Council of Europe Treaty Series
The governments signatory hereto, being members of the Council of Europe,
Considering the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10th December 1948;
Considering that this Declaration aims at securing the universal and effective recognition and observance of the Rights therein declared;
Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is the achievement of greater unity between its members and that one of the methods by which that aim is to be pursued is the maintenance and further realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms;
Reaffirming their profound belief in those fundamental freedoms which are the foundation of justice and peace in the world and are best maintained on the one hand by an effective political democracy and on the other by a common understanding and observance of the human rights upon which they depend;
Being resolved, as the governments of European countries which are like-minded and have a common heritage of political traditions, ideals, freedom and the rule of law, to take the first steps for the collective enforcement of certain of the rights stated in the Universal Declaration,
Have agreed as follows:
Article 1 Obligation to respect human rights 1
The High Contracting Parties shall secure to everyone within their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms defined in Section I of this Convention.
Section I Rights and freedoms 1
Article 2 Right to life1
Article 3 Prohibition of torture1
No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 4 Prohibition of slavery and forced labour1
Article 5 Right to liberty and security1
Article 6 Right to a fair trial1
Article 7 No punishment without law1
Article 8 Right to respect for private and family life1
Article 9 Freedom of thought, conscience and religion1
Article 10 Freedom of expression1
Article 11 Freedom of assembly and association1
Article 12 Right to marry1
Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family, according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right.
Article 13 Right to an effective remedy1
Everyone whose rights and freedoms as set forth in this Convention are violated shall have an effective remedy before a national authority notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity.
Article 14 Prohibition of discrimination1
The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.
Article 15 Derogation in time of emergency1
Article 16 Restrictions on political activity of aliens1
Nothing in Articles 10, 11 and 14 shall be regarded as preventing the High Contracting Parties from imposing restrictions on the political activity of aliens.
Article 17 Prohibition of abuse of rights1
Nothing in this Convention may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for in the Convention.
Article 18 Limitation on use of restrictions on rights1
The restrictions permitted under this Convention to the said rights and freedoms shall not be applied for any purpose other than those for which they have been prescribed.
Section II European Court of Human Rights2
Article 19 Establishment of the Court
To ensure the observance of the engagements undertaken by the High Contracting Parties in the Convention and the Protocols thereto, there shall be set up a European Court of Human Rights, hereinafter referred to as "the Court". It shall function on a permanent basis.
Article 20 Number of judges
The Court shall consist of a number of judges equal to that of the High Contracting Parties.
Article 21 Criteria for office
Article 22 Election of judges
Article 23 Terms of office
Article 24 Dismissal
No judge may be dismissed from his office unless the other judges decide by a majority of two-thirds that he has ceased to fulfil the required conditions.
Article 25 Registry and legal secretaries
The Court shall have a registry, the functions and organisation of which shall be laid down in the rules of the Court. The Court shall be assisted by legal secretaries.
Article 26 Plenary Court
The plenary Court shall:
Article 27 Committees, Chambers and Grand Chamber
Article 28 Declarations of inadmissibility by committees
A committee may, by a unanimous vote, declare inadmissible or strike out of its list of cases an application submitted under Article 34 where such a decision can be taken without further examination. The decision shall be final.
Article 29 Decisions by Chambers on admissibility and merits
Article 30 Relinquishment of jurisdiction to the Grand Chamber
Where a case pending before a Chamber raises a serious question affecting the interpretation of the Convention or the protocols thereto, or where the resolution of a question before the Chamber might have a result inconsistent with a judgment previously delivered by the Court, the Chamber may, at any time before it has rendered its judgment, relinquish jurisdiction in favour of the Grand Chamber, unless one of the parties to the case objects.
Article 31 Powers of the Grand Chamber
The Grand Chamber shall:
Article 32 Jurisdiction of the Court
Article 33 Inter-State cases
Any High Contracting Party may refer to the Court any alleged breach of the provisions of the Convention and the protocols thereto by another High Contracting Party.
Article 34 Individual applications
The Court may receive applications from any person, non-governmental organisation or group of individuals claiming to be the victim of a violation by one of the High Contracting Parties of the rights set forth in the Convention or the protocols thereto. The High Contracting Parties undertake not to hinder in any way the effective exercise of this right.
Article 35 Admissibility criteria
Article 36 Third party intervention
Article 37 Striking out applications
However, the Court shall continue the examination of the application if respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and the protocols thereto so requires.
Article 38 Examination of the case and friendly settlement proceedings
Article 39 Finding of a friendly settlement
If a friendly settlement is effected, the Court shall strike the case out of its list by means of a decision which shall be confined to a brief statement of the facts and of the solution reached.
Article 40 Public hearings and access to documents
Article 41 Just satisfaction
If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.
Article 42 Judgments of Chambers
Judgments of Chambers shall become final in accordance with the provisions of Article 44, paragraph 2.
Article 43 Referral to the Grand Chamber
Article 44 Final judgments
Article 45 Reasons for judgments and decisions
Article 46 Binding force and execution of judgments
Article 47 Advisory opinions
Article 48 Advisory jurisdiction of the Court
The Court shall decide whether a request for an advisory opinion submitted by the Committee of Ministers is within its competence as defined in Article 47.
Article 49 Reasons for advisory opinions
Article 50 Expenditure on the Court
The expenditure on the Court shall be borne by the Council of Europe.
Article 51 Privileges and immunities of judges
The judges shall be entitled, during the exercise of their functions, to the privileges and immunities provided for in Article 40 of the Statute of the Council of Europe and in the agreements made thereunder.
