European Court: procedure and practice » coming into force

In accordance with Article 44 of the Convention, judgments of the Grand Chamber become final immediately and are not subject to any appeal (surprisingly, judgments delivered by the Committees of three judges also have immediate effect and cannot be challenged either before a Chamber of the Grand Chamber). Similarly, all decisions taken by the Court, be it in a single judge formation, committee, Chamber or the Grand Chamber are also final upon delivery.

By contrast, judgments of Chambers become final (a) when the parties declare that they will not request that the case be referred to the Grand Chamber; or (b) three months after the date of the judgment, if reference of the case to the Grand Chamber has not been requested; or (c) when the panel of the Grand Chamber rejects the request to refer the case to the Grand Chamber under Article 43.

All final judgments and decisions of the Court are binding to the Respondent State authorities. Judgments and decisions are published online at the HUDOC – an official data base of all judicial acts delivered by the Court (hudoc.echr.coe.int). Most important of them are also published in the printed Reports prepared by the Court and sometimes translated into one or more national languages and published in domestic case-law or legislation search systems or in special journals. Revision of judgment or decision in view of new or newly discovered circumstances which were unknown to the Court and the party at the moment the judgment or decision were delivered, can be made upon the parties’ requests within six months after the party concerned became aware of them. The parties also may ask for the interpretation of a judgment or decision in its case within a year after the date of judgment’s / decision’s delivery.