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Minister Cannon T.D. speech at Council of Europe working breakfast

I am grateful to you Minister Eriksen-Soreide for arranging today’s breakfast meeting and for President Raimondi’s presence to enlighten us with the up to date figures as regards the Court’s case-load and outlining the challenges ahead.

Like many of you here, Ireland holds the European Court in high regard. There is no doubt that its achievements have been remarkable in terms of human rights protection.

Ireland regards itself as a friend of the Court and looks to support it where possible to ensure that it remains the cornerstone of human rights protection in Europe. In addition, Ireland is an active member within the Committee of Ministers as regards the supervision of implementation of judgments of the Court by other states.

In more recent years the Court deserves particular credit for its initiatives as regards addressing the backlog of cases. It has sought to be innovative at every turn and to work within its existing resources. Indeed, it had made excellent use of new technologies to streamline procedures.

Ireland has been pleased to be the sole funder of the Court’s webcasting of hearings which acts as an educational tool to inform Europe’s citizens about the Court and increase their understanding of what an application to Strasbourg can achieve. To date, over €1 million has been provided. It is hoped that increasing peoples’ understanding of the system can be a positive contribution to increasing understanding of rights flowing from the Convention.

Ireland is supportive of efforts to reform the European Court of Human Rights. We have been active participants in successive initiatives to improve the impact of the Court, including most recently during the Danish Chairmanship. We look forward to making our contribution to developing practical proposals in follow-up to the Copenhagen Declaration and giving effect to ongoing efforts on the reform process.

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