Apply to the Court
COVID-19 Exceptional measures
As from 16 March 2020, the Court has extended the rule under Article 35 of the Convention which provides that applicants have six months within which to lodge an application after exhausting domestic remedies. The extension, originally set at one additional month, has now been increased to a total of three months. This means that everyone whose six-month time-limit starts, runs or expires during the period of 16 March – 15 June 2020 will have nine months from the date of the final domestic decision to lodge an application with the Court. This will be taken into account when the Court examines compliance with Article 35.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This flow chart indicates the progress of a case by judicial formation.
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.
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.
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.