Sir Nicolas Bratza
|Bratza (left) with George Stack, then Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, at the Red Mass, 1 October 2010|
|President of the
European Court of Human Rights
3 November 2011 – 31 October 2012
|Preceded by||Jean-Paul Costa|
|Succeeded by||Dean Spielmann|
|Judge of the
European Court of Human Rights
in respect of the United Kingdom
1998 – 31 October 2012
|Preceded by||Sir John Freeland|
|Succeeded by||Paul Mahoney|
|Born||3 March 1945|
|Alma mater||University of Oxford|
Sir Nicolas Dušan Bratza (born 3 March 1945) is a British lawyer and a former President of the European Court of Human Rights.
Bratza was the Judge of the Court in respect of the United Kingdom, the second person to hold the post as a full-time appointment since Protocol 11 to the European Convention on Human Rights established the Court as a permanent body. His term ended on 31 October 2012. He was appointed as a Board member of the International Service for Human Rights in May 2013.
Sir Nicolas was born on 3 March 1945 and educated at Wimbledon College, a state-maintained Jesuit school for boys. His father was Milan Bratza, a Serbian concert violinist who settled in London after the First World War, and his mother, an operatic singer, came from the Russell family, which has produced three generations of Law Lords (Charles Russell, Frank Russell and Charles Ritchie Russell). He studied Law at Brasenose College, Oxford, and was awarded a first class degree. He then spent two years teaching at the University of Pennsylvania Law School before being called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1969, where he was a Hardwicke and Droop Scholar. He was appointed a Bencher of the Inn in 1993.
Bratza was appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown at Common Law in 1979 and took silk as Queen's Counsel in 1988. He acted in 1981 for the UK Government at the European Court of Human Rights against Jeffrey Dudgeon who complained successfully that the law in Northern Ireland, which made homosexual acts between consenting adult males a criminal offence, was a breach of the Convention. In 1993, Bratza was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court and elected a Bencher of Lincoln's Inn.
In the same year, he was appointed as the UK Member of the European Commission of Human Rights, part of the European Convention on Human Rights system of the Council of Europe. In 1998, the Commission was abolished and replaced by a permanent European Court of Human Rights, and Bratza was elected as the Judge of this Court representing the United Kingdom. The eligibility criteria for appointment, however, required that Bratza hold judicial office in his home territory, and for this reason he was appointed a High Court judge. This afforded him the title The Hon. Mr. Justice Bratza, but at the European Court he is referred to simply as Sir Nicolas Bratza. In the same year, and again in 2001, he was elected as one of the five section presidents of the court. He was elected to a second and final term as a judge of the court (ending 31 October 2012) and re-elected as a section president in 2004. He was a vice-president of the court from 19 January 2007 to 3 November 2011. In July 2011, he was elected to succeed Jean-Paul Costa as President of the court on 3 November 2011. His term on the court ended on 31 October 2012, and he resigned as a Justice of the High Court on 1 November 2012.
Bratza is a member of the Advisory Council and former Vice-Chairman of the British Institute of Human Rights, a member of the Advisory Board of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and a member of the Editorial Board of the European Human Rights Law Review.
- The Cripps lecture 2006, Howard League for Penal Reform
- Election of President and Vice-Presidents, European Court of Human Rights, October 2004
- European Court of Human Rights Judges
- Britain's man fights to keep a new Europe out of dark ages
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Nicolas Bratza|
- "Procedure for electing judges to the European Court of Human Rights". Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. 9 February 2011. p. 7. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
- Britain's man fights to keep a new Europe out of dark ages, Daily Telegraph 15 May 2003
- "British judge elected president of European rights court". Focus Information Agency. Retrieved 4 July 2011.