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Landmark judgments

Since its creation in 1959, the European Court of Human Rights’ rulings have resulted in many changes to legislation and have helped to strengthen the rule of law. More than ever, the Court is today the guarantor of human rights in Europe – the very concience of Europe.Over the past half-century, the Court has delivered more than 12,000 judgments. Through the Court’s case-law, the European Convention on Human Rights has become a dynamic and powerful instrument in the response to new challenges and the ongoing promotion of the rule of law and democracy in Europe.

The Convention provision which has been violated most is Article 6, as regards the right to a fair trial, then the reasonable time requirement. The next most frequent violations are under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property) and Article 5 of the Convention (right to liberty and security).

The Court has also given rulings on various social issues such as abortion, assisted suicide, body searches, domestic slavery, adoption by homosexuals, wearing religious symbols at school, the protection of journalists’ sources and even environmental issues.

- Right to life
- Prohibition of torture
- Prohibition of slavery and forced labour
- Right to liberty and security
- Right to a fair trial
- No punishment without law
- Right to respect for private and family life
- Freedom of religion
- Freedom of expression
- Prohibition of discrimination
- Protection of property
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