How Specific Should Judicial Oversight Be?

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is often faced with applications that claim a violation of the right to free elections. The court has to assess whether these applications are merited and in doing so it can adopt different strategies of judicial oversight. It also has to take into account the nature of elections, particularly the need for swift and definite determination of winners and losers. The simplest solution for the Court is to review every case according to the information available, without making any assumptions or treating cases differently according to the preliminary assessments of the court. This method is time-consuming and in a world of finite resources may not be optimal. Realizing the limitations of the method, the Court has recently made a “procedural turn”.