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Press Release:
Stricter conditions for applying to the European Court of Human Rights

Stricter conditions for lodging an application with the European Court of Human Rights will apply from 1 January 2014, with the entry into force of the new Rule 47 of the Rules of Court. This amendment to the Rules, designed to enhance the Court's efficiency and speed up the examination of applications, introduces two major changes which will determine whether an application is allocated to a judicial formation or is rejected without being considered by the Court.

The first change concerns the information and documents supplied to the Court to enable it to examine applications and hence perform its mission as effectively as possible. Any form sent to the Court must in future be completed in full and accompanied by copies of the relevant documents. All incomplete applications will be rejected by the Court.

The second change concerns the interruption of the period within which an application must be made to the Court, that is, within six months from the final decision of the highest domestic court with jurisdiction; for the period to be interrupted, the application will now have to fulfil the conditions set out in Rule 47. The form must be sent to the Court, duly completed and accompanied by the relevant documents, within the period laid down by the Convention. Incomplete files will no longer be taken into consideration for the purpose of interrupting the running of the six-month period.

To help applicants comply with the new rules the Court will be expanding its range of information materials, in both written and multimedia form, not only in the official languages of the Council of Europe (English and French) but also in the official languages of the States Parties to the Convention. A new and simplified application form will be available on the Court's website ( from 1 January 2014, together with information documents designed to assist applicants in filling out the application form and complying with the new rules.

[Source: Registry of the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, 11Dec13]

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