The European Court of Human Rights is taking a number of exceptional measures to respond to the unprecedented global health crisis, having regard to the recent decisions of the French authorities and the Council of Europe.
The Court’s essential activities will in principle be maintained and especially the handling of priority cases. For that purpose, teleworking has been put in place within the Court as a general rule, to ensure the continuity of its tasks. Procedures have been adopted for the examination of urgent requests for interim measures under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. This Rule applies only when there is an imminent risk of irreversible harm.
The premises of the European Court of Human Rights are no longer accessible to the public and the hearings scheduled for March and April are cancelled, pending further decisions. The six-month time-limit for the lodging of applications, under Article 35 of the European Convention on Human Rights, is exceptionally suspended for a one-month period running from Monday 16 March 2020.
All time-limits allotted in proceedings that are currently pending will be suspended for one month, with effect from Monday 16 March 2020.
These new working arrangements will be kept constantly under review, depending on the evolution of the sanitary situation, so that every effort is made to ensure the Court carries on functioning while complying with the rules laid down by its host State.
The Court has also published a guidance and factsheet on Article 15 of the European Convention on human rights, which is related to state of emergency and suspension of some rights protected by the Convention.
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