The European Court of Human Rights elected Sir Nicolas Bratza (British) as its new President. He will take office on 4 November 2011. The President was elected by secret ballot by the Court’s 47 judges. Sir Nicolas Bratza succeeds Jean-Paul Costa (French), whose mandate will come to an end on 3 November 2011, because he has reached the age limit fixed by the European Convention on Human Rights.
Sir Nicolas was born on 3 March 1945. He studied law at the University of Oxford. After qualifying as a lawyer, he was appointed Junior Counsel of the Crown and then Queen’s Counsel. In 1993 he was elected a Bencher at Lincoln’s Inn and subsequently appointed a Recorder at the Crown Court. He was made a High Court judge in 1998. Sir Nicolas was a member of the European Commission of Human Rights between 1993 and 1998. He has been a judge at the European Court of Human Rights since 1 November 1998 and Section President since 2001 (he was also Section President between 1998 and 2000). Since 19 January 2007 he has also been Vice-President of the Court.