The European Convention of human rights between Law and Politics: The margin of appreciation and its normative significance in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights

Date: 7 January 2015

Venue: F. de Tassiszaal, Hof van Liere - Prinsstraat 13 - 2000 Antwerp

Time: 5:00 PM

Organization / co-organization: Faculty of Law

PhD candidate: Petr Agha

Principal investigator: Prof. dr. George Pavlakos and Prof. dr. Patricia Popelier

Short description: PhD defense of Petr Agha - Faculty of Law

Abstract: The thesis analyses human rights in post-national contexts and demonstrates, through the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, that the Margin of Appreciation doctrine is an essential part of human rights adjudication.

Current approaches have tended to stress the instrumental value of the Margin of Appreciation, or to give it a complementary role within the principle of proportionality, while others have been wholly critical of it. In contradiction to these approaches this thesis shows that the doctrine is a genuinely normative principle capable of balancing conflicting values. It explores to what extent the tension between human rights and politics, embodied in the doctrine, might be understood as a mutually reinforcing interplay of variables rather than an entrenched separation. By linking the interpretation of the Margin of Appreciation doctrine to a broader conception of human rights, understood as complex political and moral norms, it argues that the doctrine can assist in the formulation of the common good in light of the requirements of the Convention.