Right of Access to Supreme Courts in Light of the Guarantees under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (civil aspect)

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Right of access to a court, enshrined in Article 6 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms forms one of the basis for reinforcement of the principle of rule of law. However, the right of access to a court may be limited by provisions of national legislation regulating the functioning of the judicial system and rules of judicial procedure. The higher the hierarchy of the court, the more limits may be placed on the right of access to it. The aim of this article is to examine the different modalities of organisation of supreme judiciaries in European countries (members of the Council of Europe) and mechanisms established in national legislation for filtering applications to those jurisdictions in civil cases, in light of the principles set forth in that regard by the ever evolving case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, and the effects of its judgments and decisions on national legal systems.

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