High-Level Conference on European Court Reform

Upon assuming presidency of the Council of Europe (as of November 2009), Switzerland announced the hosting of a ministerial conference of the 47 Council member states to consider the future of the European Court of Human Rights. Despite the considerable efforts of the Court to streamline internal procedures, said the conference organizers, “its formidable caseload still threatens to paralyse the entire court system.” The conference addressing this issue took place in Interlaken on 18-19 February 2010. The event followed upon the long-awaited entry into force of Protocol 14 to the European Convention, made possible by the ratification of the protocol by the Russian Federation and expected to “provide a valuable basis for the reform process.” A result of the conference was a Declaration issued by the ministers.