European Court of Human Rights: Filing As An American

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European Court of Human Rights: Filing As An American

Reliable steps for defending your violated rights in the European Court of Human Rights.          The European Court of Human Rights is an international court that was established in 1959. It rules on state or individual violations of the civil and political rights that were set up in the European Convention on Human Rights. “The European Convention on Human Rights is an international treaty under which the member States of the Council of Europe promise to secure fundamental civil and political rights, not only to their own citizens but also to everyone within their jurisdiction.[1]” To file a claim you do not have to be a member of a European nation that is bound by the court, if you are from America or another part of the world but your rights were violated in Europe, you would fill out an application through the European Court. However, this violation has to be directly against you, it cannot be a general complaint. This gives you the basic principles of rights that every human should have.

           Before filing a claim with the European Court of Human Rights you need to have used all the resources from the state that could be used to redress the issue, a complaint must be lodged though all the appropriate channels before going to the European Court. You have four months from the date of the final decision at the domestic level to lodge an application with a European Court of Human Rights. After this time frame the application will not be accepted by the court[2]. Another requirement for your application is that your complaint must relate to at least one of the rights established by the European Convention on Human Rights.

But how do you file a report with the European Court of Human Rights if you believe that your rights have been violated, particularly if you are American? To start you would need to print and fill out the application form, then you will need to mail this application and any relevant documents to the Registrar of the European Court of Human Rights. Your application will have to be considered admissible by the court. If it is considered admissible and accepted by the court then the first thing they will do is encourage the parties to reach a friendly settlement. If a settlement is not reached then the court will take some time to review your application and determine if your right(s) have been violated. This time frame can take about a year or more in normal circumstances. If the court finds that there has been a violation of rights then it can award you with a monetary compensation. The court can also require the state concerned to refund you for expenses from the process. However, if the court finds that there has been no violation that will be the end of your trial but you will not be made to pay for any additional expenses.

Filling out an application for the violation of your rights and everything that follows can be a lengthy process. However, it may be something that is necessary to gain restitution or justice. The steps and the process of the court trials have been explained above and more information can be found at the European Court of Human Rights website under “Apply to the Court”.  

by Grace Wilson University of Arkansas in Fayetteville Majoring in International and Global Studies with a minor in Legal Studies. Currently (2021) attending the university’s Rome Center and Interning for Family Law Italy.

Family Law Italy Italy a boutique law firm is shortlisted by the US and UK Embassy in Rome.

info@familylawitaly.com website www.familylawitaly.com +39068075014

[1] “The Court in Brief.” The European Court of Human Rights. The Council of Europe. https://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Court_in_brief_ENG.pdf

[2] “Questions and Answers.” The European Court of Human Rights. The Council of Europe. https://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Questions_Answers_ENG.pdf

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