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7 Int'l J. on Minority & Group Rts. 291 (2000)
A Frame an Incomplete Painting: Comparison of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities with International Standards and Monitoring Procedures

handle is hein.journals/ijmgr7 and id is 311 raw text is: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights 7: 291-304, 2000.  291
© Kluwer Law International. Printed in the Netherlands.
A Frame an Incomplete Painting: Comparison of the Framework
Convention for the Protection of National Minorities with Inter-
national Standards and Monitoring Procedures
Raoul Wallenberg Institute, University of Lund, Sweden
The Council of Europe is known for and rightly proud of its contribution to the
promotion and protection of human rights. The Convention for the Protection of
Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, with its Protocols, is a credible and
successful flagship. Its standards are increasingly being incorporated in nation-
al laws and used by national courts. Significant case-law has emerged from the
European Court of Human Rights which stands as a model for other interna-
tional organizations. With a foundation in democracy and the rule of law, the
Council has made significant progress towards translating the human rights
standards into reality through the objective and impartial application of written
law to individual complaints.
In comparison, the Framework Convention for the Protection of National
Minorities (FC) and the mandate of the Advisory Committee (AC) under that
Convention are quite disappointing. In the first part of this article, the FC will
be subjected to a critical assessment. In the second part, the AC as the monitor-
ing body and the Council of Europe will be encouraged to build on whatever
strengths the FC possesses and to counter some of its shortcomings.
By way of conclusion, it is argued that minority rights, including special
measures and group rights, must be addressed in a protocol to the European
Convention if persons belonging to minorities are ever to enjoy full dignity and
equal rights with majority populations. Furthermore, it is argued that judicial
response to demands for special measures would seriously contribute to the real-
*  The author is an Icelandic lawyer with an M.C.J.-degree from New York University School of
Law (1976) and an S.J.D.-degree from Harvard Law School (1982). He worked in the UN Office of Legal
Affairs in New York and the UN Centre for Human Rights in Geneva from 1983 to 1995. He is current-
ly the Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and Professor
at the University of Lund in Sweden. This article is to a large extent based on a presentation to a Council
of Europe minority rights seminar in Strasbourg in October 1998.

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