European Court Of Human Rights

Question 1

a Each and every government that signs up to the ECHR makes a legal commitment to protect the basic freedoms and rights of ordinary persons while also abiding by certain standards of behaviour. Even though most citizens are never aware of this, there exists numerous ways through which an individual could enforce their rights as a citizen of the European Union. These include;

Individuals in the UK have the right to petition the European Parliament through sending written complaints or requests about any such subject that affects them directly or which is dealt with by the EU. These subjects could include; social policy and environment issues, recognition of professional qualifications, consumer protection, environmental matters and many others.

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The committee of petitions in the European Parliament is tasked with examining these types of complaints and then deciding on the appropriate course of action. 2. The European Ombudsman Individuals have the right to launch complains with the European Ombudsman about the European Institutions wrong doing or poor administration. These complaints include; discrimination, unfairness, irregularities in administration, and abuse of power1.

The rights of all the individuals leaving in the UK are normally outlined in the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights ultimately protects them. The court is based in Strasbourg. 4. The EU court of Justice The European Court of Justice ensures interpretation and subsequent application of EU legislation in the same way across all the EU countries to ensure equality of the law for all. It`s within the powers of the court to settle disputes of a legal nature between individuals, businesses, EU institutions and EU member states1.

The Council of the European Union is made up of government ministers drawn from each of the EU member countries; this is normally dependent on the policy area that is being discussed. The government ministers from different EU member countries normally meet for purposes of discussion, subsequent amendment and adoption of laws and further coordination of policies. The different ministers in the council have the powers of committing their respective governments to those actions the meetings agree on. The Council is an important decision maker of the EU. The council negotiates and further adopts legislative acts in most of the cases working in unison with the European Parliament and in line with the ordinary legislative procedure, also referred to as ‘codecision.’ Codecision comes into play in such policy areas whereby the European Union has either shared or exclusive competence with the different member states. In cases like these, the legislation of the council is normally on the basis of proposals which the European Commission submits. ‘Codecision’ which is the ordinary legislative procedure is used for around 85 policy areas of the EU and these range from common immigration policy to the

fight against discrimination. Most of the legal acts of the EU that are negotiated following this procedure are normally adapted at the first reading. The council takes decisions in a number of areas that are very specific using legislative procedures that are special-the consultation procedure and the consent procedure- whereby, the Parliament`s roles are quite limited2. Question 2 Scenario 1 Nadia`s personal injury claim could be heard in a county court. She needs to hire the services of a solicitor to represent her. In the event Mona denies liability, Nadia`s solicitors will have to provide evidence that shows that Mona was at fault and that led to Nadia`s injury. This could involve bringing up witnesses who could have been present at the time the accident occurred. Once Mona accepts liability, Nadia`s solicitor will then need to prove the extent of the damage Nadia suffered as a result of Mona`s actions. In her claim, Nadia seeks to be compensated £22,000 which is a sign that the trial of the case would not need more than a day and as such, fast tracking will be done to try the case. The court seeks to have up to 30 weeks between allocation of the case and the trial in fast tracking. During this time evidence is exchanged between both sides. To defend herself, Mona could argue that Nadia failed to take due care and was partially responsible for her own injury. Scenario 2 Mona pushing Nadia leaves Nadia bruised. Actual body harm cases are normally either listened at the crown court or the magistrate court depending on the severity of the harm. Bruises are not severe and as such this case will be heard at a Magistrates Court. ABH`s Actus Reus is; 1 assault or battery, 2 which leads to, 3 actual bodily harm. So as to constitute an offence in line with s.47 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861, all the

different elements of an assault need be present. The case of R v Chan Fook [1994] considered the meaning of actual bodily harm. In this case, it was held that injury needs not to be permanent so as to amount to actual bodily harm. Additionally, the injury should not be so trivial to the extent of being insignificant. In her defence, Mona could say that she pushed Nadia in self-defence. Mona`s use of force however needs to be proportionate and also reasonable to the circumstance at hand and the court will be looking closely at the degree of the force that was used. Mona will need to raise sufficient evidence to boost her defence but it will be up to the prosecution to disprove it. Question 3
The IRAC system was used to solve these legal problems. The first step involved identifying the legal question in each of the problems that needed to be answered. Issues normally come about whenever a cases facts present an ambiguity legally that needs to be resolved in a case. Another step application involved applying the rules developed in a previous step to the issue at hands specific facts. This step involved application of rules to the facts of the case and further explanations on why particular rules did not apply or applied to presented case. This was the most important step in my development of answers for the two legal problems. Conclusion which was the fourth step and the final one involved directly answering the question that was presented in the initial Issue step. Most of what was written down in the paper was part of this final step. The first step identifying the issue was quite difficult. The law is quite complex and as such it`s often observed that the addition or elimination of one fact often leads to addition or elimination of issues to a case and as such raising an entirely different rule of law. The application part was also tough. One can never reach an appropriate conclusion if they are not able to appropriately apply rules. It is in the application step where the heart of the opinion is

found, this is where one gets to see competing interpretations and interests bouncing off each other which at times tends to be very confusing.

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Works Cited

  • 'Enforcing Your Rights' (European Parliament Liason Office in the United Kingdom, 2019)
  • European Convention On Human Rights (Council of Europe 2019)
  • 'European Court of Human Rights' (International Justice Resource Center, 2017)
  • Merrills J, 'European Court of Human Rights' (Encyclopaedia Brittanica, 2016)
  • 'The Council of the European Union' (European Council of the European Union, 2017)

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