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On 28 October 2014 Protocol No.15 to the European Convention on Human Rights was laid before Parliament as Command Paper No. 8951. The Protocol:

– adds a reference to the principle of subsidiarity and the doctrine of the margin of appreciation to the Preamble to the Convention;

– changes the rules on the age of judges of the Court, to ensure that all judges are able to serve the full nine-year term;

– removes the right of parties to a case before the Court to veto the relinquishment of jurisdiction in a case before a Chamber in favour of the Grand Chamber;

– reduces the time limit for applications to the Court from six months to four months;

– tightens the admissibility criteria to make it easier for the Court to reject trivial applications.

The Protocol must be ratified by all 47 Council of Europe Member States in order to come into force. On 27 November 2014 the Government announced that the scrutiny period would be extended by eight sitting days and would expire when the House of Lords rises for recess on 17 December.

On 2 December 2014 the Joint Committee on Human Rights published a report on Protocol 15, concluding that the Government should ratify it and calling for a debate in both Houses.

Documents to download

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