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Home arrow newsitems arrow ECHR Chief Registrar Liddell to EF on Discretionary Power's Decision-Making Process' control

ECHR Chief Registrar Liddell to EF on Discretionary Power's Decision-Making Process' control

Pisac ACM
04. 05. 2018.
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/(Partly UPDATED)/- Replying to an "Eurofora" Question on the Judicial Control of Public Administration's Discretionary Powers, and, particularly, if and when, according to ECHR's case-law, this should include, or not, a part of Supervision on the way that they take into account concerned Citizens' relevant arguments, in order to adequately Reply to them, (in a kind of Procedure of Dialogue between Citizens and State, or "Controle du Processus Decisionel" in French), ECHR's Chief Registrar, Roderick Liddell, who has a very Extensive Experience of the PanEuropean Court's work since several Decades, after Studying Law at Oxford University and working as Legal Expert, Assistant to ECHR's President, Chief of Press/Communication, Head of Strasbourg Court's General Services, and Elected on December 2015 as Registrar responsible for about 600 Legal and Administrative Staff at the ECHR, appeared Both Positive and Pedagogically crystal-clear, on the Substance of that matter :

 

+ And, Surprizingly, a Long Series of ECHR's Judgements Published just Yesterday in Strasbourg, seems to consistently Support, with Concrete Evidence, at least the Main Thrust of Roderick Liddell's Replies to "Eurofora"s Questions, concerning Human Rights and the Judicial Supervision of Public Authorities' Discretionary Powers, as we shall see Infra...

 

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 - "I think, that There has Always been this Procedure Element", he surprisingly told us, from the outset, adopting a quite original approach.

 
  - indeed, "for me, Procedure has a Role to Play in almost Every Article of the (PanEuropean Human Rights') Convention !", he stressed.  "It has Always been a Procedure Element. There has always been an important Procedure Dimension".


- "Because, part of the Aim of the Convention is to Create a Situation where Applicants can obtain Redress in their Domestic System".


- "So that involves having the necessary Procedures and Structures in place, to be Able to pursue the Verification of Conventions' complaints at National level".


- "Part of it is to have procedures in place which are Able to Ensure that, when the Convention is examined at National Level, then, the National Authorities go through the Necessary Process of Taking into Account the Competing Interests, in the Light of the Strasbourg's Case-Law".


- "It's a Question of Procedures Affecting the Settlement", he Positively replied to "Eurofora"s secondary Question if this really includes also the Exchange of Arguments (in a kind of Dialogue, or "Procedure Contradictoire" in French) with the concerned Citizens.


- "If you see f.ex. at Article 8 (protecting Private/Family Life), ECHR's case law Requires that when it looks if National Authorities have Examined the Issue of Proportionality, then, the Question of the Existence of that Procedure, and the Course of that Procedure are in there...", he pointed out in conclusion,


(Stressing particularly that Last Point on the "COURSE" of that "Examination Procedure", which seems, indeed, Similar to what we call in French : - "Contrôle du Processus Decisionel", or, alias : "Checking the Decision-Making Process", even in cases of Discrerionary Power detained by Public Authorities).

Liddell spoke to "Eurofora" on the Sidelines of the Official Ceremony, Headed by CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, for the Award of Prizes won by the Best Teams competing at the Final Round of the European Law Students' Association (ELSA) Annual Moot Court contest, in ECHR's Headquarters, at the 10th Anniversary of its regular Cooperation with the CoE, Hailed this year by the Chairman-in-office of the PanEuropean Organisation's Highest Political Body : that of its Committee of Ministers, Danish Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the CoE, Arnold de Fine Skibsted, after a Strong Competition between a Hundred of Registered Universities from all around Europe, among which, 19 were invited to Strasbourg for the Final Round, won by Spanish IE University (Madrid), facing London's Kings College (which got the 1st Individual Plaidoyerie prize, instead, See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes

 

 Both this CoE-ELSA English Speaking Moot Court Competition, and the Equivalent, French-Speaking Contest at ECHR organized by the International Institute for Human Rights "René Cassin", (very Popular in Strasbourg : See "Eurofora"s NewsReport from its Recent, 2018 Awards, at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/whistleblowersatrenecassinechrcontest.html), are notoriously Focusing mainly on Developing the Capacity of those Representing a respondent State, and/or one or more Applicant Citizens, to Exchange Facts and/or Arguments, in relation with ECHR's case-law Principles.


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+ By a timely Coincidence, this week, ECHR has just Published a Series of various New Judgements, concerning Different States and Different aspects of key Human Rights, (f.ex., unreasonable Delays in Length of Proceedings, InHuman/Degrading Treatments, etc), which all Focus mainly on a Similar Key-Point:


- Always in these Cases, ECHR consistently reiterates, indeed, that: EuroJudges have "Examined all the Material Submitted" to the Court by the Parties, (i.e. the applicant CITIZENS and the respondent STATE), but have "Not found any FACT or ARGUMENT Capable of PERSUADING" them, "to Reach" this or that "Conclusion" on this or that Concrete Human Rights' Legal Issue, "Regard(ing)" ECHR's "Case Law on the subject" concerned there.


