European Court of Human Rights books
13 Oct 2020

New NHRI Guide on Third Party Interventions before the European Court of Human Rights

ENNHRI has launched a new publication: Third Party Interventions Before the European Court of Human Rights – Guide for National Human Rights Institutions. The Guide captures information relevant for National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) to undertake Third Party Interventions before the Court, providing a resource to support NHRI staff in their advocacy and litigation activities.

Read the Foreword below from Robert Spano, President of the European Court of Human Rights.

I am very pleased to provide the foreword to this extremely useful guide produced by the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI), which aims to support and strengthen the work of national human rights institutions in their submissions as third parties before the European Court of Human Rights.

As we know, the success of the Convention system is achieved through a combination of efforts: governmental; parliamentary; judicial and also at the level of national human rights institutions and civil society. National human rights institutions can play a significant role in the effective implementation of the Convention given their unique position as a bridge between the state and civil society. This guide focuses on one particular area of action, third party interventions before the European Court of Human Rights, which forms part of a wider field of interest, strategic litigation.

Third party interventions before the Court are a way in which States Parties, other international organisations and national human rights institutions and civil society can engage actively in a dialogue with the Court. As the States Parties themselves underlined in the 2018 Copenhagen Declaration this has the effect of strengthening the authority and legitimacy of the Court and improving the effectiveness of the whole system. Third party interventions from ENNHRI or national human rights institutions can provide various perspectives for the Court: a picture of the law and practice at the national level of one particular State; data and statistics on the ground; a comparative overview of domestic practices across Council of Europe Member States; an analysis of international jurisprudence on the issue at question or on the Court’s own case-law.

The added value of this comprehensive guide is that it provides practical advice and resources on why, when and how to prepare a third party interventions, including the very helpful dos and don’ts section as well as numerous of examples of submissions in concrete cases.

Finally, I would like to thank all national human rights institutions, as well as ENNHRI itself, for your interventions, whether individual or collective. I know that preparing and writing third party interventions is a labour-intensive activity which can take up much of your time. Sometimes you  may wonder what impact they have. On behalf of the Court, I can assure you that all submissions are read with interest and care and that, depending on the case, they can play a very useful role in our decision-making.

Robert Spano

Strasbourg, 17 September 2020

Download the Guide

Download ENNHRI’s Common Procedure for Third Party Interventions