The Conditions for lodging an application with the European Court of Human Rights have become stricter since the entry into force, on 1 January 2014, of the new Rule 47 of the Rules of Court. This new rule 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, and it is designed to enhance the Court’s efficiency and speed up the examination of applications.
The first change concerns the information and documents to be submitted to the Court. In future, applicants must provide the Court with sufficient information to enable it to carry out a preliminary examination of the complaint, it must contain the basic data relating to alleged violations, the form must be filled out completely and it must be accompanied by a copy of the relevant documents (including the relevant internal decisions). 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 has published a video that is designed to help them fill out the new application form. You can watch it here:
A new application form has been available since 1 January 2014. Amandments of Rule 47 are available in PDF.