European Court of Human Rights
Cour européenne des droits de l'homme
1959-04 Strasbourg France
Established by D-XD0435 - Council of Europe (CE), under the terms of T-XT5002 - Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, also known as 'European Convention on Human Rights', in conjunction with H-XE0437 - European Commission of Human Rights. Effective from 1 Nov 1998, the Court was restructured in accordance with T-XT9402 - Protocol no 11 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, signed 11 May 1994, as a single permanent Court to replace the part-time, two-tier system of Commission and Court. This restructuring was to resolve the growing difficulty experienced in coping with an ever-increasing volume of cases by eliminating the time-consuming examination of cases by two separate bodies and was designed to ensure better access to the system for the individual, resolve cases quickly and improve efficiency.
Under Article 19 of the Convention, signed 1950, in force 1953, ensure the observance of engagements undertaken by contracting parties. Under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 47, jurisdiction extends to all matters concerning interpretation and application of the Convention - allegations of breaches of Convention provisions referred to the Court by any Contracting State, by an individual, group of individuals or nongovernmental organization claiming to be a victim of a violation by one of the Contracting Parties of the rights protected under the Convention, and requests for advisory opinions.
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Under Protocol No 11, effective 1 Nov 1998, the Court is composed of a number of judges equal to the number of Contracting Parties (currently 46), and sits permanently in Strasbourg (France). Judges elected for non-renewable term of 9 years, from a list of 3 candidates nominated by the contracting party concerned. They sit in their individual capacity and enjoy full independence in the discharge of their duties. Plenary Court adopts Rules of Court and sets up the Chambers. Sections (5) reflect the different legal systems among contracting parties and aim at geographical and gender balance. Cases are examined by Committees, Chambers, or by the Grand Chamber. Inadmissible applications examined by single judge. Three-judge Committee may rule by unanimous vote on admissibility and merits of cases already covered by well-established case-law of the Court. Application may also be assigned to a 7-judge Chamber which rules by majority vote, mostly on admissibility and merits of case. Chambers may relinquish jurisdiction in favour of Grand Chamber when case raises serious questions affecting interpretation of Convention or its Protocols, or when resolution of a question before Chamber may have a result inconsistent with previous Court judgement. Parties may object to relinquishment of jurisdiction and may request referral to Grand Chamber within 3 months of judgement delivery. Such a request is heard by panel of 5 judges of Grand Chamber. E-XE8838 - Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe is responsible for supervising execution of the Court's judgements.
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