Remarks on U.S.-European Court of Human Rights

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
March 2, 2012

Good morning. I am delighted to welcome you to this historic first official meeting in what I hope will become continuous engagement between the European Court of Human Rights and the United States Supreme Court. Today’s conference provides an important opportunity for justices and scholars to address issues that affect these two courts and judicial systems the world over.

The United States and Europe share deeply rooted, common convictions about the importance of advancing democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental human rights. Courts around the world increasingly look to the decisions of these two courts for guidance, making your engagement all the more crucial.

Your work reinforces democracy and promotes the rule of law. It guarantees free elections, and clears political space for the freedom of association, expression, and religion. It combats discrimination. These are values we can all agree on—because they are part of who we are.

I look forward to hearing about how this dialogue between our own Supreme Court and its European counterparts can find ways to strengthen our common purpose. Today’s conference marks an important milestone in that learning process, and I hope this dialogue can continue with the support of the U.S. government in the years ahead.