Subsidiarity and the European Convention on Human Rights

Mowbray, Alastair (2015) Subsidiarity and the European Convention on Human Rights. Human Rights Law Review, 15 (2). pp. 313-341. ISSN 1461-7781

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Theoretical views on the concept of subsidiarity are examined followed by an analysis of the origins of the principle of subsidiarity within the ECHR. The Court’s utilisation of the principle, as disclosed by the jurisprudence, is studied across three time periods encompassing the original part-time Court, the first decade of the full-time Court and the post-Interlaken era. This is supplemented by a consideration of some quantitative data, derived from the Court’s HUDOC database, on the usage of subsidiarity in the case reports of Court judgments. Particular attention is given to Grand Chamber judgments since 2010. Overall conclusions are then drawn on, inter alia, whether the Court’s use of the principle has altered over time, whether the principle is simply a device to limit the authority of the Court, who can benefit from the application of the principle and what links may be made between the theoretical writings and the actual judgments delivered at Strasbourg.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Human Rights Law Review following peer review. The version of record Subsidiarity and the European Convention on Human Rights / Alastair Mowbray. Human Rights Law Review (2015), 15 (2): 313-341. doi: 10.1093/hrlr/ngv002 is available online at:
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Law
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Depositing User: Mowbray, Professor Alastair
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2015 13:35
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2016 22:22

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