Jacobs, White and Ovey: The European Court of Human Rights, 7th edition

Bernadette Rainey, Elizabeth Wicks and Clare Ovey

£36.99, OUP

This edition presents a relatively compact reference guide to the ECHR with up-to-date references to Strasbourg case law. Expressly intended as a guide to the interpretation of the convention from the Strasbourg perspective, the book does not attempt to refer to convention member states’ own approach to convention rights. This broadens its appeal to practitioners across ECHR state parties and allows the legal foundation of human rights arguments to be laid before their country-specific development.


The strength of the text is its accessible structure. Chapter by chapter, the book presents an overview of each convention right, practical examples of its interpretation and application, together with concluding analysis and remarks. The latter is an important addition; the substantive chapters are effectively neutral, with the authors’ commentary clearly distinguished. This gives practitioners confidence to argue the law as it stands and to develop submissions on its interpretation.

The addition of the linked online resource centre complements the text. It provides a list of useful websites, including governmental and non-governmental organisations, along with suggestions for further reading and space for updates to the text itself. This should ensure that readers of this seventh edition will retain access to significant developments in the case law long after the publication date.

For legal scholars, the comprehensive overview the book provides of the workings and approach of the Strasbourg court is helpful. For those involved in litigating convention rights, the book represents an invaluable, practical and trusted starting point on the road to obtaining just satisfaction at the European court.

Malcolm Hawkes is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers in London