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Advisory opinions

Advisory opinions under Protocol No. 16

  • Advisory opinion requested by Slovakia

On 19 November 2020 the Supreme Court of Slovakia has asked the ECHR to provide an advisory opinion on the independence of the current mechanism for investigating complaints against the police, a question at issue in a case which is still ongoing at the domestic level.

Press release


  • Advisory opinion requested by Lithuania

On 5 November 2020 the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania has asked the ECHR to provide an advisory opinion on impeachment legislation, a question which is at issue in a case currently pending in Lithuania.

Press release


  • Advisory opinion requested by Armenia

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.

Press release

Advisory opinion


  • Advisory opinion requested by France

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. 

Press release

Advisory opinion

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.

Protocol No. 16 Explanatory report

Guidelines: English French Armenian

Extract from the Rules of Court

Opinion of the Court (May 2013)

Explanatory report  (Translation commissioned by the Italian Government)

More information


Advisory opinions pursuant to 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

Decision of the Court

Advisory opinions pursuant to other texts

Request for an advisory opinion from the Council of Europe’s Committee on Bioethics under Article 29 of the Oviedo Convention.

Press release

Oviedo Convention and its Protocols