Apply to the Court
As announced in the Court’s press release of 29 August 2022, as from 1 September 2022 the Court has returned in some aspects to the normal processing of applications involving Ukraine. Due to the interruption of the international postal services to and from Ukraine, the Court will communicate with applicants via its electronic communication system, eComms. For that purpose, the Court will use the email address provided by the applicants. Regarding specifically the notification of decisions and judgments, where no email address has been provided the Court has exceptionally decided to notify the applicants about decisions and judgments adopted by its Chamber and Committee judicial formations only via its HUDOC database. Decisions adopted by the Single Judge will be notified only to those applicants who have provided an email address. Prior to contacting the Court about the state of the proceedings in a case, applicants are encouraged to consult the Court’s State of Proceedings search tool for further information.
The Court is continuing to examine applications against the Russian Federation, including those lodged in the Russian language.
Due to the interruption of the international postal services to and from Russia and where the only means of delivery of the Court’s decisions and judgments to the applicants is by post, the Court has exceptionally decided to notify the applicants about decisions and judgments adopted by its Chamber and Committee judicial formations after 1 March 2022 in respect of applications against Russia only via its HUDOC database. For the same reasons, the Court notifies decisions issued by the Single Judge in cases lodged by applicants with a postal address in Russia only if they provide the Court with an email address. Prior to contacting the Court about the state of the proceedings in a case, applicants and their representatives are encouraged to consult the Court’s SOP search tool for further information.
Since 1 March 2023, the Court has simplified the procedure for applications raising issues that fall under its well-established case-law and where no observations are required from the parties. The parties in such cases are no longer informed by letter about the notification of an application under Rule 54 § 2 (b). Instead, a document entitled “Subject matter and Statement of Facts” is published on HUDOC. This document also contains a reference to an information notice which describes all arrangements relating to the procedure in question.
How to make a valid application
If you decide to apply to the Court, please ensure that your application complies with Rule 47 of the Rules of Court, which sets out the information and documents that must be provided.
Failure to provide any of the information or documents required by Rule 47 §§ 1 and 2 will result in the complaints not being examined by the Court. It is imperative that all fields in the application form are filled in.
Institution of Proceedings
A valid application will be examined by the Court; this does not mean that the application will be declared admissible.
How to lodge an application
The application form should be downloaded, completed, printed out and sent by post to the Court with the necessary documents. No other form must be used.
Procedure before the ECHR
Information and documents for persons with an application pending before the Court.
State of proceedings
The search engine SOP - State of Proceedings - allows anyone to find out what stage has been reached in the proceedings concerning an application.
Useful documents & videos
Questions and answers
The Questions & answers provide information to future applicants.
Your application to the ECHR
This pamphlet, describing the various stages of the procedure by which the Court examines an application, is intended to answer the main questions that applicants might ask, especially once their application has been sent to the Court.
Your application to the ECHR - How to apply and how your application will be processed Other languages
The Practical Guide on Admissibility Criteria is intended mainly for lawyers who wish to bring a case before the Court. It describes the conditions of admissibility which an application must meet.
Practical guide on admissibility criteria
The admissibility checklist is designed to allow potential applicants to check whether, on the face of it, they satisfy the main admissibility criteria for lodging an application with the Court. However, the checklist is intended purely for guidance and has no legal force.
This flow chart indicates the progress of a case by judicial formation.
Simplified case processing flow chart before the Court
Video on lodging an application
This video clip is a tutorial explaining how the application form must be completed in order to be examined by the Court. Please note that although this video correctly reflects the main points on lodging an application, some information needs to be updated according to the latest reference documents.
Video "How to lodge a valid application"
Notes for filling in the application form
Video on the admissibility conditions
This video sets out the main conditions required in order to apply to the Court.
The fifteen-minute video provides judges, lawyers and other legal professionals, as well as civil society representatives, with an overview of the admissibility criteria which all applications must meet in order to be examined by the Court.
Film on the Court
Aimed at a wide audience, the film explains how the Court works, describes the challenges faced by it and shows the scope of its activity through examples from the case-law. Film
What are Interim Measures?
When the Court receives an application it may decide that a State should take certain measures provisionally while it continues its examination of the case. This usually consists of requesting a State to refrain from doing something, such as not returning individuals to countries where it is alleged that they would face death or torture.
Requests for interim measures (Practice direction)
Interim measures are granted by the Court only in clearly defined conditions, namely where there is a risk that serious violations of the Convention might occur.
A high proportion of requests for interim measures are inappropriate and are therefore refused.
Information in other languages
The European Court of Human Rights - Questions & answers for lawyers (CCBE)
Statistics on Interim measures
Interim measures by respondent State and country of destination