Research Prizes

Rick A. Lawson
PhD dissertation:
The European Convention on Human Rights and the European Communities

The point of departure for this study of the observance of human rights by the Communities is the fact that the Communities were set up by states which are parties to the European Convention on Human Rights. Are the Communities therefore bound by the Convention? Can the member states be brought before the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Community activities? Or are the Communities simply immune from control by Strasbourg? In other words: what is the response of the Convention, the aim of which is to restrain the exercise of state power, to the assignment of powers to international organizations? In order to provide the answer to these questions, basic doctrines of public international law are considered: treaty law, succession of states, immunity, laws relating to international organizations and state liability. This investigation into a liability regime for the actions of international organizations is both theoretically interesting and of considerable practical value. Judges are often confronted with the claim that international organizations violate, for example, the European Convention on Human Rights. Moreover, effective control of the Community observance of human rights is essential for the legitimacy of European integration.

Leiden University, Faculty of Law
Supervisor: Prof. H.G. Schermers