Today (1 August 2021) the Protocol No. 15 amending the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms has entered into force. This Protocol will apply in all 47 States Parties. Although it was open for signature/ratification since 2013, the ratification of Italy only occurred until 21 April 2021.
In the past, we have highlighted in this blog the increasing interaction between human rights and private international law and the need to interpret them harmoniously (see for example our previous posts here (HCCH Child Abduction Convention) and here (transnational surrogacy)).
Protocol No. 15 has introduced important amendments to the text of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR). In particular, it has included the principle of subsidiary and the doctrine of the margin of appreciation in the preamble, which have long and consistently been adopted by the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), and thus this is a welcome amendment.
It will now read as follows (art. 1 of the Protocol):
“Affirming that the High Contracting Parties, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, have the primary responsibility to secure the rights and freedoms defined in this Convention and the Protocols thereto, and that in doing so they enjoy a margin of appreciation, subject to the supervisory jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights established by this Convention”.