Fair Balance: Proportionality, Subsidiarity and Primarity in the European Convention on Human Rights


In one of the most important publications on the European Convention and Court of Human Rights in recent years, a wide range of fundamental practical and theoretical problems of crucial importance are addressed in an original and critical way bringing a fresh, coherent and innovative order into well-known battle zones.
The analysis revolves around the Court’s fair balance-test and comprises in-depth analyses of e.g. methods of interpretation, proportionality, the least onerous means-test, the notion of absolute rights, subsidiarity, formal and substantive principles, evidentiary standards, proceduralisation of substantive rights etc. The author coins the term of “primarity” in order to clarify the obligation of the Contracting Parties to implement the Convention in domestic law.
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Biographical Note

Jonas Christoffersen, Dr. jur., Executive Director of the Danish Institute of Human Rights. He has published extensively on human rights law and has profes­sional experience as attorney, law clerk at the Danish Supreme Court, judge at the Danish High Court, and Ass. Professor of International Human Rights Law at Co­penhagen University.

Review Quotes

“Jonas Christoffersen’s book is undoubtedly one of the most important publications on the Convention and the Court in recent years. Such is his mastery of both the details and the overall picture that he exhibits a keen sense of what is the reality of the Strasbourg mechanisms. As the author discusses and appraises these major notions, he brings a fresh, coherent and innovative order into well-known battle zones. Again and again I have found his views helpful and realistic, sometimes challenging, but always well worth studying. Given the breadth of Christoffersen’s ambition, one could always find points to quibble about. But there is no doubt that this is an enriching and immensely learned book.”
Past president of the European Court, professor Luzius Wildhaber.

Table of contents

Table of Contents; Table of figures; Foreword; Preface;
Chapter 1 Introduction;
Chapter 2 The principle of proportionality;
Chapter 3 The principle of subsidiarity;
Chapter 4 The principle of primarity (formal aspect);
Chapter 5 The principle of primarity (substantive aspect);
Bibliography; Index of cases; Index.


All interested in human rights, constitutional rights and international law.


Collection Information