Section III Miscellaneous provisions1,3
Article 52 Inquiries by the Secretary General1
On receipt of a request from the Secretary General of the Council of Europe any High Contracting Party shall furnish an explanation of the manner in which its internal law ensures the effective implementation of any of the provisions of the Convention.
Article 53 Safeguard for existing human rights1
Nothing in this Convention shall be construed as limiting or derogating from any of the human rights and fundamental freedoms which may be ensured under the laws of any High Contracting Party or under any other agreement to which it is a Party.
Article 54 Powers of the Committee of Ministers1
Nothing in this Convention shall prejudice the powers conferred on the Committee of Ministers by the Statute of the Council of Europe.
Article 55 Exclusion of other means of dispute settlement1
The High Contracting Parties agree that, except by special agreement, they will not avail themselves of treaties, conventions or declarations in force between them for the purpose of submitting, by way of petition, a dispute arising out of the interpretation or application of this Convention to a means of settlement other than those provided for in this Convention.
Article 56 Territorial application1
Article 57 Reservations1
Article 58 Denunciation 1
Article 59 Signature and ratification 1
Chart of declarations made pursuant to former Articles 25 and 46
|ETS No. 005 - ETS No. 009 - ETS No. 114|
|former ARTICLE 25 (1)||former ARTICLE 46 (1)|
|first declarations||last declarations||first declarations||last declarations|
|ANDORRA||22/01/96||22/01/96||3 years||22/01/96||22/01/96||3 years|
|BELGIUM||05/07/55||30/06/97||5 years||05/07/55||29/06/97||5 years|
|BULGARIA||07/09/92||07/09/92||3 years (b)||07/09/92||07/09/92||3 years(b)|
|CZECH REPUBLIC||18/03/92 (i)||18/03/92||5 years(b)||18/03/92 (i)||18/03/92||5 years (b)|
|ESTONIA||16/04/96||16/04/96||3 years||16/04/96||16/04/96||3 years|
|FRANCE||02/10/81||22/09/94||5 years||03/05/74||22/09/94||5 years|
|GERMANY||05/07/55||01/07/94||5 years||05/07/55||01/07/94||5 years|
|GREECE||20/11/85||20/11/97||3 years||30/01/79||24/06/97||3 years|
|HUNGARY||05/11/92||05/11/92||5 years(b)||05/11/92||05/11/92||5 years (b)|
|ITALY||01/01/73||01/01/97||3 years||01/01/73||01/01/97||3 years|
|LATVIA||27/06/97||27/06/97||3 years||27/06/97||27/06/97||3 years|
|LIECHTENSTEIN||08/09/82||08/09/94||3 years||08/09/82||08/09/94||3 years|
|LUXEMBOURG||28/04/58||28/04/96||5 years||28/04/58||28/04/96||5 years|
|MALTA||01/05/87||01/05/97||5 years||01/05/87||01/05/97||5 years|
|NORWAY||10/12/55||29/06/92||5 years||16/07/64||29/06/92||5 years|
|POLAND||01/05/93||01/05/93||3 years (b)||01/05/93||01/05/93||3 years(b)|
|PORTUGAL||09/11/78||09/11/78||2 years(b)||09/11/78||09/11/78||2 years(b)|
|SAN MARINO||22/03/89||22/03/95||3 years||22/03/89||22/03/95||3 years|
|SLOVAKIA||18/03/92 (i)||18/03/92||5 years (b)||18/03/92 (i)||18/03/92||5 years (b)|
|SPAIN||01/07/81||15/10/85||5 years (b)||15/10/79||15/10/90||5 years (b)|
|"THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA"||10/04/97||01/01/98||(c)||10/04/97||01/01/98||(c)|
|UNITED KINGDOM||14/01/66||14/01/96||5 years||14/01/66||14/01/96||5 years|
The Conference of High Contracting Parties agreed by consensus that the provisions regarding the new single-judge formation and the new competence of the Committees of three judges contained in Protocol No. 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights are to be applied on a provisional basis with respect to those states that express their consent, according to the modalities set out in document CM(2009)71 rev2.
If agreement were to be reached by consensus between the High Contracting Parties, the provisional application in accordance with Article 25 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of certain provisions of Protocol No. 14 to the Convention would take place in the following manner:
a. the relevant parts of Protocol No. 14 are Article 4 (the second paragraph added to Article 24 of the Convention), Article 6 (in so far as it relates to the single-judge formation), Article 7 (provisions on the competence of single judges) and Article 8 (provisions on the competence of committees), to be applied jointly;
b. any of the High Contracting Parties may at any time declare by means of a notification addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe that it accepts, in its respect, the provisional application of the above-mentioned parts of Protocol No. 14. Such declaration of acceptance will take effect on the first day of the month following the date of its receipt by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe; the above-mentioned parts of Protocol No. 14 will not be applied in respect of Parties that have not made such a declaration of acceptance;
c. from the date on which the declaration of acceptance takes effect in respect of a High Contracting Party, the above-mentioned parts of Protocol No. 14 will apply in respect of individual applications brought against it, including those pending before the Court at that date. They will not apply in respect of any individual application brought against two or more High Contracting Parties unless a declaration of acceptance is in effect or Protocol No. 14 bis, if adopted and opened for signature, is in force or applied on a provisional basis in respect of all of them;
d. the Secretary General of the Council of Europe will notify the High Contracting Parties and the European Court of Human Rights of any declaration of acceptance received pursuant to the agreement. Such a declaration will cease to be effective upon the entry into force of Protocol No. 14 bis to the Convention in respect of the High Contracting Party concerned;
e. the provisional application of the above-mentioned provisions of Protocol No. 14 will terminate upon entry into force of Protocol No. 14 or if the High Contracting Parties in some other manner so agree.
Parties to the
|Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|"the former yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"|