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Dolores Utrilla
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16th April 2020
Human Rights Justice & Litigation

Functioning of ECtHR during the COVID-19 confinement period

Following its recent announcements concerning the extension of time limits in view of the COVID-19 crisis (here and here), the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), based in Strasbourg (France), has now issued a press release with information about its functioning during the period that quarantine has been imposed by French authorities.

The ECtHR has taken a number of steps to minimise the physical presence of staff on its premises. Even though the great majority of activities will be performed remotely, certain tasks that cannot be carried out in that way and which are not critically urgent will be postponed while quarantine is ongoing.

In particular, the ECtHR states that:

  • Single-judge decisions on admissibility will continue to be taken, but they will not be notified to the applicant until the quarantine has been lifted.
  • Applications will not be formally notified (communicated) to respondent States during the quarantine period except where important and urgent cases are concerned.
  • The Grand Chamber, Chambers and Committees will continue to examine cases under a written procedure to the extent that is
  • Decisions and judgments will be signed by the (Deputy) Section Registrar only and will be notified to the parties electronically, for Governments via the secure sites and for applicants via the eComms platform. Where applicants do not have access to the eComms platform, the judgment or decision will not be notified to either party during the confinement period, with the exception of urgent cases. Judgments and decisions notified electronically will continue to be published on the HUDOC database on the day of delivery.

The ECtHR’s press release is available here.

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