Sakset/Fra hofta

Til tross for Den europeiske menneskerettsdomstolen (EMD) kan avgjøre juridiske saker av stor viktighet, er 7 av 11 overdommere akademikere med liten eller ingen juridisk erfaring.

EMD har bla makt til å tilsidesette dommer avsagt av høyesterett i de landene som er tilsluttet Den europeiske menneskerettserklæringen (EMK). Domstolen oversitter 800 millioner europeere og har avsagt nærmere 10.000 dommer siden den ble etablert i 1959. Dommerne ved EMD trenger ikke å ha vært dommere i hjemlandet, men blir nominert av Europarådets parlamentariske samling og sitter for ni år. Hvert år får domstolen rundt 50.000 nye saker å behandle.

Men heller ikke EMDs president, den britiske advokaten Nicolas Bratza, har hatt noen overordnet juridisk stilling, og hans erfaring begrenset seg til å ha arbeidet som rettsskriver i en kort periode før han ble president ved EMD.

Last month, he admitted that some of the court’s best judges – including those on ECHR’s plenary court – were former academics who had been parachuted into the role.

Among those from the world of academia is Françoise Tulkens, the Belgian vice-president of the court. He has no senior judicial experience.

Following Sir Nicolas’s rare appearance in parliament Tory Dominic Raab said: ‘The president may not be fussed that we have a bunch of academics making the law up as they go along, but elected law-makers and the public in Britain certainly are.’

MPs also attacked the extraordinary selection system for the court, which allows the 47 member states of the Council of Europe to nominate judges who have never sat in judgment in their own countries.

Among those who have never had experience as a judge include Albanian Ledi Bianku, formerly a lawyer and lecturer. He was key the the Abu Qatada ruling.

Another is Danute Jociene who has no previous experience as a senior judge. At 33 she became the youngest judge ever appointed to the court in 2004.

Anatoly Kovler has held no notable posts as a judge and his experience in the judiciary extends only to academic law.

David Thor Bjorgvinsson is an academic from Iceland who has previously served relatively minor roles as an assistant judge and judge’s assistant.

Danish national Peer Lorenzen was a former academic before joining the ECHR and was legal adviser to Denmark’s ministry of justice. He was also a judge then president of the Court of Appeal of western Denmark.

Among those with some experience are Lech Garlicki, from Poland and ECHR’s head of the Human rights section. He served as a judge at the Polish constitutional Court for eight years after communism fell.

Danute Jociene from Lithuania was the youngest judge ever appointed to the ECHR when she was 33 in 2004

Anatoly Kovler has worked in academic law but has not held any noteable posts as a judge

Maltan Vincent de Gaetano was an academic before taking up a job as a judge, then deputy attorney-general and before arriving at ECHR he was chief justice of Malta. Jan

Sikuta was judge of the Appeal Court of Bratislava 1990 and 1994 before a 10-year tenure as legal officer at the UN.

Flere land har klaget over EMDs aktivistiske tolkning av EMK, og Storbritannia har i økende grad uttrykt misnøye med at EMD har tiltatt seg en rolle som Europas høyesterett med stadig videre fullmakter. EMK, Human Rights Act (HRA) på engelsk, ble implementert i britisk lovgiving av Labour-regjeringen i 1998, og siden da har både implementeringen og selve konvensjonen blitt stadig mer upopulære i den britiske offentligheten. Konvensjonens klare tendens til å sette farlige kriminelles menneskerettigheter foran ofrenes og den øvrige befolkningens sikkerhet, står skarpt i strid med folks alminnelige rettsoppfatning og er blitt gjenstand for utbredt og kraftig kritikk. Det er i dag en utbredt oppfatning i Storbritannia at HRA er et “rettighetscharter for kriminelle”, og det er ikke uten grunn. Eksemplene på absurde rettsavgjørelser og ikke minst innskrenkning av landets politiske handlingsrom er etterhvert blitt mange.

Flere britiske politikere har tatt til orde for å trekke landet fra EMDs jurisdiksjon, og nå har benyttet en pågående utredning til å legge frem en rekke reformforslag for å redusere EMDs økende jurisdiksjon og tiltagende innblanding i spørsmål av politisk karakter.

Daily Mail: How can they tell us how to run our country? Seven of eleven sitting at Europe’s human rights court deciding fate of hate preacher Qatada have never been judges