In marking the 60th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights,1 the Council of Europe has chosen to look forwards, to the future of the Court,2 rather than backwards. This would appear to be a healthy sign. To look backwards at such a time might imply a lack of commitment to the future of the Court or, at the very least, a troubling degree of complacency and self-congratulation. That said, it is not inappropriate to congratulate the creators and operators of the Court, and previously the Commission,3 en passant for the achievements of what is arguably the most successful human rights mechanism in the world. Much the same problem applies to the focus of an essay to mark the contribution of Kevin Boyle to the field of human
rights at the European level. It would be easy to look back. Kevin has contributed to the work of the Commission and the Court over four decades through the representation of applicants. His cases have come from the North (Norway4) to the South (Turkey5) and from the East (Serbia6) to the West (Ireland7), including a number from the United Kingdom.8 The issues involved have included freedom of expression, torture and other proscribed ill-treatment, the destruction of homes and consequent displacement, the failure to provide effective domestic remedies and the scope of the extraterritorial applicability of the Convention. Many, if not most, of the cases have been highly controversial in the territory of the respondent government. To the best of my knowledge, he has never brought a case about the length of criminal or civil proceedings. Kevin Boyle is not, however, one for looking backwards. The focus of this chapter will therefore be on the future of the Court.