The scope of the margin of appreciation in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights
Keywords:the European Court of Human Rights, human rights, permissible limitations on human rights, margin of appreciation, principle of subsidiarity, principle of proportionality, the European consensus, autonomous interpretation, dynamic interpretation
The article analyzes the essence and features of the application of the doctrine of margin of appreciation in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. It has been established that the margin of appreciation can be wide or narrow. The factors influencing the scope of the state’s margin of appreciation while effectively ensuring and protecting the rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights have been identified and examined. The core criteria and principles of law, which are applied and developed in its case-law by the European Court of Human Rights when granting a certain scope of discretionary powers, have been studied.
It is concluded that the key task of the European Court of Human Rights is to exercise effective review over the ensuring and protection of human rights and freedoms enshrined by the European Convention on Human Rights. When defining and granting the margin of appreciation, the European Court of Human Rights is guided by the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. The scope of the state’s discretion always depends on the circumstances of each particular case, the type and specifics of the violated and/or limited right, its significance for the individual, the characteristics of competing interests, the background and context of the interference, the presence or absence of the European consensus on the issue at stake, the purpose of the interference, the degree of its intensity and the duration, the nature of restrictive measures and their results, as well as the proportionality of the restriction of human rights and freedoms.
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