Among the most important developments in the quest to further human rights on planet Earth over the past fifty years has been the emergence of the European Court on Human Rights. For among the first times in history, there is a recognized court whose jurisdiction entails defending human rights of those who are being oppressed. Last year, the European Court on Human Rights issued 2,395 rulings on a wide spectrum of issues dealing with nations or groups which violate the human dignity of people. Turkey led the list of violators with 341 rulings against it and Russia was not that far behind with 210 negative decisions. Most of the cases dealt with violation of individual rights, mistreatment of prisoners and denial of due process.
The European Court on Human Rights is not a perfect example of how the world can handle oppression of people, but it represents an important first step on the path toward creating a world court which would protect individuals on every part of this planet when their rights are violated.