Interpretative mechanisms in the ECHR case-law: the concept of European consensus

Just as important as knowing the standards developed by the European Court of Human Rights, understanding the process and the interpretative mechanisms used for establishing them is crucial to their correct implementation at national level, especially since national courts have an important role in the interpretation of the Convention through the cases that are brought before them, in light of the principle of subsidiarity.

The European consensus is a concept used by the Court stemming from the evolving nature of the interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights. As repeatedly stated by the Court, the Convention is a living instrument anchored to the reality of the Member States in which it applies.

The freedom of expression of lawyers towards judges and experts

By a judgment of the Grand Chamber and a Chamber decision made during the first half 2015, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has developed its case law related to the freedom of expression of lawyers, guaranteed by article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

The cases related to two types of actors involved in judicial proceedings: permanent actors - the sitting judges - who are the natural contact points for lawyers and obstacle for lawyers; intermittent actors - the sworn experts - whose opinion may have an important influence on outcome of a trial.  


Joint Start of the Bulgarian Edition of the HELP Course on Antidiscrimination for Magistrates and Lawyers

Kick-off meeting to the Bulgarian edition of the HELP course on Anti-discrimination, 20.11.2015

A kick-off meeting to the Bulgarian edition of the e-learning course on Anti-discrimination, developed under the Programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (the HELP Programme) of the Council of Europe (CoE), was organized on November 20th, 2015 at the National Institute of Justice of Republic of Bulgaria.

The training began simultaneously for two different categories of legal professionals – 37 judges and judicial assistants at Bulgarian administrative courts and 28 Bulgarian lawyers and after the joint kick-off meeting it will continue separately for each of these professional groups.

Launch of the pilot distance-learning course on Business and Human Rights in Italy

On 18th of November, the Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals Programme (the HELP Programme) in collaboration with the Scuala Superiore Della Magistratura of Italy, will launch the pilot online course “Business and Human Rights” for a mixed group of national judges, lawyers and accountants.

For the first time, the course will be in english and for a mixed group of participants.


EU/CoE "HELP in the 28 Programme": first annual meeting

Taking place on 6 November, this event was addressed to Focal Points (contact persons with National Training Institutions) and Info Points (contact persons with Bar Associations) in the 28 European Union member states. The general objective of the meeting was to examine the implementation of the HELP Programme in the EU countries and discuss perspectives for future cooperation with National Training Institutions and Bar Associations in the framework of the project.

HELP/UNHCR Course on the ECHR and Asylum in Georgia

On 11 November 2015, the Council of Europe and UNHCR, in cooperation with the Georgian Bar Association and with the support of the High School of Justice, launched the HELP/UNHCR Course on the ECHR and Asylum for a pilot group of 25 practicing lawyers in Tbilisi. 

On this occasion, in addition to an overview of the relevant ECtHR case law on asylum (by a Georgian lawyer of the ECtHR Registry), the participants were provided with practical details about the course. They also discussed particular issues of concern specific to the Georgian context in this field, including the effectiveness of certain remedies in the Georgian legal order and extradition/expulsion matters. Such issues will be taken into account in the national adaptation of the course by the national tutor, which is a key asset of the HELP training methodology to ensure that the course best meets the participants' needs. 

Launch of New Video on Admissibility Criteria of the European Court of Human Rights

The HELP team is delighted to premiere a new video on admissibility criteria of the European Court of Human Rights and the HELP Programme, which can be viewed online on the Court’s YouTube channel, its website and the HELP platform, and is available with subtitles in 14 different languages:

HELP Programme Video Now Available in 6 New Languages

The HELP team are pleased to announce that the recently released HELP programme video is now available with subtitles in 6 new languages:

Bulgarian, Greek, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian

The video provides a short introduction to the HELP and explains the aims, methodology and benefits of the Programme. You can watch the video with subtitles in any of the languages listed above by clicking on the links, and the original video can be watched in English here.

Hommage à Maître Michel Puéchavy, grand défenseur des droits de l'Homme

Le Secrétariat HELP, ainsi que tout le Conseil de l'Europe, aimerait exprimer sa sympathie à la famille et à l'entourage de Maître Michel Puéchavy, récemment décédé.


Michel Puéchavy a été le premier soutien au Programme HELP en France, y voyant une opportunité de plus de disséminer parmi la communauté juridique les principes clés et les valeurs fondamentales qu'il associait à la Convention européenne des droits de l'homme et à la jurisprudence de la Cour. Son combat pour la défense des droits de l'homme restera pour nous toutes et tous une réelle source d'inspiration dans notre travail de tous les jours.


Le dernier petit clin d'oeil pour lui se fera à travers ces quelques mots, rédigés en français sur une page habituellement rédigée en anglais. Le combat continue!


The HELP Secretariat is looking for a HELP Legal Advisor (secondment)

The seconded official will in particular: - Contribute to the work carried out by the HELP Secretariat in accordance with time-limits and internal guidelines: o Check the quality and updates training materials and full-fledged model curricula in English, including relevant documents/publications for the HELP Programme; o Coordinate working groups responsible for the development of new curricula and the Editorial Board; o Make HELP presentations to various audiences (mainly composed of legal professionals); o Coordinate study visits of legal professionals to the CoE, including the European Court of Human Rights; o Contribute to ensure the harmonisation and quality of training materials developed in other cooperation projects of the Division (using and referring to the HELP methodology); o Contribute to the smooth organisation of the HELP Network Annual Conference (advice on the substance, communication with the Network, etc.).