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The Concept of "Continuing" Violations of Human Rights

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the context of the European Convention on Human Rights (?the Convention?). If a violation occurred at a time when the Convention was not yet in force, or before the respondent State had accepted the competence of the European Commission of Human Rights (?the Commission?) to deal with individual petitions, the Commission has no competence ratione temporis to deal with such a violation. The European Court of Human Rights has no competenceto deal with breaches of the Convention which occurred before its competence was accepted by the State against which the complaint is made. The distinction between continuing violations and instantaneous violations is also found in the general principles of public international law. The Commission dealt for the first time with the concept of continuing violations in the De Becker case.

Keywords: continuing violations; De Becker case; European Commission of Human Rights; European Convention on Human Rights; European Court of Human Rights; international law; ratione temporis



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