There are two separate European courts and it is important to distinguish between them. The European Court of Justice, or ECJ, is situated in Luxemburg and determines legal questions relating to the law of the European Community.
It is not an appeal court to which individuals can take domestic court cases: rather domestic courts may refer specific cases to the ECJ in order to determine a matter of Community law. This could for example mean clarifying a point over the correct interpretation of a treaty or statute.
The European Court of Human Rights or ECtHR was established in Strasbourg in1959 and hears cases brought by individuals, groups of people or non-governmental organisations who believe that their rights under the Convention or one of the protocols have been breached by contracting members (e.g. a country).
Who Can Apply to the ECtHR?
In order to make an application for your case to be heard at the European Court of Human Rights certain criteria should be met. You must believe that your rights have directly been violated by a State that is a signatory to the Convention (of Human Rights) and its Protocols. Although it is not a requirement to have legal representation before you apply to the court it is highly recommended, and may become a requirement in any event.
Applications can be made in any one of the official languages of the member states, although the court’s official languages are French and English.
What Are Violations of the Convention?
Under the Convention and the Protocols thereto, there are certain rights given to individuals as well as prohibitions against certain actions. An individual or group’s rights are violated if a member State prohibits a right, or does not fail to prevent, a restriction within the Convention or its Protocols, and the State’s actions do not fall within one of the Exceptions in the Convention or its Protocols.
Article Two: Right To Life
Article Three: Prohibition Against Torture
Article Four: Prohibition Against Slavery
Article Five: The Right To Freedom and Security
Article Six: The Right To A Fair Trial
Article Seven: Prohibition Against Being Criminalised Retrospectively
Article Eight: The Right To Privacy
Article Nine: Freedom of Thought, Religion and Conscience
Article Ten: The Right of Expression
Article Eleven: Freedom of Assembly
Article Twelve: Right To Marriage
Article Thirteen: The Right To An Effective Remedy
Article Fourteen: Prohibition of Discrimination
Article Fifteen: Allows States To Derogate from the Convention an Emergency
Article Sixteen: Restriction On Political Activity Of Aliens
Article Seventeen: Prevents Convention Rights Being Abused
Article Eighteen: Provides for States to Limit The Rights Guaranteed by the Convention In Certain Circumstances
The first stage of the application is generally on paper, although the court may decide to hold an oral hearing. The court is divided into the Chamber and the Grand Chamber, which is for more serious questions and where there may be a departure from existing case law. Decisions as to admissibility are taken by a majority vote and reasons for the decision are made public.
Once the case has been deemed to be admissible by the court, both parties may be invited to submit written or verbal representations to assist the court in its decision making process. Again, Chambers determines the decision by majority vote after which judgment is given. After a three month period expires post judgment, the Chamber’s judgment becomes final. It is possible, within three months of this decision, for any party to request that the Grand Chamber considers it if the decision is of significant importance.
At any stage of the process, the court can take legal advice on questions regarding interpretation of any of the Protocols or the Convention.
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Angelo - 21-Jun-20 @ 3:29 AM
Hi I am currently out on bail on appeal I recently got sentenced to 9 months in prison and lost my driving licence for 3 years.these charges happened 3 and a half years ago which is shoplifting and driving whilst diquallified. In between then and appearing in court I have turned my life around I got my licence back stopped taken drugs I was addicted too and got myself a driving job so the moral of the story is I have changed my life started going straight have something to stay out of prison for but now I feel what’s the point in going straight il go in and do the time which will only be 4 and a half months but when I get out I will have lost my house lost my licence sos will lost my job it’s hard enough to get a job with criminal record so I don’t think I will have any choice but go back to crime
Jimmy123 - 2-Jan-18 @ 9:11 PM
CPS conspired with police using fabricated evidence and propaganda to convince a jury that I was guilty of conspiring to receive stolen goods that I did not do. poco took money even though admitting it was not from criminal gain that belonged to parents.but refuse to return it. police from another county hold information to prove my innocence but refuse to disclose it. and even though I am innocent of any wrong doing my parents have been forced to sell there property and I am now serving a life sentence even after serving 3 years in prison. I am no longer able to own or have any money for the rest of my life.
ADAM - 11-Aug-17 @ 5:49 AM
The NHS are taking us to court to turn off our sons ventilator. There is a treatment available for his condition so can I appeal the high Court's decision?
