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Autonomous Interpretation by the European Court of Human Rights and Margin of Appreciation


The article is devoted to the problem of interpretation and application in practice of the European human rights standards through autonomous interpretation, as well as to the definition of the role and significance of the doctrine of margin of appreciation in this process. The relevance of the subject matter of research is due to the need to implement effective mechanisms for ensuring and protecting key human rights and freedoms in Ukraine, the establishment of the European principles of law and the European identity. The purpose of the study is a comprehensive analysis of the formation and evolution of the doctrine of autonomous interpretation in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights by studying and synthesizing judicial practice on the application of autonomous interpretation and elaboration on this basis of a system of autonomous concepts that reflect the common European vision of fundamental human rights and are also a kind of foundation of the European human rights law. The methodological basis of the paper are philosophical, general scientific and special research methods, in particular, dialectical, historical, logical, systemic, sociological, and comparative methods. The study concludes that it is through autonomous interpretation based on the European consensus that the European Court of Human Rights establishes imperative standards for the interpretation and application of human rights in practice, which prevents certain violations by particular member states of the Council of Europe, as well as supports the convergence and harmonization of different national legal systems, which contributes to the formation of the most homogeneous legal environment and the European system of human rights protection. The practical feasibility of the study is aimed primarily at applying autonomous concepts in practice, prima facie, by the judiciary.