The Government Agent for the European Court of Human Rights

The Government Agent for the European Court of Human Rights is an institution functioning within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since July 2003, when it was transferred from the Ministry of Justice under Government Emergency Ordinance no. 64/2003 on establishing certain measures related to the setting up, organization, reorganization and functioning of structures in the working apparatus of the Government, the ministries, other specialized bodies of the central public administration and certain public institutions.

The institution of the Government Agent is aimed at spurring, whenever possible, the administrative demarches likely to lead to a settlement at the internal level – prior to the Court’s issuing a judgment – of cases in which either a new domestic appeal is possible, as a result of new relevant legislation having been adopted, or violation of a right is due to failure to execute an internal judgment. In such cases, should administrative actions aimed at restitution and putting in possession succeed, it is possible to avoid a sentence against the Romanian State by requesting that the cases be struck out from the Court’s docket or by concluding amicable settlement agreements.

Following up, along with the competent institutions, on the harmonisation of administrative and court legislation and practice with the standards imposed by the European Court of Human Rights based on the judgments issued against Romania (which, under art. 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights, are mandatory for this country), on the one hand, and preventively watching the rulings on other relevant cases constitute priority objectives of the Government Agent.

This legislative component stands for an essential aspect of the enforcement of the ECHR judgments by the States parties to the European Convention on Human Rights, which is monitored by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers (CoE’s political body) and at the same time is of special relevance when the European Union evaluates the fulfillment of the political criteria for accession.