One of the things we are asked regularly is how and when a family can apply to the European Court Of Human Rights to hear their case, and now the ECHR has provided a really useful guide explaining this, and it’s been really well done.
If a family, parent or child wish to apply to the ECHR, first, they need to have exhausted all the remedies available to them in their home country. This usually means allowing a case to run its course from the lower courts all the way up to the appropriate highest court for that case. Once all avenues have been tried, if the parties still feel their case hasn’t been properly dealt with, they can then apply to the European Court.
The ECHR’s home page for the guide is divided into sections, including:
- How To Make A Valid Application
- How To Submit An Application
- How To Prepare Your Application and Information On How It Will Be Processed
- A Q&A Section
- An Admissibility Checklist to see if your case meets the criteria for lodging an application (just click the ‘next’ button right at the bottom of the first page to take you through)
- A video showing you how to prepare an application
- Information on Interim Measures (where the ECHR may ask a country to take certain measures whilst they continue to assess the case, such as stopping the country in question from doing something until the case has been reviewed).
We love the level of detail here and the simple language that’s been used to make all this information easily accessible. It’s something we try hard to do in our spare time with our LIP Service videos, but we’re really delighted to see that the ECHR has taken the initiative and put together this guide.
Worth holding onto as well is this brochure from the House of Commons Library which was published this month, and also offers information on how to apply to the ECHR. Although it’s been prepared for Members of Parliament who are asked by their constituents about how to apply to the ECHR, it is also well written and offers a nice summary of the application process. At a comfortable 24 pages, we would recommend reading this first before diving into the ECHR’s own guide.