Skip to Content

The European Court of Human Rights has the competence to accept individual complaints against all the 46 States that have ratified the European Convention on Human Rights. It must be noted that the Right to Education is provided for in Additional Protocol 1 – therefore in order for the Court to accept complaints relating to the Right to Edcuation, it is necessary for the State in question to have ratified this as well – 43 European States have so ratified.

The European Court of Human Rights set up under the Convention (as amended by Protocol No. 11) is composed of a number of independent judges equal to that of the States Parties (currently 45). The Court may receive applications from any person, non-governmental organisation or group of individuals claiming to be the victim of a violation by one of the States Parties of the rights set forth in the Convention or the Protocols thereto.

The government of any country that has ratified the Convention can be taken to the Court: it is not necessary for the government to have accepted the competence of the Court.

Applications must be made within 6 months of the final domestic decision being taken.

Over twice as many States are able to be taken to the Court than to the European Committee on Social Rights.

For more detailed information about rules for making a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights, follow this link to the excellent Litigating Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Legal Practitioners Dossier released by the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) at p.177