State Secretary for Strategic Affairs Bogdan Aurescu signed on 24 June, for Romania, the Protocol no. 15 amending the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, during a signing ceremony at the Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg.
Attending the signing ceremony were the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Gabriella Battaigni-Dragoni, the President of the European Court of Human Rights, Dean Spielman, and the Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian, Chairman in Office of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers. Alongside Romania, another 18 member states of the Council of Europe (of the 47 member states) signed Protocol no. 15.
Protocol no. 15 is a reforming protocol comprising several amendments to the procedures designed to make the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) more efficient.
Romania’s participation in the ceremony of opening Protocol no. 15 for signature naturally follows from the position of this country, which contributed actively to the reflection process on reforming the Court, on the occasion of the Conferences of Interlaken (18-20 Feb. 2010), Izmir (26-27 Apr. 2011) and Brighton (18-20 Apr. 2012) aimed at identifying the best institutional framework for the functioning of the Court. On those occasions, the need emerged to amend the Convention by the measures set forth in Protocol no. 15. “Signing Protocol no. 15 on the very first day when it was opened for signature, Romania eloquently reconfirms its constant position in support of the ECHR reform by acknowledging the importance of this new instrument,” State Secretary Bogdan Aurescu said on the occasion of the signing.
As a matter of fact, the main argument in favour of Romania signing and, subsequently, ratifying the Protocol is provided by Romania’s commitment to make the Court in Strasbourg more efficient by placing at its disposal efficient tools for the management of the complaints submitted to it, thus guaranteeing the efficacy of the right to individual redress, which the Romanian party considers essential.
Protocol no. 15 will enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date on which all contracting parties to the Convention have expressed their consent to be bound by the Protocol. The full text of Protocol no. 15, as well as other relevant details can be found at http://www.conventions.coe.int/Treaty/EN/treaties/html/Prot15ECHR.htm.