European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights is an institution of the Council of Europe established in 1959 as one of three mechanisms designed to enforce the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
The Court is composed of a number of judges equal to that of contracting states, elected by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for a nine year term.
Up until 1988 there had been both a Commission, which determined the admissibility of claims, and a part-time Court. Protocol 11 replaced this system with one, full-time Court. As of 31 March 2020, there were 60,950 applications pending before the Court.
The European Convention on Human Rights Act, 2003 as amended by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 gives the Convention further effect in Irish law, providing for a more direct role for the Convention in Irish courts.
Since 2006, Ireland has been the sole funder of the webcasting of hearings before the Court. The overall aim of the project is to extend public access to the hearings of the Court. By furthering knowledge of the Court’s operation, the project seeks to enable applicants to better understand what is at stake in Strasbourg proceedings and to provide a greater understanding of rights flowing from the Convention itself. A link to the webcasting is available here.
Dr Síofra O’Leary assumed her position as a judge of the European Court of Human Rights on 2 July 2015.
Judgments and decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in cases involving Ireland
Our Legal Division is the Agent for the Government before the European Court of Human Rights. We do not give legal advice to members of the public on lodging a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights. The website of the European Court of Human Rights contains useful information intended to assist persons in considering whether to lodge a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights.
On case-law of the European Court of Human Rights