Update: 04.07.2019

Protocol No. 15 to the ECHR

Text: English / French

Protocol No. 15 to the ECHR dates from 24 June 2013 and provides changes to the ECHR with the aim of guaranteeing and strengthening the efficiency of the European Court of Human Rights. It has not yet entered into force.

The Protocol provides the following changes to the ECHR:

  • The preamble now points out the principle of subsidiarity and the margin of appreciation, i.e. the principle guaranteeing the member states a certain policy space in the interpretation of the ECHR is explicitly included.
  • A new paragraph is added to Art. 21 ECHR, stating that candidates must be less than 65 years of age on the date which the Parliamentary Assembly resquests the list of three candidates, further to Article 22. The present age limit of 70 is removed (Para. 2 of Art. 23 of the Convention will be removed).
  • In Art. 30 ECHR, the right of the parties is removed to launch an appeal against a court chamber waiving its responsibility in favour of the big chamber of the European Court of Human Rights.
  • The deadline for filing a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights is shortened to four months in Art. 35 Para. 1.
  • The admissibility requirements of a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights state that the Court can declare the complaint inadmissible if it takes the position that the complainant has not suffered any significant disadvantage. Up to now, a complaint was examined all the same, if the legal matter had not previously been adequately assessed by a domestic tribunal. This clause will be removed.

As Protocol No. 14, this additional protocol is a protocol amendment that changes the text of the ECHR. Protocols that change the text of the ECHR must be ratified by all 47 member states of the CoE in order to take effect. At present, 45 states have ratified the additional protocol and 2 member states have signed it (as at 4 July 2019; current count).

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