Connie - 5-Feb-17 @ 6:29 PM
The NHS are taking us to court to end care on our Son. There is treatment available in another country.. can i appeal a high court decision and take it higher?
Connie - 5-Feb-17 @ 6:27 PM
Kt- Your Question:
Thank you for taking the time to reply. Could I ask your advice on what would be the best route to go down to seek advice for appeal? What catagory would it even file under on your websites please Thanks
You don't say how old your child is. Under the Hague Convention (Article 13), a court is not 'bound' to order the return of a child, if the court finds that the child objects to being returned and/or has reached an age and degree of maturity where the child's opinions can be taken into account. In England child abduction will be dealt with by the Family Division of the High Court only, by expert judges. The court has the power not to order a return if more than a year has passed since the removal of the child and the child is settled in its new environment. If the court thinks there is a grave risk that his or her return would expose the child to physical or psychological harm and/or if the child objects.As every case is individual, the court has to consider whether the child's needs are greater than the policy of the Convention which specifies children should be returned to the country of their habitual residence. Our websites are only very general and can only point you in the right direction.I hope this helps.
CourtroomAdvice - 21-Oct-16 @ 2:36 PM
Thank you for taking the time to reply. Could I ask your advice on what would be the best route to go down to seek advice for appeal? What catagory would it even file under on your websites please
Kt - 21-Oct-16 @ 2:49 AM
Arrested in France following an RTA. Motorcyclist on way home from an all day party had borrowed his sons [ entirely unsuitable ] bike to get home. He clipped my offside wing mirror and was killed. I was charged with vehicular homicide, later dropped to manslaughter, and convicted. Apparently I was intoxicated in the village bar 10 minutes prior to the accident. Hard to imagine as I had never set foot on the premises. Witness against me - the village buffoon - has one eye, legally blind and not able to hold a driving license. Additionally, he was not at the accident scene. My blood test was ' lost ' - and deemed unnecessary by the judge. After a ' head on ' collision, my car was basically undamaged. The whole case against me was a farce.
Can I appeal to a European Court ?
skip - 20-Jul-16 @ 3:59 PM
Can anyone advise on this
My friend is up for deportation back to Polandthe law at the timewhen he was released from prison more than two years was that after two years you were not liable for recall back to Poland / deportationthe law was changed 2011 making it retrospective is this legal as this wouled mean that all persons no matter which Country they are from can be arrested for a past act wither it was legal at the time if all laws can be made retrospective
divis - 25-Jan-16 @ 10:57 PM
Chr.1945.Case history can I have it.
can I take the royal courts of justice to court for a refusal to appeal a conviction
scotty - 14-Jan-16 @ 1:16 PM
I am taking a case to the European Court of Human Rights relating to the violation of human rights of my children. I need guidance from somebody who has got experience doing this. I cannot find help. Who can help?
freddie - 3-Jan-16 @ 5:21 PM
@Vic-Tim When the council records a caution, administrative penalty or successful prosecution against a person, the DWP can decide to impose a reduction or complete withdrawal of future benefits for up to three years. I don't think you have much recourse here.
DC - 17-Nov-15 @ 12:57 PM
On the advice of my barrister I pleaded guilty to benefit fraud in a crown court in 2013 the total was just shy of £13,000.The alleged amount I owed was an unproven sum of nearly a£130,000 which was physically and numerically impossible. When I was released from prison I find out that the dwp have reintroduced the alleged amount and ignored the crown court sentence. I wrote to the crown court who provided me with the relevant amount I was found guilty of. I fowarded this to dwp who say it's lawful. I don't see how. What was the point of me going to court in the first place?This has also had a knock on effect with my local council who are constantly taking deductions for an amount I don't owe. They are both aware I don't have any money and they are also both aware that I am in ill health. None the less my local benefit councillor who was sat in the court back in 2013 insists he is going to try and get me locked up again. I've tried to get case reopened but with no money no one seems interested. Any advice would be appreciated.
