European Convention on Human Rights

The European Convention on Human Rights is an international treaty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe. It came into force in 1953.


The protection of the rights and freedoms are available to all people regardless of

       nationality,
       gender,
       national or ethnic origin,
       race,
       religion,
       disability

The Convention was written by the Council of Europe and signed by its members.

The Council of Europe, based in Strasbourg, France, promotes cooperation between countries of Europe in human rights, the rule of law, democracy and culture. It has 47 members. It has nothing to do with the EU.

All member states of the European Union have accepted the European Convention on Human Rights as the law of their lands. It became law in the UK under the Human Rights Act of 1998.


Individuals who may wish to appeal against a judgment in a human rights case, given in a national court, can take their case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.


Sir Nicolas Bratza from the UK was President of the Court
from November 2011 to the end of October 2012.

Sir Nicolas Bratza

The European Court of Human Rights is not to be confused with

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg that deals with EU law
The International Court of Justice in the Hague that deals with disputes between countries outside the EU

Two recent cases involved the UK - you can see more about them here.