Rule 39 and the Rule of Law

June 5, 2023

This report considers the legal status of “interim measures” that are indicated by (a single judge of) the European Court of Human Rights under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.  Many lawyers and jurists argue that failure to comply with a Rule 39 measure would breach the UK’s international legal obligations and would undermine the rule of law, in much the same way as if a minister failed to comply with an interim ruling of a domestic court.  Policy Exchange’s new report shows that on the contrary the Strasbourg Court has no authority to grant interim relief and member states have no obligation in international law to comply with Rule 39 rulings.

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Richard Ekins

Head of the Judicial Power Project

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