the implementation mchanism

The Implementation Mechanism of the European Convention on Human Rights

The main intention of this article is to shed light on key aspects of the implementation mechanism of the European Convention on Human Rights. In doing so, the idea behind the available work is that admissibility criteria play a key role in a successful application to the Court.

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What is the European Convention on Human Rights?

ECHR was produced and signed by the members of the Council of Europe. The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, entered into force on 3 September 1953. The Convention has been better known as the European Convention on Human Rights. The text of the Convention was formulated and accepted under the framework of the Council of Europe.

How many countries signed the Convention? 

Overall, it is encouraging to underline that currently 46 States are party to the Convention. Furthermore, the Convention has a wide area of application within the jurisdiction of member states. That has been considered a fundamental success of the Convention. What is more, Turkey has become a party to the Convention since 1954.

When was the ECHR updated?

Up to now, ECHR has been amended and supplemented by further Protocols several times. Particularly, an unprecedented progress has been provided through Protocol 15. Indeed, the said Protocol regulates the automatic and compulsory recognition of the right of individual petition for all Signatories. Recently, Protocol No.15 makes a reference to the doctrine of margin of appreciation and the principle of subsidiarity. Additionally, the Protocol decreases from 6 to 4 months for the time-limit within which an application can be made to the ECHtR after the date of a final domestic decision. The execution of judgments of the Court about infringement of human rights defined in the Convention are strictly monitored by its machinery system. There is a growing recognition that the Convention mechanism is seen as “legally binding” upon member states.

What are the main stages in individual applications before the Court? 

There are four main stages for an individual application:

  • admissibility stage,
  • communication to the respondent government and exchange of observations,
  • friendly settlement for non-contentious case,
  • judgment stage for contentious cases.

What is more, Contracting States are under an obligation to abide by the final judgment of the Court under Article 46 of the Convention.

How to make a valid application to the ECHtR? 

It is essential to take into account that there are a number of requirements for a valid application. Firstly, it is imperative that the application form is actual. Secondly, the application must be compatible with Rule 47 of the Court . This article sets out the information and documents that must be provided. Thirdly, you are required to avoid common mistakes such as not attaching the decisions or documents setting out the measures at the heart of the case. Particularly, the compliance of the petition with Article 34 and 35 is very significant to pass the admissibility stage.

If your application is declared inadmissible, is there any possibility to appeal against that decision? 

Fundamental feature of inadmissibility decisions is that they are final and cannot be challenged. That necessarily means that without making sure that an application complies with all the admissibility criteria, an application should be lodged with the Court.

Recent official statistics establish that an application must be in compliance with the Convention system. %84 of the 2022 applications were found inadmissible or struck out by the Court without delivering a judgment in merit. It becomes clearer that even human rights lawyers face serious challenges to handle a successful petition before the ECHtR.


In the light of the aforementioned analysis, the question of how to apply and how your application is processed properly must be appropriately examined by all human rights lawyers and applicants. Victims, applicants or representatives should be aware of the fact that it is critical to meticulously fill in every part of the application form. Besides, they should duly complete the application process. The case may be declared inadmissible by the Court on the grounds of formalities. Accordingly, end-to-end legal advice is very instrumental in meeting all legal formalities and requirements for the proceedings before the Strasbourg Court.

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