Vic-Tim - 16-Nov-15 @ 9:28 PM
SK - Your Question:
I would like to ask following questions.My parents live in Croatia(Bjelovar) and they have been on a city court for a decade now.The court was about the land which is my parents but our neighbor claimed it is hers.We won the case but from no undrestandeble reason the city court in Bjelovar is allowing constant appeal from this neighbor. My mum is 79 and all this stress had an impact on her health , she had a mini stroke two weeks ago.and I have Cerebral Palsy so this stress is a bit too much for me too.How the case that has been won 3 years ago, can end it up over and over again in the court room?The court in Bjelovar had a direction from national court that this case is closed but they constantly allow new appeals.Is there any European Court where we could ask for a help? Kind regards
I am sorry to hear this. However, I'm afraid we cannot comment on international law, only English law, where under certain, limited, circumstances, second appeals are allowed,if an important point of principle or practice can be raised, or there is some other compelling reason.
CourtroomAdvice - 19-Oct-15 @ 12:58 PM
I would like to ask following questions...My parents live in Croatia(Bjelovar) and they have been on a citycourt for a decade now...
The court was about the land which is my parents but our neighbor claimed it is hers.
We won the case but from no undrestandeble reason the city court in Bjelovar is allowingconstant appeal from this neighbor. My mum is 79 and all this stress had an impact on her health , she had a mini stroke two weeks ago...and I have Cerebral Palsy so this stress is a bit too much for me too...
How the case that has been won 3 years ago,can end it up over and over again in the court room?
The court in Bjelovar had a directionfrom national court that this case is closed but they constantly allow new appeals ...
Is there any European Court where we could ask for a help?
SK - 18-Oct-15 @ 11:27 PM
I am in a no win situation involving Coventry County Court and Coventry Social Care.
In January '15 my ex. terminated contact between my kids and I because I was encouraging and actively supporting them to aim high in their future education.
I brought an s.8 Children Act 1989 case to Magistrates court in late March '15.Due to false allegations made against me by my stepdaughter and ex., CafCass filed a 'the sky is falling' report to the Court in late May, the Magistrate also panicked and referred the case to the County Court.
Social Care were brought in due to the false allegations being made through their RAS rather than the Police, initially, and having followed Chicken Little all the way, have run a parallel (universe) case a :) against me since April also.
Long story short, I have been cleared of everything, now, but despite the law being on my side, the Social Care services are deliberately being as obstructive as is possible, and the District Judge cannot make a decision about anything unless it is to defer a decision until another Hearing. How he manages to actually get up in the morning is beyond me.
The upshot is that my child has not been allowed to see me, at all, since January '15; and nothing I can do - other than genocide - seems possible to bring a change.
Carlos - 17-Oct-15 @ 7:15 PM
@Rick - have you made an appeal? If not I have included a link here that will give you some guidance. I hope this helps.
CourtroomAdvice - 7-Jan-15 @ 11:32 AM
I have been regarded as disabled for 4 years by the D.W.P bit was assessed by the new system p.i.ps and they have said I no longer qualify an have withdrawn all benifit car tax and blue badge I have sent doctors reports and letters but they will not go any futher I am now living on my wife's pension and ESA to run my needs I also wrote to MPs who have not responded to my letters for help .what else can I doI have spinal damage and was diagnosed cancer in 2010 and under the Macmillan at bury st edmunds hospital
Rick - 7-Jan-15 @ 7:44 AM
@pam, as you may well know the on Jan 22, 2014 the Court of Appeal decided to refer the case to the ECJ. At the time it was also stated that the ECJ would decide to join the Woolworths case with the Lyttle case, given their similarities.
A normal referral can take 18 months to be heard and as far as I know there has been no date given as yet.
CourtroomAdvice - 10-Oct-14 @ 10:52 AM
Please can someone give me the exact date when the Woolworths case is going to be heard?Thank you.
pam - 9-Oct-14 @ 9:10 PM
I would like to ask the following question if i may ?
1}I'am a DUTCH by naturalization living and have a business of my own in the United Kingdom.
2}I invite my sister and her husband to visit us for a month together with my mother who always come & go back to the Philippines after a month and i will shoulder all their expenses and they're going to stay with us, How come the British Embassy in the Philippines refuse them for an entry Visa? when i provided all necessary documents is my human rights being violated in this sense?
NETH - 4-Jul-14 @ 8:57 AM
Please what step should I take if a public authority breached a quashing order by the High Courtto reinvestigate my case. The legal ombudsman dismiss my complaint again after been compelled by the court to reinvestigate.