Monday 23 February 2009

Complaining Online

Taking your claim to Strasbourg has now become even easier, that is, if the complaint is directed against either the Netherlands or Sweden. On a trial basis the Court has launched a service through which complaints against these countries can be filled in online. Prospectively, the method is both more user-friendly for applicants and easier for the already overburdened Court. When filling in the form, the first question is whether the complaint concerns an expulsion or a request for interim measures. When clicking yes, the reader is told that such requests cannot be performed thorugh this new tool, but need to be sent by fax. For all other complaints the tool can be used of course.

The procedure does not entirely become an internet affair however, since a finalised application form still needs to be printed and signed and then sent to Strasbourg. It will be interesting to see whether the current set-up will lead to a disproportionate increase in Swedish and Dutch complaints.