Advisory opinions under Protocol No. 16
Protocol No. 16 to the Convention
Protocol No. 16 to the Convention allows 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 came into force on 1 August 2018 in respect of the States which have signed and ratified it.
Opinion of the Court (May 2013)
Explanatory report (Translation commissioned by the Italian Government)
Advisory opinions delivered
On 13 July 2022 the ECHR delivered its advisory opinion in reply to a request submitted by the French Conseil d’État.
The request concerned the entitlement of landowners’ associations to withdraw their land from the territory of an officially approved hunting association (ACCA).
On 26 April 2022 the Court delivered its advisory opinion in reply to a request submitted by the Court of Cassation of Armenia.
In its request, the Court of Cassation of Armenia has asked the ECHR to provide an advisory opinion on whether the non-application of limitation periods for imposing criminal responsibility in respect of torture or equivalent criminal offences with reliance on sources of international law is compatible with Article 7 of the Convention, if domestic law does not require such non-application of those limitation periods.
The Court delivered its advisory opinion in reply to a request from the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania on 8 April 2022.
The case concerned the legislation on impeachment, at issue in a case pending before that court.
The Court delivered its advisory opinion in reply to a request from the Armenian Constitutional Court on 29 May 2020.
The case concerned the interpretation of an article of the Armenian Penal Code making it a criminal offence to overthrow the constitutional order and its application under Article 7 (no punishment without law) of the Convention, in the context of proceedings against the former President Robert Kocharyan.
In response to the first request for an advisory opinion under Protocol No. 16 to the Convention, from the French Court of Cassation, the Court delivered its opinion on 10 April 2019.
The Court held that States are not obliged to register the details of the birth certificate of a child born through gestational surrogacy abroad in order to establish the legal parent-child relationship with the intended mother, as adoption may serve as a means of recognising that relationship.
Request for advisory opinion rejected
The Court has decided on 14 December 2020 to reject the request for an advisory opinion submitted by the Slovak Supreme Court concerning the independence of the current mechanism for assessing complaints against the police.
The ECHR considered that the points raised did not concern an issue for which the Slovak Supreme Court required guidance so that it could ensure respect for Convention rights in hearing and determining the case in question.
Advisory opinions - Article 47 of the Convention
Advisory opinion on certain legal questions concerning the lists of candidates submitted with a view to the election of judges to the European Court of Human Rights
Advisory opinion (no. 2) (22/01/2010)
Advisory opinion (no. 1) (12/02/2008)
Decision on the competence of the court to give an advisory opinion
Advisory opinions - Oviedo Convention
The ECHR has decided on 15 September 2021 not to accept the request for an advisory opinion submitted by the Council of Europe’s Committee on Bioethics (DH-BIO) under Article 29 of the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, also known as “Oviedo Convention”. The DH-BIO asked the Court to provide an advisory opinion on two questions regarding the protection of the human rights and dignity of persons with mental disorders in the face of involuntary placement and/or treatment.