Subsidiarity and the Margin of Appreciation

This workshop will consider the current status of the margin of appreciation doctrine and reflect on how the principle of subsidiarity does and should inform the ECtHR’s practice of affording states such margin.

This workshop is organized within the framework of MultiRights, a five-year project, exploring the interplay between international courts and domestic mechanisms for human rights protection in light of the principle of subsidiarity throughout its fourth year (2014-2015). The purpose of this element of the research project is to identify the best possible account of subsidiarity for international human rights review and its implications for the allocation and exercise of authority within multi-level human rights regimes.

The workshop will gather lawyers, political scientists and philosophers to discuss recent trends in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) against the background of the ongoing reform of the Convention machinery.

The participants will consider the current status of the margin of appreciation doctrine and reflect on how the principle of subsidiarity does and should inform the ECtHR’s practice of affording states this margin. The challenges of using the principle of subsidiarity as a legitimacy standard will be addressed, with the emphasis on the arguments of democratic self-governance and expertise (that may warrant a broader margin) and the ECtHR’s responsibility to bolster states’ respect and protection of rights (that may support a narrower margin).

Some of the contributions will specifically scrutinize the recent case law to see how subsidiarity-based considerations structure the ECtHR’s assessment of national parliamentary and judicial processes as a basis for granting a margin of appreciation. The distinction between substantive (focused on the outcome) and procedural (focused on the process) review will be highlighted.

The participants will also address the use and possible justification of the Court’s appeal to ‘common European values’ and ‘emerging European consensus’ to limit the states’ margin of appreciation.

Confirmed contributors

  • Oddný Mjöll Arnardóttir (University of Iceland)
  • Roland Pierik and Leonard Besselink (University of Amsterdam)
  • Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou (University of Surrey)
  • George Letsas, University College London
  • Andrew Legg (Essex Court Chambers)
  • Andreas Føllesdal (MultiRights, University of Oslo)
  • Matthew Saul (MultiRights, University of Oslo)
  • Amrei Müller (University of Oslo)
  • Nino Tsereteli (MultiRights, University of Oslo).

Registration

Since the number of participants is limited, please contact Annette Hovdal to register for the workshop at your earliest convenience, but no later than 13th of May.

Tags: Human Rights
Published Mar. 23, 2015 3:14 PM - Last modified Apr. 18, 2016 1:29 PM