The Court will launch its anniversary book, The Conscience of Europe: 50 Years of the European Court of Human Rights, in English and French at the opening of its judicial year on 28 January 2011. An advance presentation to media representatives will take place at the President’s annual press conference the day before.
The book launch concludes the celebrations marking the Court’s 50th anniversary in 2009 and the 60th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights in 2010. It groups a variety of individual contributions around photographs and text retracing the main events over the last half-century. Beyond the institutional and legal dimensions, the Court’s history is also told through the personal recollections of those who were part of it for a time. Through these, the reader will learn some of the lore that has built up in an international tribunal that has reached the half-century mark as well as the many diverse personalities associated with its success. The book also looks ahead to what the future may hold for the Court. Some of the proposals for reform of the Court made at various points in the past ten years are set out, up to and including the milestone conference at Interlaken in February 2010.
The richly-illustrated book has been published in large-format in co-operation with the London publishers Third Millennium Information Ltd. and contains additional material on an accompanying DVD. Publication has been made possible by a generous contribution from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
In connection with the launch, President Jean-Paul Costa stated: “This publication charts the Court’s prestigious history but also looks towards the future. I hope that its contents, which bear witness to an unwavering commitment to the protection of fundamental human rights in Europe, will encourage and inspire generations to come, on whom the future of the European Convention on Human Rights depends.”
In the words of Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn: “Luxembourg undertook to support this project as proof of the immense importance it attaches to the judicial protection of human rights in Europe and to the work of the European Court of Human Rights, which lends our system of human rights protection its unique character.”
Julian Platt, Founder and Chairman of Third Millennium Information, stated: “We are immensely proud to have worked with an institution as vital and as prestigious as the European Court of Human Rights in creating a book which we feel succinctly and justly sums up the legacy, stature and possible future directions of the Court.”