European Convention on Human Rights (Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms / ECHR)

The European Convention on Human Rights is an international treaty describing the fundamental rights and freedoms of people in Europe. Its inauguration established the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), a court designed to receive cases dealing with human rights violations thereby offering an added element of protection for individuals from human rights violations. This court is also occasionally used by states. The ECHR consists of 59 articles, which have been amended in subsequent years by various protocols.

Goal: The goal of the ECHR is to outline to European nations the fundamental rights and freedoms that all Europeans are endowed with.

Relevant Articles:

SECTION I: RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS

ARTICLE 2: Right to life

1. Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law.

ARTICLE 3: Prohibition of torture

No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

ARTICLE 4: Prohibition of slavery and forced labour

1. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.

2. No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.

ARTICLE 5: Right to liberty and security

1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.

2. Everyone who is arrested shall be informed promptly, in a language which he understands, of the reasons for his arrest and of any charge against him.

3. Everyone arrested or detained…shall be brought promptly before a judge…shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial.

5. Everyone who has been the victim of arrest or detention in contravention of the provisions of this Article shall have an enforceable right to compensation.

ARTICLE 6: Right to a fair trial

1. …everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. Judgment shall be pronounced publicly…

2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty…

ARTICLE 7: No punishment without law

1. No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence…which did not constitute a criminal offence under national or international law at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the criminal offence was committed.

ARTICLE 8: Right to respect for private and family life

1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except…in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

ARTICLE 9: Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion;

ARTICLE 10: Freedom of expression

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression.

ARTICLE 11: Freedom of assembly and association

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests…

ARTICLE 12: Right to marry

Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family…

ARTICLE 13: Right to an effective remedy

Everyone whose rights and freedoms as set forth in this Convention are violated shall have an effective remedy before a national authority…

ARTICLE 14: Prohibition of discrimination

…rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground…

SECTION II: EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

ARTICLE 34: Individual applications

The Court may receive applications from any person, nongovernmental organisation or group of individuals claiming to be the victim of a violation…

Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

ARTICLE 1: Protection of property

Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions…

ARTICLE 2: Right to education

No person shall be denied the right to education.

ARTICLE 3: Right to free elections

The High Contracting Parties undertake to hold free elections at reasonable intervals by secret ballot, under conditions which will ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature.

Protocol No. 4 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms securing certain rights and freedoms other than those already included in the Convention and in the First Protocol thereto

ARTICLE 1: Prohibition of imprisonment for debt

No one shall be deprived of his liberty merely on the ground of inability to fulfil a contractual obligation.

ARTICLE 2: Freedom of movement

1. Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall…have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.

2. Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.

Protocol No. 6 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms concerning the Abolition of the Death Penalty

ARTICLE 1: Abolition of the death penalty

The death penalty shall be abolished.

Protocol No. 7 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

ARTICLE 1: Procedural safeguards relating to expulsion of aliens

1. An alien lawfully resident in the territory of a State shall not be expelled therefrom except…in accordance with law and shall be allowed:

(a) to submit reasons against his expulsion,

(b) to have his case reviewed, and

(c) to be represented for these purposes before the competent authority…

ARTICLE 5: Equality between spouses

Spouses shall enjoy equality of rights and responsibilities…

Protocol No. 12 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

ARTICLE 1: General prohibition of discrimination

1. The enjoyment of any right set forth by law shall be secured without discrimination on any ground…

2. No one shall be discriminated against by any public authority…

Protocol No. 13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms concerning the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances

ARTICLE 1: Abolition of the death penalty

The death penalty shall be abolished…

Source

Council of Europe. (n.d.). European Convention on Human Rights. Retrieved July 07, 2013, from Council of Europe European Court of Human Rights: http://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Convention_ENG.pdf

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