European Court: procedure and practice » scope of competence

The Court’s jurisdiction concerns alleged violations of the Convention and/or its Protocols only by the States which signed and ratified the Convention and the relevant Protocols. It means that it may only deal with complaints that are duly formulated and directed against one or several States Parties to the Convention and the relevant Protocols to it (almost all of the European States with the exception of Belarus, Vatican City and Kazakhstan). Also important to note, that the complaint should concern the events which took place after the ratification of the Convention or a Protocol by the respective State and that the actions or omission complained of should be, at least arguably, attributed to the Respondent State (its courts, executive authorities or law-making bodies). The Court does not examine complaints directed against private individuals or organisations. For instance, an applicant cannot complaint to Strasbourg against a private company refusing to pay his salary, but he or she may address their complaint against the State if it failed to protect their property rights in the relevant dispute.


European Court: procedure and practice » exhaustion all legal remedies and terms for apply


According to Article 35 § 1 of the Convention, the Court may accept a case for examination only after the applicant has exhausted all legal remedies existing at the domestic level and capable of remedying the violation complained of. Alternatively, an applicant should provide a plausible version, supported by evidence, explaining why the domestic remedies were unavailable to him or her, or why they were a prori ineffective in his or her particular case. At that, it should be remembered that petitions to executive authorities or law-making bodies usually do not constitute an effective remedy in terms of Article 35 § 1 of the Convention. Thus, generally, before complaining to the European Court an applicant has to apply to the supreme court of his or her State competent to deal with the substance of the complaint. And only after a failed attempt to remedy a violation at the domestic level, aggrieved part can take the case to Strasbourg. Moreover, a complaint shall be lodged with the Court within six months from the date of final decision taken at the national level in the applicant’s case. Applications which do not comply with these requirements are not examined by the Court on the merits.