Versita

HUMAN RIGHTS GUARANTEES DURING STATES OF EMERGENCY: THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

Stefan Kirchner
Keywords: European Convention on Human Rights, European Court of Human Rights, limitations of human rights, state of emergency, crisis, margin of appreciation, Article 15 ECHR ,

Abstract

As is the case with other international human rights treaties, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) offers states parties to the convention possibilities to limit the exercise of human rights in times of crisis. The margin of appreciation doctrine employed by the European Court of Human Rights gives states a lot of leeway in applying the Convention domestically. The question is whether the Convention also allows states to restrict rights guaranteed under the Convention to a degree which would be inconsistent with the spirit of the Convention. To answer the question whether human rights are sufficiently guaranteed under the Convention even in times of emergencies we will first look at general rules concerning the restriction of rights under the Convention. We will then move our investigation to Art. 15 ECHR and look at the conditions set by the norm, its limits as well as at some special cases of emergencies.