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ECHR-Vice-President Prof. Angelika Nußberger visits EBS Universität

22 November 2019 | By: Pressestelle EBS Universität
In the context of a student lecture, Prof. Angelika Nußberger, Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights, was a guest  at EBS Universität.

We welcomed Prof. Angelika Nußberger as a guest at EBS Universität

Last Monday, 11.11.2019, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Angelika Nußberger M.A., Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), gave a lecture to students and professors on “The case law on the European Convention on Human Rights in the political context. A review after nine years ‘on the bench’”. She spoke about the various aspects of the ECHR, such as the impact of key decisions on national legal systems and the challenges and priorities of her career.

Angelika Nußberger opens her presentation by stating that it is not always possible to clearly predict in advance the effects of case law at the European level on the respective legal systems of the member states. Of course, she and her fellow judges always consider the question of the impact of a concrete judgement on their nation when making decisions - after all, the main issues she has dealt with in court proceedings have been of the greatest possible importance. These include European migration issues, such as how to deal with Hungarian refugee policy or the refugee crisis in relation to the Mediterranean problem. Other relevant topics were the philosophy of human rights and the state’s dealings with terrorists and the guarantee of their human rights. In return, she received daily hate mails and the rejection of leading European politicians such as Theresa May, summarises the Munich-born author.

In the 60 years of the ECHR’s history, there have been many different stages of development and critical problems to answer. The Vice-President likes to refer to the period between 1990 and 2005 as the “Golden Age”. During this period, the ECHR ensured compliance with the code of values of the European Convention on Human Rights of the 47 member states. In the period that followed, however, the ECHR was increasingly criticised. Ms. Nußberger understands the criticism and explains it as follows: “During this time, there were 160,000 cases per 47 judges. The ECHR thus became the victim of its own success.” Also the legitimation was questioned again and again.

These questions have not yet been resolved and have even become more acute. “The political explosive that currently exists in our society is enormous and the question to what extent my decisions influence it is always topical.”

But in the end, the Vice-President remains pragmatic: “Yes, the decisions take influence, but the big problems cannot be changed. Rather, the judgments are a voice that tries to prevent us from getting back on the road to unfreedom,” said the vice president, referring to Timothy Snyder, a US historian and professor at Yale University.

Angelika Nußberger has been a ECHR judge since 2011. Since 2017 she has been Vice-President of the Human Rights Court in Strasbourg, which is responsible for 47 states including Turkey, Russia and Switzerland.

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