Apply to the Court

Human Rights Building

Rule 47 of the Rules of Court was amended on 1 January 2016

An amended version of Rule 47 of the Rules of Court, which sets out the conditions for applying to the Court and for lodging a complete and valid application, came into force on 1 January 2016. The changes are minor and are described in detail in the press release issued by the Court on 01/12/2015.

Following the amendments, all relevant documents including the application form and the Notes for filling in the application form have been updated. Applicants and their representatives should use the current version of the application form. Old application forms which have been available since 1 January 2014 and were sent to the Court before 1 January 2016 will still be accepted if they are otherwise in conformity with the Rule 47 requirements.

Press release (01/12/2015)

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.

Rule 47 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.

Do not contact the Court for a paper copy of the form; printing it yourself will save time and make sure your application reaches the Court in good time.


Useful documents

Questions and answers

Q&A Coverpage

The "Questions & answers" provide information to future applicants.

Questions & Answers

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Admissibility Checklist

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.

The online admissibility checklist

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

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Flow chart

This flow chart indicates the progress of a case by judicial formation.

Simplified case processing flow chart before the Court

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Admissibility Guide

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

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

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COURTalks- disCOURs

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.


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Video on the admissibility conditions

This video sets out the main conditions required in order to apply to the Court.

Video on the admissibility conditions

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Interim Measures

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)

General presentation

Practical Information

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.