Reform of the Court

ECHR Building

Since the Court was set up in 1959 the Council of Europe’s member States have adopted several Protocols to the Convention, aimed at improving and strengthening the control machinery established by it.

In addition, several high-level conferences on reform of the Convention system have been held in recent years.

History of the ECHR’s Reforms

Conferences

Conference in Copenhagen 2018

PDH Main Entrance

A high-level conference on reform of the Convention system was held in Copenhagen on 12 and 13 April 2018.

At the request of the Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the Court has examined the draft Declaration and issued an opinion on the subject.

Speech by President Guido Raimondi

Copenhagen Declaration

Opinion on the draft Copenhagen Declaration

More info

Conference in Brussels 2015

Federal Public Service of Justice - Belgium/Stephen Vincke

A High-Level Conference was held in Brussels on 26 & 27 March 2015 about "The implementation of the European Convention of Human Rights, our shared responsibility"

Programme of the High-Level Conference

Contribution of the Court to the Brussels Conference

Speech by President Spielmann (in French)

Website of the conference

Brussels Declaration

Brussels Conference

Conference in Oslo 2014

A conference on the long-term future of the Court was held in Oslo on 7 and 8 April 2014.

Judges, government experts and researchers took part in the conference, which forms part of the Court’s reform process.

Speech by the President (in French only)

Oslo Proceedings

Brighton Conference 2012

Brighton Conference Delegates

A High-Level Conference on the future of the Court was organised by the United Kingdom in Brighton on 18-20 April 2012, during the British Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The Plenary Court has adopted a preliminary opinion for the preparation of the Conference.

Brighton Declaration (Italian version*)

Preliminary opinion of the Court (Italian version*)

Speech of Sir Nicolas Bratza (Italian version*)

Speech by Thorbjørn Jagland

Speech by Jean-Claude Mignon

Special file

* Translations into Italian were commissioned by the Italian Government

Conference in Izmir 2011

Conference in Izmir

The Turkish Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe organised a high-level conference on the future of the Court in Izmir on 26 and 27 April 2011.

Press release

Final Declaration Speech of President Costa (in French only)

Interlaken Conference 2010

Interlaken Conference

President Costa, accompanied by a delegation of judges and members of the Registry, travelled to Interlaken (Switzerland) on 18 and 19 February 2010 to attend a Ministerial Conference on the future of the European Court of Human Rights. A joint declaration was adopted at the close of the Conference.

Memorandum of President Costa

Interlaken Declaration

Principle of subsidiarity - Interlaken follow-up - Note by the Jurisconsult

Reports, Notes and Opinions

Protocol No. 16 to the Convention

Protocol No. 16 to the Convention will allow the highest courts and tribunals of a State Party to request the Court to give advisory opinions on questions of principle relating to the interpretation or application of the rights and freedoms defined in the Convention or the protocols thereto.

Protocol No. 16 will come into force on 1 August 2018, solely in respect of the States which have signed and ratified it.

Protocol No. 16

Opinion of the Court (May 2013)

More information

Protocol No. 15 to the Convention

Protocol No. 15 amending the Convention introduces a reference to the principle of subsidiarity and the doctrine of the margin of appreciation. It also reduces from six to four months the time-limit within which an application may be made to the Court following the date of a final domestic decision.

Protocol No. 15 will enter into force as soon as all the States Parties to the Convention have signed and ratified it.

Protocol No. 15

Opinion of the Court (February 2013)

More information

Note on the Reform Work

The purpose of this note is to present the situation in the Court with particular regard to the reform work set in motion after the Interlaken Declaration and Action Plan, and the follow-up Conferences in Izmir and Brighton.

Interlaken process and the Court (2016)

Interlaken process and the Court (2015) Interlaken process and the Court (2014)

Interlaken process and the Court (2013) Interlaken process and the Court (2012)

Report of the Group of Wise Persons to the Committee of Ministers

The Court's Advisory Jurisdiction

Review of the Working Methods of the Court