The member States of the Council of Europe, signatories to this Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,
signed at Rome on 4 November 1950 (hereinafter referred to as "the Convention"),
Considering that it is desirable to amend certain provisions of the Convention with a view
to improving and in particular to expediting the procedure of the European Commission of
Considering that it is also advisable to amend certain provisions of the Convention
concerning the procedure of the European Court of Human Rights,
Have agreed as follows:
The existing text of Article 20 of the Convention shall become paragraph 1 of that
article and shall be supplemented by the following four paragraphs:
- "The Commission shall sit in plenary session. It may, however, set up
Chambers, each composed of at least seven members. The Chambers may examine petitions
submitted under Article 25 of this Convention which can be dealt with on the basis of
established case law or which raise no serious question affecting the interpretation or
application of the Convention. Subject to this restriction and to the provisions of
paragraph 5 of this article, the Chambers shall exercise all the powers conferred on the
Commission by the Convention.
The member of the Commission elected in respect of a High Contracting Party against which
a petition has been lodged shall have the right to sit on a Chamber to which that petition
has been referred.
- The Commission may set up committees, each composed of at least three members, with the
power, exercisable by a unanimous vote, to declare inadmissible or strike from its list of
cases a petition submitted under Article 25, when such a decision can be taken without
- A Chamber or committee may at any time relinquish jurisdiction in favour of the plenary
Commission, which may also order the transfer to it of any petition referred to a Chamber
- Only the plenary Commission can exercise the following powers:
- the examination of applications submitted under Article 24;
- the bringing of a case before the Court in accordance with Article 48.a;
- the drawing up of rules of procedure in accordance with Article 36."
Article 21 of the Convention shall be supplemented by the following third paragraph:
- "The candidates shall be of high moral character and must either possess
the qualifications required for appointment to high judicial office or be persons of
recognised competence in national or international law."
Article 23 of the Convention shall be supplemented by the following sentence:
"During their term of office they shall not hold any position which is incompatible
with their independence and impartiality as members of the Commission or the demands of
The text, with modifications, of Article 28 of the Convention shall become paragraph 1
of that article and the text, with modifications, of Article 30 shall become paragraph 2.
The new text of Article 28 shall read as follows:
- In the event of the Commission accepting a petition referred to it:
- it shall, with a view to ascertaining the facts, undertake together with the
representatives of the parties an examination of the petition and, if need be, an
investigation, for the effective conduct of which the States concerned shall furnish all
necessary facilities, after an exchange of views with the Commission;
- it shall at the same time place itself at the disposal of the parties concerned with a
view to securing a friendly settlement of the matter on the basis of respect for human
rights as defined in this Convention;
- If the Commission succeeds in effecting a friendly settlement, it shall draw up a report
which shall be sent to the States concerned, to the Committee of Ministers and to the
Secretary General of the Council of Europe for publication. This report shall be confined
to a brief statement of the facts and of the solution reached."
In the first paragraph of Article 29 of the Convention, the word
"unanimously" shall be replaced by the words "by a majority of two-thirds
of its members".
The following provision shall be inserted in the Convention:
- The Commission may at any stage of the proceedings decide to strike a petition out of
its list of cases where the circumstances lead to the conclusion that:
- the applicant does not intend to pursue his petition, or
- the matter has been resolved, or
- for any other reason established by the Commission, it is no longer justified to
continue the examination of the petition.
However, the Commission shall continue the examination of a petition if respect for
human rights as defined in this Convention so requires.
- If the Commission decides to strike a petition out of its list after having accepted it,
it shall draw up a report which shall contain a statement of the facts and the decision
striking out the petition together with the reasons therefor. The report shall be
transmitted to the parties, as well as to the Committee of Ministers for information. The
Commission may publish it.
- The Commission may decide to restore a petition to its list of cases if it considers
that the circumstances justify such a course."
In Article 31 of the Convention, paragraph 1 shall read as follows:
"1 If the examination of a petition has not been completed in accordance
with Article 28 (paragraph 2), 29 or 30, the Commission shall draw up a report on the
facts and state its opinion as to whether the facts found disclose a breach by the State
concerned of its obligations under the Convention. The individual opinions of members of
the Commission on this point may be stated in the report."
Article 34 of the Convention shall read as follows:
"Subject to the provisions of articles 20 (paragraph 3) and 29, the Commission shall
take its decision by a majority of the members present and voting."
Article 40 of the Convention shall be supplemented by the following seventh paragraph:
"7 The members of the Court shall sit on the Court in their individual
capacity. During their term of office they shall not hold any position which is
incompatible with their independence and impartiality as members of the Court or the
demands of this office."
Article 41 of the Convention shall read as follows:
"The Court shall elect its President and one or two Vice-Presidents for a period of
three years. They may be re-elected."
In the first sentence of Article 43 of the Convention, the word "seven" shall
be replaced by the word "nine".
- This Protocol shall be open for signature by member States of the Council of Europe
signatories to the Convention, which may express their consent to be bound by:
- signature without reservation as to ratification, acceptance or approval, or
- signature subject to ratification, acceptance or approval, followed by ratification,
acceptance or approval.
- Instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the
Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
This Protocol shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the
expiration of a period of three months after the date on which all the Parties to the
Convention have expressed their consent to be bound by the Protocol in accordance with the
provisions of Article 12.
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall notify the member States of the
- any signature;
- the deposit of any instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval;
- the date of entry into force of this Protocol in accordance with Article 13;
- any other act, notification or communication relating to this Protocol.
In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorised thereto, have signed this
Done at Vienna, this 19th day of March 1985, in English and French, both texts being
equally authentic, in a single copy which shall be deposited in the archives of the
Council of Europe. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall transmit certified
copies to each member State of the Council of Europe.