=> I.e., ECHR obviously evokes a kind of DIALOGUE, Between Citizen and State, using Facts and Arguments, capable of Persuading, in order to Reach this or that Conclusion, on Human Rights, regarding ECHR's Case-Law principles :


>>> That seems to be Exactly what "Eurofora"s co-Founder has Found, Described, Analysed and Defined (initially Named, at the Original in French : "Contrôle de Légalité du Processus Decisionel d'un Pouvoir Discretionaire"), both in Legal Scientific Research (already made, Basically, since a Long Time Ago at certain University Papers, to which were Added, Meanwhile, also active paticipations to certain Scientific Conferences), as well as in Recent Legal Research and/or Journalistic, Original Press Reports, at least Partly Related, Moreover, to "Eurofora"s main Project about Innovative Social Uses of New Digital/Communication Technologies 1997-2018, in Parallel) !


+ In Certain among this Long Series of Cases, whose Judgements were published this Week, ECHR even goes as far as to clearly Explain, one by one, at least the Main Points on which Citizens and States should Focus in their Dialogue whenever an important Decision affecting Human Rights is to be taken :


 In Concrete terms, it naturally Depends on the Particular Right concerned in one or another Case : F.ex., concerning the "Length of Proceedings" of Public Authorities, ECHR explains anew that "the Reasonableness", or not, of such Delays, "must be Assessed, in the light of the Circumstances of the case and with reference to the following Criteria: the Complexity of the case, the Conduct of the applicants and the relevant authorities, and what was at Stake for the applicants in the dispute".


It's on these Key-Points, that a kind of Dialogue between Citizens and States, whenever relevant Decisions affecting those Human Rights are taken, should Focus, according to the ECHR.


=> In Conclusion, all these Converging, older and recent Facts, clearly appear to Justify ECHR Registrar, Roderick Liddell's above-mentioned, interesting Statements, made (as a matter of General Principle, and on the basis of his particularly Extensive Experience) in Reply to relevant "Eurofora"'s Questions, (Comp. Supra), concerning a Core Legal (and Socio-Political) Issue of Nowadays European Society and well beyond.

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+ For anOther, and also very Interesting, Approach of this Same Issue, from a Different Angle/Point of view, (but, in fact, clearly Complementary), See Also the Extensive Reply that ECHR's President himself, Guido Raimondi, kindly gave to a relevant "Eurofora"s Question during his Annual Press Conference, already as early as since January 2018, at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/echrpresidentondiscretiionarypowercontrol.html).


Obviously, President Raimondi's above-mentioned Reply to "Eurofora"s Question during ECHR's Press Conference, also Points at Both Recent and Forthcoming Judgements adding more or less New Developments, which may unfold also in the foreseeable Future, in a kind of On-Going Evolutionary Trend (as he Observed himself), already set in Motion...

 

 

(../..)
 

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Recent developments proved that Europe can suceed to overcome challenges by aiming at great objectives, and this is needed also in 2009, said EU chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    - "It's in the name of Great Ideas, Projects, Ambition and Ideals, that EU can overcome" challenges, stressed Sarkozy at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, in conclusion of a dense 7 months EU Chairmanship. "It's even easier for Europe to have Great projects, able to overcome national egoism, instead of limiting itself only to small projects" (unable to do alike), he observed.     

- "Europe must remain Ambitious and understand that the World needs her to take Decisions". "The World needs a Strong Europe", which "thinks on its own, has convictions, its own responses, its imagination" : "A Europe which does not limit itself into following" others, (as it did in the Past, when it followed USA, f.ex. on Bosnia). On the contrary, "Europe should undertake its own responsibilities", he said, after a series of succes in stopping the War between Russia and Georgia, and organizing the 1st EuroZone's Summit in Paris, which incited the Washington DC G-20 Summit to extend similar decisions World-wide.  


    - "When you sweep it all under the carpet, prepare yourself for hard tomorrows", he warned. "What hinders decisions is the lack of Courage and Will, the fading away of Ideals", he stressed before EU Parliament's 2008 debate on Human Rights and Sakharov prize on Freedom of thought attributed by MEPs to Chinese cyber-dissident Hu Jia, followed by an EU - Turkey meeting on Friday.

