The concept of democracy in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)

 

This research examines the concept of democracy in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Reasoning from the case law related to national security one of those exceptions we highlighted three main ideas developed by the Court. Those are the concepts of rule of law, lawfulness, pluralism and broadmindedness. We preferred this broad approach encompassing a full range of cases since the beginning of the creation of the Court and avoiding picking one specific right. This permitted us to develop an analysis as objective as possible.The goals pursued in this research are to have a greater picture of the balance realized between individual and state’s interests. Those are very sensitive in matters related to terrorism or state surveillance. While balancing those different aspects is considered as one of the core elements of the democratic society, it is not always clear to infer the Courts reasoning patterns. This is particularly true in the application of article 8, where by contrast to article 10, the analysis seems to be more flexible and evolving. Applying those three aforementioned concepts, the ECHR is building a way of reasoning far beyond the text of the Convention. The Court has as a consequence a margin of appreciation in defining the content of the concept of democracy, while it recognizes that the article does not contain procedural requirements.