Handbook on "National parliaments as guarantors of human rights in Europe"

For several years, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has been working on the need to ensure a more active involvement of Parliaments in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) system, and in particular the need for regular and rigorous parliamentary oversight of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Several texts have been adopted by the Assembly on this subject, including the Assembly’s Resolution 1823 (2011) on “National Parliaments: guarantors of human rights in Europe”.

In this context, since 2013, the Parliamentary Project Support Division (PPSD), in close co-operation with the Assembly’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights, the Department for the Execution of Judgments of the ECtHR as well as international experts, organised a series of parliamentary conferences and of seminars for staff members of national parliaments of Member States in order to promote and better implement Assembly’s texts in the field.

As a result of this work, in October 2018, a handbook for parliamentarians from all over Europe was published to help national parliaments to fulfil their responsibilities, giving them working methods and examples of best practices drawn from a number of parliaments in Europe. Thanks to the voluntary contributions of member States and other external funds, it will be translated into as many European languages as possible to make it more accessible to all national parliaments.

A new series of conferences and seminars is planned for 2019 and 2020 for members of Parliament and staff of national parliaments to continue working with national parliaments on improving parliamentary structures and mechanisms to guarantee human rights in Europe in the context of a parliamentary democracy.