights protection in Europe, as well as being a fresh challenge for our Court”.
Protocol No. 16 will come into force on 1 August 2018.
Link to table of signatures and ratifications