Strasbourg, 24 June 2013
Draft executive summary of the Guide to good practice
in respect of domestic remedies
At its 88th meeting, the CDDH Bureau considered it useful to include an executive
summary in the draft Guide to good practice (document DH-GDR(2013)R4 Addendum
II). The Secretariat prepared the present draft for its examination and possible adoption
by the CDDH.
The member States of the Council of Europe have adopted the present Guide in
order to promote and assist fulfilment of their obligations under the European Convention
on Human Rights. The right to an effective remedy is fundamental to the respect and
protection of individual rights. It gives effect to the principle of subsidiarity by
establishing the domestic mechanisms that must first be exhausted before individuals may
have recourse to the Strasbourg-based control mechanism, namely the European Court of
Human Rights.
The implementation of effective remedies should permit a reduction in the Court’s
workload as a result, on the one hand, of a decrease in the number of cases reaching it
and, on the other, of the fact that the detailed treatment of cases at national level would
facilitate their later examination by the Court. The right to an effective remedy thus
reflects the fundamental role of national judicial systems in the Convention system.
This draft Guide to good practice in respect of domestic remedies outlines the
fundamental legal principles which apply to effective remedies in general, and the
characteristics required for remedies in certain specific situations and general remedies to
be effective. The specific situations dealt with by the present Guide concern remedies for
deprivation of liberty, in relation to both the measure's lawfulness and the conditions of
detention, and the way in which the person in detention is treated; investigations in the
context of alleged violations of Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention; remedies against
removal; and remedies for non-execution of domestic judicial decisions. The Guide also
identifies good practices which may provide inspiration to other member States.
Furthermore, the Guide recalls that it is important that national courts and
tribunals take into account the principles of the Convention and the case law of the Court,
and outlines national practices in that sense.