Procedural Rationality Review After Animal Defenders: A Constructively Critical Approach

The European Court of Human Rights has developed a noticed practice of procedural rationality review. This implies that the Court considers the quality of the decision making procedure to assess the proportionality of government interference in human rights. In Hatton, the Court held that where it is for the national authorities to balance interests in complex topics, it can still examine the decision making process to ensure that they carried out a careful balancing exercise. In ADI, the Grand Chamber seems to take a new turn, raising urgent questions regarding the method and consequences of procedural rationality review. The ADI ruling was repeated in subsequent judgments, with Ognevenko v Russia being the most notable one. By contrasting ADI with Ognevenko, the presentation points out how the Court makes itself vulnerable for accusations of double standards. It identifies rules of thumb to serve as guidelines for a more consistent usage of procedural rationality review.