European Court of Human Rights
|European Court of Human Rights|
|Country||47 member states of the |
|Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights|
|No. of positions||47 judges. One from each of the 47 member states of the |
|Since||2010 (judge), 2015 (President)|
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
the Council of Europe
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR or ECtHR;
An application can be lodged by an individual, a group of individuals, or one or more of the other contracting states. Aside from judgments, the Court can also issue advisory opinions. The Convention was adopted within the context of the
The Court was established on 21 January 1959 on the basis of Article 19 of the
The jurisdiction of the Court has been recognized to date by all 47 member states of the Council of Europe. On 1 November, 1998, the Court became a full-time institution and the
The accession of new states to the
In 1999 8,400 applications were allocated to be heard. In 2003 27,200 cases were filed and the number of pending applications rose to approximately 65,000. In 2005, the Court opened 45,500 case files. In 2009 57,200 applications were allocated, with the number of pending applications rose to 119,300. At the time more than 90% of them were declared to be inadmissible, and the majority of cases decided, around 60% of the decisions by the Court, related to what is termed repetitive cases, where the Court has already delivered judgment finding a violation of the
Protocol 11 was designed to deal with the backlog of pending cases by establishing the Court and its judges as a full-time institution, by simplifying the procedure and reducing the length of proceedings. However, as the workload of the Court continued to increase, the contracting states agreed that further reforms were necessary and in May 2004 the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers adopted Protocol 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights.
Protocol 14 was drafted with the aim of reducing the workload of the Court and that of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which supervises the execution of judgments, so that the Court could focus on cases that raise important human rights issues.
Protocol 14 entered into force on 1 June 2010, three months after it was ratified by all 47 contracting states to the Convention. Between 2006 and 2010, Russia was the only contracting state to refuse to ratify Protocol 14. In 2010, Russia ended its opposition to the protocol, in exchange for a guarantee that Russian judges would be involved in reviewing complaints against Russia.
Protocol 14 led to reforms in three areas: The Court's filtering capacity was reinforced to deal with clearly inadmissible applications, new admissibility criteria were introduced so that cases where the applicant has not suffered a significant disadvantage would be declared inadmissible, and measures were introduced to deal more effectively with repetitive cases.
Protocol 14 amended the Convention so that judges would be elected for a non-renewable term of nine years, whereas previously judges served a six-year term with the option of renewal. Amendments were also made so that a single judge could reject plainly inadmissible applications, while prior to this protocol only a three judge committee could make this final decision. In cases of doubt, the single judge refers the applications to the Committee of the Court.
A single judge may not examine applications against the state which nominated him. The three judge committee has jurisdiction to declare applications admissible and decide on the merits of the case if it was clearly well founded and based on well established
Protocol 14 also provides that when a three judge committee decides on the merits of a case, the judge elected to represent that state is no longer a compulsory member of this committee. The judge can be invited by the committee, to replace one of its members, but only for specific reasons, such as when the application relates to the exhaustion of national legal remedies.
Protocol 14 empowered the Court to declare applications inadmissible where the applicant has not suffered a significant disadvantage and which do not raise serious questions affecting the application or the interpretation of the Convention, or important questions concerning national law. The European
The Committee of Ministers supervises the settlement's execution. Protocol 14 also allows the Committee of Ministers to ask the Court to interpret a final judgment if there are difficulties in the execution of a final judgment. In order to prevent repetitive applications concerning structural problems in contracting states on which the Court has previously made a final decision, the Committee of Ministers can in exceptional circumstances and with a two-thirds majority, initiate proceedings for non-compliance with a final decision in the Grand Chamber of the Court.
Article 17 of protocol 14 allows the