European Court of Human Rights

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The European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is a court set up under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to hear complaints that states who are signatories to the Convention have violated someone's human rights. It sits in Strasbourg, France. All 47 members of the Council of Europe have signed the Convention.

Originally individuals had to take a case to the European Commission of Human Rights, which would then if it saw fit take the case to the ECtHR. However since 1998 the Commission has been abolished and individuals can take their cases direct to the ECtHR.

Decisions of the ECtHR have led to:

Note: the Court has no connection with the European Court of Justice, which is the highest court of the European Union. However all 27 members of the European Union are members of the Council of Europe.

Further reading

Paul Johnson, Homosexuality and the European Court of Human Rights. Routledge, 2013. ISBN 978-0-415-69657-9