Document Type : Article


1 International law, law & political science, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran

2 Ph.D. in International Law, Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


The margin of appreciation as an established doctrine in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is a methodology for precise examination of decisions of national authorities by international courts. According to this doctrine, national authorities are in a better position than international judges to decide on the better application of the European Convention on Human Rights.  In this article, the doctrine has been examined from both theoretical and practical perspectives. It has also been discussed whether the doctrine is applicable in international legal obligation of states. Although in the field of human rights the margin of appreciation for states has sometimes been approved, it cannot be extended to all international legal obligations.


  1. انگلیسی

    1. A) Books
    2. Legg, A (2012), The Margin of Appreciation in international Human Right law, Deference and proportionality.
    3. Raz.Y (1979), The Authority of Law, Oxford,Clarendon Press.
    4. Yourow.C.H (1996), Margin of Appreciation Doctrine in the Dynamics of European Human Rights, Hague, Martinus Nijhoff Publisher.


    1. B) Articles
    2. Benvenisti, Eyal (1998), "Margin Of Appreciation, Consensus, And Universal Standards", New York University Journal of International Law And Politics ,Vol. 31, No.4.
    3. Brauch, J.A, (2005), “The Margin of Appreciation and the Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights: Threat to the Rule of Law”, Columbia Journal of European Law,Vol.11, No.1.
    4. Butler, Petra (2008), "Margin Of Appreciation – A Note Towards A Solution For The Pacific?" , Victoria University of Wellington Law Review, Vol.39, No.4
    5. Greer, S, (2008), “What's Wrong with the European Convention on Human Rights”, Human Rights Quarterly,Vol.80,No.4
    6. Keller, P,(1998), “Re-thinking Ethnic and Cultural Rights in Europe”, 18 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Vol.18, No.1
    7. Macklem.P, (2006), "Militant Democracy, Legal Pluralism, and the Paradox of Self-Determination", International Journal of Constitutional Law,Vol.4, No.3.
    8. Shany, Y,(2005), “Toward a General Margin of Appreciation Doctrine in International Law?” European Journal of International Law , Vol.16, No.4
    9. Shuibhne,N, (2009),"Margins of Appreciation: National Values, Fundamental Rights and EC Free Movement Law" European Law Review, Vol 32, No.2.
    10. Wahlish, Martin (2014),"ECtHR Chamber Judgment Case Of S.A.S. V. France: Banning Of Burqas And Niqabs Legal?," Cambridge International Law Journal , available at:


    1. C) Cases
    2. Campte, Van Leuven and De Meyere v. Belgium, ECtHR,1982,( Judgment of 23 June)
    3. Case Concerning Oil Platforms Between Islamic Republic of Iran and United States of America,ICJ,2003,(Judgement of 6th November)
    4. Case of S.A.S. vs France, ECtHR,2014,(Judgement of 1st July)
    5. Dudgeon v. United Kingdom, ECtHR,1982,(Judgement of 22nd October)
    6. Laval un Partneri Ltd v Svenska Byggnadsarbetareförbundet ECJ,2007, (Judgement of 12 June)
    7. Marckx v. Belgium, ECtHR,1979,(Judgment of 13th June)
    8. McGuiness v. United Kingdom, ECtHR ,1999,(Judgement of 8th June)
    9. Oberschlick v. Austria, ECtHR ,1994,(Judgement of 23rd May 1991)
    10. Omega Spielhallen und Automatenaufstellungs-GmbH v Oberbürgermeisterin der Bundesstadt Bonn,ECJ,2004,(Judgement of 14th October)
    11. Schmidberger v Austria,ECJ, 2003,(Judgement of 12th June)
    12. Stankov and the United Macedonian Organisation Ilinden v. Bulgaria, ECtHR ,2001,( Judgement of 2nd October)
    13. United Communist Party of Turkey and others v. Turkey, ECtHR, 1998,(Judgment of 30th January)


    1. D) Documents
    2. Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR), (1950)
    3. European Union(2004)EC Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States


    1. E) Opinions of Judges
    2. Judge Buergenthal (2003), Separate Opinion on Oil platforms Case before ICJ
    3. Judge Koojimans (2003)Separate Opinion on Oil platforms Case before ICJ


    Refrences In Persian:

    1. Ahmadinejad, Maryam &Aminoroaya, Yaser (2010), “Analysis of margin of flexibility interpretation doctorine in non human rights treaties with emphasis on commercial and investment treaties”, Internaitiolal law review, 60 (In Persian).
    2. Abdi, ayoob & zamani, ghassem (2017), “states margin of appreciation in freedm of religion in European court of human rights practice”, Public law research journal, 55 (In Persian).
    3. -------------------------------------------- (2007),  “Legal nature of permitted margin of interpretation doctorine”, Forein policy journal 30 (In Persian).
    4. 3-Sharifi tarazkoohi, hossein & mobini, javad (2005), “Permitted margin of interpretation doctorine in European court of human rights practice”, Public law research journal, 44 (In Persian).