The European Convention
of Human Right
Corso di inglese giuridico
Prof.ssa C. M. Cascione
Università degli Studi di Bari ‘Aldo Moro’
Lezione n. 10
The Council of Europe
Is an international organisation promoting co-operation
between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal
standards, human rights, democratic development, the
rule of law and cultural co-operation.
was founded in 1949, has 47 member states.
is an entirely separate body from the European Union
Article 1(a) of the Statute states that:
"The aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity
between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and
realising the ideals and principles which are their common
heritage and facilitating their economic and social progress."
Therefore, membership is open to all European states which seek
European integration, accept the principle of the rule of law and
are able and willing to guarantee democracy, fundamental
human rights and freedoms.
Differences with the EU
the member states of the European Union transfer national legislative
and executive powers to the European Commission and the European
Parliament in specific areas under European Community law
Council of Europe member states maintain their sovereignty but commit
themselves through conventions and co-operate on the basis of common
values and common political decisions.
Those conventions and decisions are developed by the member states
working together at the Council of Europe, whereas secondary European
Community law is set by the organs of the European Union.
Council of Europe cannot make binding laws
Main areas of interest
 Protection of the rule of law and fostering legal
co-operation through some 200 conventions and
other treaties
 Protection of human rights
 Protection of democracy
 Promotion of cultural co-operation and diversity
The European Convention of
Human Rights
 is an international treaty to protect human
rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe.
 Drafted in 1950 by the then newly formed
Council of Europe,the convention entered into
force on 3 September 1953.
 All Council of Europe member states are party
to the Convention
The European Court of Human
 is a supra-national or international court established
by the European Convention on Human Rights.
 It hears applications alleging that a contracting state
has breached one or more of the human rights
provisions concerning civil and political rights set
out in the Convention and its protocols.
 An application can be lodged by an individual, a
group of individuals or one or more of the other
contracting states, and, besides judgments, the
Court can also issue advisory opinions.
The jurisdiction of the court is generally divided
 inter-state cases
 applications by individuals against contracting
 advisory opinions
Applications by individuals
 Applications by individuals against contracting states, alleging that
the state violates their rights under the European Convention on
Human Rights, can be made by any person, non-governmental
organisation or group of individuals.
 Although the official languages of the Court are English and French
applications may be submitted in any one of the official languages of
the contracting states.
 An application has to be made in writing and signed by the
applicant or by the applicant's representative.
 Once registered with the Court, the case is assigned to a judge
rapporteur, which can make the final decision that the case is
inadmissible. A case may be inadmissible when it is incompatible
with the requirements of ratione materiae, ratione temporis or ratione
personae, or if the case cannot be proceeded with on formal grounds,
 If the rapporteur judge decides that the case can proceed, the case if
referred to a Chamber of the Court which communicates the case to
the government of the state against which the application is made,
asking the government to present its observations on the case.
 The Chamber of Court then deliberates and judges the case on its
admissibility and its merit.
 Cases which raise serious questions of interpretation and application
of the European Convention on Human Rights, a serious issue of
general importance, or which may depart from previous case law
can be heard in the Grand Chamber if all parties to the case agree to
the Chamber of the Court relinquishing jurisdiction to the Grand
 A panel of five judges decides whether the Grand Chamber accepts
the referral
Other cases
Inter-state cases
Any contracting state to the European Convention on Human
Rights can sue another contracting state in the Court for
alleged breaches of the Convention
Advisory opinion
The Committee of Ministers may, by majority vote, ask the
Court to deliver an advisory opinion on the interpretation of
the European Convention on Human Rights, unless the
matter relates to the content and scope of fundamental rights
which the Court already considers