- Democracy — Rule of law
This chapter discusses the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Adopted by the Council of Europe (CoE) Member States on 4 November 1950, it represents one of the major achievements of international law in the 20th century: a treaty coupling a comprehensive catalogue of individual rights with an effective supervisory mechanism which includes the right to submit individual complaints. In the more than 60 years since its entry into force the Convention has developed from an international treaty on human rights to a quasi-constitutional reference standard in Europe. The ECHR regime is today the most important cornerstone of the rule of law in Europe, its human rights standard is an indispensable point of reference for many European constitutions, including that of the European Union. Consequentially it is with some right that the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) refers to the Convention as a ‘constitutional instrument of European public order’.
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