The European Court of Human Rights is a supranational body responsible for the protection of Human Rights throughout Europe as recognized in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, as well as its respective Protocols 1, 4, 6, 7, 12 and 1.
This Court deals with all those procedures originating in the countries ratifying the conventions where these have violated or have not sufficiently protected the rights contained in the aforementioned Convention.
This recourse is exceptional and subject to formal and material requirements, on which its admission depends before its evaluation. Its preparation requires a deep knowledge of its most relevant aspects, since according to statistics 95% of the claims are inadmissible due to formal errors, according to the Interlaken declaration in 2011; this is due to a profound lack of knowledge about the requirements to pass the first admissibility check.
For this reason, we are going to explain the points that must be taken into account in order to be able to file an appeal before the ECtHR and have it admitted without any type of problem:
Parties to the lawsuit
This lawsuit is composed of two legitimized parties:
The plaintiff the natural or legal person who considers that any of the Human Rights contained in the European Convention have been violated, regardless of their nationality, residence, marital status, or capacity. The defendant is the contracting state of the Convention alleged to have violated the right.
Language, representation and sending
Applications may be lodged in the official languages of the Court, such as English or French, at the same time the appeal may also be lodged in any official language of the Council of Europe.
Representation by a lawyer will not be necessary at the beginning of the procedure, being possible its incorporation by filling in the power of attorney.
The claim together with its additional documentation must be sent by ordinary mail.
- The Subsidiarity of the appeal is one of the most indispensable requirements, it consists in the fact that it can be filed once all the ordinary national instances of the offending country have been tried, so that, if the established national procedure is not followed, the appeal will not be able to succeed. However, if there is no effective remedy or continuation of the remedy, the case may also be brought before the ECtHR.
- The time limit for lodging the appeal is 6 months from the date of notification of the last decision of the Court, which would exhaust all appeal procedures.
- The appeal is made in the form of a form prescribed by the Tribunal. This form must be completed in a clear and exhaustive manner, with all its documentation and within the limits offered by the model itself. It requires careful and measured preparation. A mistake, or incomplete portion means automatic rejection.
- The claimant must be identified by the completion of its form and signature.
- Clear expression of the facts to be taken into account and the rights, in particular, that the Court violates.
- Inadmission of applications already submitted to other International Tribunals, to applications already submitted to the same ECtHR with the same facts, violations or to the same subjects.
These are some of the most common errors in the preparation of an appeal before the ECtHR that result in the automatic inadmissibility of the application. Therefore, before starting to develop and complete an appeal in these instances, it is necessary to be accompanied by good advice on this matter.
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