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70 years of the European Convention on Human Rights

ECHR Commemorative Book

A Commemorative Book about the Court was recently published to mark the 70th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights.

This work contains many hitherto unpublished photos and recounts the history of the Court in words and images. A copy of the original Convention text has been reproduced for the first time, and this is also the first publication to contain pictures of all the Court’s judges since its creation. In addition, case-law of major importance for Europe is presented through 47 cases, one for each member State, tracing their background and especially their impact in the various States parties to the Convention. Lastly, the book takes a look inside the Human Rights Building, which is itself an architectural icon and whose 25th anniversary is celebrated this year.

Cover and Contents

More info on the Council of Europe publications

Council of Europe Publishing

Conference: Milestones and major achievements - 18/09/2020

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Convention the Court held a conference on 18 September 2020 entitled “The European Convention on Human Rights at 70 - Milestones and major achievements”. Leading figures from the judicial world took part in the celebrations, including by video link.

The topics addressed in the first part of the conference were “Strengthening the rule of law and access to an independent court” and “Fostering a democratic form of governance”. The roundtable sessions in the second part covered the following subjects: “Promoting and ensuring diversity of family life”, “Meeting challenges of scientific and technological development” and “Promoting peace and integration among States”. The conference was rounded off by a summary of the milestones and major achievements in the Convention’s history.

Conference: Part 1 Part 2

Speech by President Robert Spano Speech by Linos-Alexandre Sicilianos (in French only) Speech by Jean-Paul Costa (in French only) Speech by Rosario Silva de Lapuerta (in French only) Speech by Yonko Grozev Speech by Laurence Burgorgue-Larsen (in French only) Speech by Ksenija Turkovic Speech by Chantal Arens (in French ony) Speech by Pere Pastor Vilanova (in French only) Speech by Angelika Nuβberger

Programme of the Conference

Conference: European Convention at 70 - 05/05/2020

President Linos-Alexandre Sicilianos took part in an on-line conference to mark the 70th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights, which took place on 5 May 2020 in Norway, in Kristiansand. Topics included the importance of human rights for pan-European cohesion and peace, current challenges to democracy and protecting freedom of expression in Europe.

More info Speech by President L.-A. Sicilianos


Special stamp to mark the 70th anniversary of the European Convention of Human Rights was issued by the French Post Office on 4 September 2020.


A new stamp commemorating 25th anniversary of the Human Rights Building was lauched at the same time.

Dialogue between Judges 2020

Dialogue between Judges 2020

The Convention’s 70th anniversary year began with the Opening of the Court’s judicial year, including a Seminar on the theme of The Convention as a Living Instrument at 70.


Proceedings of the seminar 

Video of the seminar

European Convention

Convention (ENG)

The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, better known as the European Convention on Human Rights, was opened for signature in Rome on 4 November 1950 and came into force in 1953. It was the first instrument to give effect to certain of the rights stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and make them binding.

Since its adoption in 1950 the Convention has been amended a number of times and supplemented with many rights in addition to those set forth in the original text.

European Convention on Human Rights All languages

Video on the Convention

A short video presenting the main rights and freedoms in the Convention. Aimed at a wide range of viewers, this video is currently available in 38 languages. The Court wishes to encourage initiatives aimed at including this video in civic education programmes.



Other languages