    - "I don't abandon my convictions" and "I will take initiatives" on EU level also in 2009, Sarkozy announced later. "France will not stop having convictions and taking initiatives" on Europe. + "It's an Error to wish to pass over the Heads of those who are elected in their Countries" : "It's an integrism I always fought against"', he warned.
---------------------
French EU Presidency faced 4 unexpected Crisis :

- An institutional crisis, with the Irish "No" to EU Lisbon Treaty, just before it started. A geopolitical crisis, wth the threat of War between Russia and Georgia risking to throw Europe back to Cold-war divisions, on August. A World-wide Financial and Economic crisis, arriving at a bad moment before crucial 2009 EU elections. And even a Strasbourg's mini-crisis, with EU Parliament's roof curiously falling down, from unknown reasons, in a brand new building on August, provoking an unprecedented transfert of the 2 September Plenary Sessions...

But it wasn't enough to stop Sarkozy ! On the contrary, it stimulated him...
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- "The better way to deal with the recent problems of EU institutions (as the "3 NO" by France, the Netherlands and Ireland) is to take them as a "Test" in order to find solutions closer to Citizens' concerns", said later in Strasbourg Sarkozy's new choice as Ministe for EU affairs, Bruno Le Maire.

- On the Institutional front, Sarkozy gave Time to the Irish to think about it, and stroke on December a deal including a New Referendum after the June 2009 EU Elections, in exchange of a promise to keep the rule of "one EU Commissioner for each EU Member Country", and some opt-outs on Defence and Fiscal EU policies, Abortion, etc. If the Irish get a "Yes" Majority, then the institutional package could be completed in 2010 or 2011 on the occasion of Croatia's probable EU accession.

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    The move on Economy was extended on December by an EU stimulus' plan totalling some 200 billion Euros, including 5 Billions released by EU Commission for big Projects, as well as various parallel National plans for Economic revival, (fex. 26 billions in France alone). They might appear limited, compared to USA President-elect Obama's reported plan to boost the American economy with 800 billion $, but at least succeded to overcome Europe's divisions for the first time on Economic governance, opening new horizons.

- The French President stressed even harder the unique role of an active EU Council's chairmanship, when he moved swiftly and efficiently, at the beginning of August, to succesfully stop War between Russia and Georgia, at the last minute, which threatened to bring Europe back to Cold War division.

"We (EU) also wanted to avoid a situation like in Bosnia, in the Past, when EU was absent, so that our American friends took their responsibilitues, and EU only followed", despite the fact that the conflict took place in Europe. Now, it was the EU who took its responsibilities".

A roadmap towards a new PanEuropean Security policy, before which all unilateral moves to place new Missiles (from USA or Russia) would be freezed, was proposed by Sarkozy after a meeting with Russian president Medvedev, at the eve of Washington DC's G-20 Summit.

Ukraine's "European" character was stressed at a Sarkozy - Jushenko Summit, September in Paris, while EU adopted on December an "Eastern policy", in which, "I'm convinced that our (EU's) future is to find with our Neighbours the conditions for Economic Development. Peace and Security, by explaining them that.. they must respect (Human Rights') Values, and adopt behaviors different from the Past", explained Sarkozy in Strasbourg.

Meanwhile, the "Union for the Mediterranean" was created, since July's Summit if 45 Heads of State and Government in Paris, as "an organisation for a permanent Dialogue, that we need", mainly in order to tackle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by bringing together, for the 1st time, Israelis and Arabs, where "Europe must be present, in order to avoid a frontal clash".

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-----------------------
    Meanwhile, other EU Agreements were brokered during the French EU Presidency on Immigration, (fex. common Asylum rules, etc), and Climat- Energy :

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    - Defence-Security EU policy was mainly postponed for April 2009, since both German chancellor Merkel and French president Sarkozy want to strike a deal with the new American president Obama in Strasbourg's NATO Summit.

    However, with all these 4 unexpected Crisis diverting attention to other urgencies, People wil wonder now, what happened to the famous deal proposed by freshly-elected French President Sarkozy on Turkey's controversial EU bid, back on August 2007, to continue EU - Turkey negotiations, but on the double condition that core chapters, intrinsequally linked with EU Membership, will be excluded, and that a collective Reflexion and Debate on Europe's future would start before the end of 2008.

    It was meant to reply to the crucial question : What kind of Europe do we want in 10 or 20 Years from now : A large Market, or a Political Europe, with a popular identity ? In Sarkozy's thinking, presented in his 2 landmark speeches on Europe in Strasbourg, shortly before and after the 2007 Elections, (on February and July 2007), Turkey's controversial EU bid would be incompatible with the second choice.

    It's true that EU Commision's Chairman, Jose Barroso, (who had notoriously declared, as former Portuguese Prime Minister, that he found "nonsense" the idea that Europe might become equal to the US), had repeatedly tried to avoid that Sarkozy's criticism on Turkey might start winning a larger audience in Europe, preferring a discrete "wismens' committee" work. And that most of the personalities later chosen in order to participate in a Committee on Europe's Future, are too much linked with Socialist parties and/or American policies, to be really critical of USA's notorious wish to impose Turkey to the EU, as Sarkozy had noted himself since March 2007..

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2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?

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