◆ Members of the Council of Europe questioning themselves
According to an article in Figaro entitled « Council of Europe examines the independence of the European Court of Human Rights », independence is not what best characterizes this Court. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, seized by parliamentarians, replied on 31 March 2021 to the latter’s questions on the subject ofit is « potential conflicts of interest of judges of the European Court of Human Rights ».
MPs wondered how restore its integrity and brought to light « The systemic problem of conflicts of interest between NGOs and judges of the European Court of Human Rights ». They also mentioned « the low number of European judges who have previously served as magistrates, and accuse the ECHR of giving too much importance to lawyers from lobbies; they also denounced the absence of an effective deportation and challenge procedure in the event of a possible conflict of interest. »
◆ The mission of the European Court of Human Rights
The role of this institution, based in Strasbourg and created in 1959 by the Council of Europe, is « to ensure compliance with the commitments entered into by the signatory states of the European Convention on Human Rights “And must ensure respect for human rights for 800 million Europeans in the 47 Member States. »His power is not less since his « decisions are binding and the States concerned are regularly led to modify their legislation or their administrative practice in order to comply with conventional texts regularly enriched by case law. » It is also clearly stated on the website of the French Constitutional Council that « The Constitutional Council is directly inspired by the European Convention on Human Rights and the jurisprudence of the Strasbourg court , even if the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) do not allow the annulment or automatic modification of the decisions taken by the French courts. » However, as states have undertaken to comply with the judgments of the ECHR in disputes that concern them, « in any matter, when national rules are not sufficient to put an end to the disturbance resulting from the violation by the State of the ConvEDH, the ECHR may grant the injured party “just satisfaction”, that is to say compensation. In short, either the country applies European orders or it has to pay.
◆ The power of those who compose it
The European Court of Human Rights is composed of « 47 judges (one per member state) elected for a non-renewable 9-year term by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. These magistrates are organized into five sections, made up of chambers of seven judges and committees of three judges. A Grand Chamber, made up of 17 judges, constitutes the formal formation of the judgment and the review body for judgments delivered by the chambers. » According to Dunja Mijatović, Bosnian human rights expert who reminds us of the main principles of the text “Recommendation (2010) 12 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to member states entitled « Judges: independence, efficiency and responsibilities », The independence of judges is essential and « should be seen as a guarantee of freedom, respect for human rights and the impartial application of the law. The impartiality and independence of judges are essential to guarantee the equality of all before the courts. »Le Figaro concludes: « The Committee of Ministers recalls in the preamble of its response the system for appointing judges set up in 2010 to guarantee the independence of the Court (…) New measures could therefore be taken by 2024 to strengthen the independence of judges », But the conditional used does not bode well for certain …
◆ Open bar at the European court for Open Society?
The newspaper points out that « The parliamentarians pointed out a risk of conflicts of interest among the judges of the European Court of Human Rights, endorsing the conclusions of a report by the European Center for Law and Justice (ECLJ) showing that out of the hundred or so judges who have sat on the ECHR for ten years, twenty-two of them came directly from the same NGO or from associations funded by this NGO, the Open Society. This report listed mainly 88 cases in which one of the NGOs affiliated to the Open Society was involved, and where at least one of the judges was from the same association. »The Open Society foundations, founded by billionaire Georges Soros whom they call « one of the greatest philanthropists in the world » present themselves as « The largest private donor in the world for NGOs and associations working for the defense of human rights, justice and democracy (…) the second private charity in the United States, just after the founding of Bill and Melinda Gates (…) the largest private funder of organizations working to defend and promote human rights, justice and democracy around the world, through more than 20 national and regional foundations (…) with an annual budget of over USD 1,000 million for 2018. » One of their main intentions? Support « people and organizations around the world fighting to promote free speech, transparent governments that are accountable, and more just and equal societies ». Open Society indicates having « supported the creation of the European Implementation Network, which provides monitoring services for compliance by national governments with judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. »
◆ An acceptable “philanthropy” and governance system?
From an ethical point of view, one can wonder whether private organizations founded and influenced by one or more wealthy people can legitimately fund organizations responsible for monitoring governments, and even European institutions! This kind of question was asked in November 2020 by the Hungarian deputy Barna Pál ZSIGMOND about thea contribution of Open Society and Microsoft to the funding of the Council of Europe: « Although the Council of Europe is an intergovernmental organization, it receives private funding. According to data on voluntary contributions published on the Council of Europe’s website, its two main private funders are the Open Society of George Soros and the Microsoft company of Bill Gates, respectively to the tune of 1,527,466, 67 euros between 2004 and 2013 and 967,078.07 euros between 2006 and 2014. The documents available to the public do not specify the conditions or the purposes of these payments requested in November 2020. »
One can also wonder to what extent a State must obey a European body, which moreover is partly made up of people in conflict of interest, according to the very opinion of the parliamentarians of the Council of Europe. We could go even further and see if the current European bodies were created and operate democratically today. And if the health passport were adopted at European level, if Georges Soros was for this passport, would this encourage members of the European Court of Human Rights with a link of interest with Open Society to decree that it is fundamental to adopt it? And the aforementioned government surveillance network would he then ensure that each member state puts it in place and follows good dance, so that the overall vaccine choreography goes as well as possible?
Image by Udo Pohlmann from Pixabay
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