British judge elected president of European rights court

4th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

British judge Nicolas Bratza was on Monday elected president of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Bratza was chosen by his peers to replace Frenchman Jean-Paul Costa in November, when the incumbent would have reached the maximum age of 70 set for the job.

Bratza, 66, has served on the Strasbourg-based court since 1998, and is currently the tribunal's vice president.

He is the son of the celebrated Serbian-born violinist Milan Bratza, who moved to London after World War I.

Bratza's election to the top of the European court comes following months of tension between the court and the British government.

At the end of February, British Justice Minister Kenneth Clarke said London wanted major reforms at Europe's human rights tribunal after it ruled that Britain must give prisoners the right to vote within six months.

British Prime Minister David Cameron vehemently opposed the ruling, and said the idea of letting convicted criminals vote "made him sick."

© 2011 AFP

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