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Europe: Human Rights Policies

Volume 572: debated on Tuesday 21 May 1996

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether their proposal to persuade the other members of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to join with them in passing a resolution on the approach of the European Court of Human Rights to the "margin of appreciation" is intended to influence the exercise of judicial functions by the court; and, if not, what is the purpose of such a resolution.

We want the Strasbourg institutions to give full weight to their own principle that free societies have the right, within limits, to choose for themselves the human rights policies that best suit them. The intention is to allow for diversity while maintaining the standards of the European Convention on Human Rights. A resolution by the Committee of Ministers might be one way of encouraging the consistent application of this approach.