Justice Secretary Ken Clarke said an agreement reached at a conference in Brighton will make
"a big difference" to the European Court of Human Rights.
The 47 member countries have been discussing UK plans to curb its powers.
Court president Sir Nicolas Bratza said the Brighton declaration would "not change the way we do our jobs".
But Mr Clarke said it would reduce the "appalling backlog" of cases and "scandalous delays" that currently dog the court.
The UK has criticised some judgements, including giving prisoners the vote and blocking the deportation of Abu Qatada.
At the end of last year, judges in Strasbourg faced a backlog
of nearly 152,000 cases, of which an estimated 90,000 will end up being
categorised as "inadmissible".
Opening the Brighton meeting, Mr Clarke said "huge progress"
had been made in tackling the number of inadmissible cases, but the
court was still receiving more admissible cases than it could handle in
"a timely manner" - some 3,000 a year, compared with a manageable
workload of 2,000.
He said some of those "stuck waiting in that queue" would be
serious cases that "should not wait years before they are determined".
The justice secretary says the European Court should take only "serious cases"
- Jan 2012 - Blocks deportation of radical cleric Abu Qatada from UK to Jordan
- 2010 - Upholds complaint against British
anti-terror law allowing police to stop and search people without firm
grounds for suspicion
- 2009 - Rules Bosnia's constitution discriminates against Jews and Roma
- 2009 - Rules against the hanging of crucifixes in Italy's classrooms
- 2005: Upholds ban on headscarves in Turkish universities
- 2005: Rules that UK ban on prisoners voting breaches their human rights
- 2005 - Rules that Turkey failed to give Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan a fair trial
- 2005: Finds Russia guilty of human rights abuses in Chechnya
|Liveleak on Facebook|