Since joining the EU in 2007, Bulgaria has taken an unexpected road heading for autocracy. This contribution explores the significant support provided by the European Courts of Human Rights towards the democratization process, development of the rule of law and consolidation of pluralism in the Republic of Bulgaria, having regard to the political parties’ system. More specifically, the paper analyses the techniques and the steps undertaken as well as the role of political association in the implementation of the right to vote, discussing its trend in the organizational development of Bulgarian legal system. The article compares indicators of parties’ organization and the effectiveness on exercise of voting right to data on East-Central Europe and explains the level of socio-political participation in a country characterized by the perception of widespread corruption and a general distrust of politicians.
The guarantee of the ‘political clause’ enshrined in Art. 3, Prot. 1 is of most relevance for the endurance of the ECHR’s system of protection of human rights as well as for the maintenance of trust-based relationships between democratic institutions and citizens. The implementation of this “democratic argument” must nevertheless come to terms with national electoral specificities and peculiar democratic visions as resulting from the historical-political development of each domestic legal system: this aids explaining the Court’s patent favour for judicial deference in combination with a flexible approach in its case-law, so as not to neglect States’ appreciation in a field where they still have remarkable sovereignty. Such considerations are particularly significant in the case of the Former Yugoslavia’s countries, where the unsolved challenges presented by the ethnic pluralism combine with the equally delicate issue of the definitive accomplishment of the principle of democracy.
The ‘democratic argument’ encompassed in article 3 of the Protocol 1 of the ECHR has been called into question against Turkey in the appeals for the dissolution of political parties as well as for the lift of the parliamentary immunity of several MPs. Compared to the huge amount of appeals against Turkey in front of the ECtHR and considering the frequent reference to Turkey as an hybrid democracy, however, the cases involving the ‘democratic argument’ are relatively few. Quantitatively, until 2019, the ECtHR has been appealed for a violation of article 3 Protocol 1 of the ECHR by Turkey in 17 cases and has declared the violation in 11 of them.
First, I will presents the common elements of the 11 decisions, highlighting whether they envisaged a violation of the democratic argument in a domestic legal provision or in a practice of the Turkish institutions. Then, I will focus on the measures enacted at the domestic level to guarantee the ECtHR decisions.
Azerbaijan is the most condemned by the European Court of Strasbourg for the violation of the right to vote. The country faces significant challenges with respect to the exercise of fundamental freedoms pointing to systematic harassment and criminal prosecution of those who express critical views of the government, and voter intimidation and pressure. The political environment has been marked by the dominance of public and political life of one party, New Azerbaijan Party (YAP), and by the marginalization of political alternatives.
The proposed paper is divided in two parts: in the first part, it will analyse the contribution of the European Court jurisprudence in the implementation of the basic democratic rules in order to help Azerbaijan in the democratic process. In the second part, it will consider the measures adopted at the domestic level, pointing out, eventually, the major points of frictions.
The relationship between Venezuela and the Inter-American System for the protection of human rights has undergone a series of abrupt changes and profound disagreements in recent years. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has ruled on six occasions on the violation of the right contained in Article 23 of the American Convention on Human Rights with respect to Venezuela.
Knowing the current state of compliance with the reparation measures ordered by the Court in the above cases can outline an overview of how regional justice helped to vindicate human rights violations in an adverse political climate for supranational institutions. The political crisis in Venezuela is still far from over, however, the Court's precedents, together with the inter-American standards set to date, may help to discern a way out that is consistent with the regional consensus on the rights that should govern a democratic society.
Although Italy is one of the “founding fathers” of the European Regional System of Human Rights and a State with a solid democratic constitutional system, it turns out to be one of the countries with the highest “presence” in Strasbourg. Between 1959 and 2016, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled almost 2,500 decisions involving the Italian State, and in more of the 76% of them the ECtHR has found at least one violation of a right or freedom recognized in the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). However, between 2014 and 2016 there was a significant descending trend, both in the number of decisions issued against Italy, as in the number of pending cases, which has been reduced considerably.
The aim of the present paper is to focus on judgments issued against Italy where the violation of Article 3 of the Protocol 1 of the (ECHR) was found.