The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has elected five judges to European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The appointments were made ahead of the Court's official opening of the judicial year today.
Four of the judges are newly elected whilst the fifth is a sitting judge from Latvia who has been re-elected. The four newly elected judges are from Bulgaria, Ireland, Moldova and Turkey.
The terms of office of the Bulgarian, Moldovan and Turkish judges will begin on 1 May 2008 and that of the Latvian judge on 1 February 2008, whilst the Irish judge takes effect immediately.
The elected judges are:
Judges are elected by the Assembly on the basis of lists of three candidates submitted by States which have ratified the European Convention on Human Rights. Under the present terms of the Convention, judges are elected for a six-year term of office and can be re-elected.
Speaking at the annual press conference, the Court's President, Mr Jean-Paul Costa, revealed that the number of pending cases before the Court had risen 15% (from 90,000 in 2006 to 103,000 in 2007). The total number of judgments delivered by the Court in 2007 was 1503, fewer than the 1560 delivered in 2006. However, Mr Costa said that was the result of the Courts decision to focus on the more complex and serious cases, which took longer to process.
The Court also issued its annual table of violations by country for 2007. The table reveals that Turkey had the highest number of judgments finding at least one violation of the Convention recorded against it, followed by Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Romania.