Thursday 12 December 2013

Stricter Rules for Lodging Complaints at the European Court

Even long before a future entry into force of Protocol 15 to the ECHR which will render the time limits of applying to the Court shorter, changes are around the corner: as of 1 January 2014 a new rule 47 of the Rules of Court will enter into force. The changes, like many previous reforms are geared towards increasing the efficiency of handling complaints. It adds two requirements to the way in which complaints should be lodged with the Court:

1. Application forms sent to the Court must be completed in full and must be accompanied by copies of the relevant documents. A failure to do so, will lead to a rejection of the application. 

2. In addition, a change is made to "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 fulfill 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 enable applicants to lodge a complaint, a new simplified application form will be put on the Court's website on 1 January. More precision and due care is thus asked of the applicants. The full press release can be found here.