Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
Adopted by the Council of Europe on November 4, 1950. Entered into force on September 3, 1953. The following extracts of the European Convention reflect the text as amended by Protocols No. 11 and 14.
Relevant Provisions of the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
Article 2: Right to life
1. Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.
2. Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this article when it results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary:
a. in defence of any person from unlawful violence;
b. in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained;
c. in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection.
Article 3: Prohibition of torture
No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 5: Right to liberty and security
1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law:
a. the lawful detention of a person after conviction by a competent court;
b. the lawful arrest or detention of a person for non compliance with the lawful order of a court or in order to secure the fulfilment of any obligation prescribed by law;
c. the lawful arrest or detention of a person effected for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence or when it is reasonably considered necessary to prevent his committing an offence or fleeing after having done so;
d. the detention of a minor by lawful order for the purpose of educational supervision or his lawful detention for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority;
e. the lawful detention of persons for the prevention of the spreading of infectious diseases, of persons of unsound mind, alcoholics or drug addicts or vagrants;
f. the lawful arrest or detention of a person to prevent his effecting an unauthorised entry into the country or of a person against whom action is being taken with a view to deportation or extradition.
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 in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1.c of this article shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorised by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial. Release may be conditioned by guarantees to appear for trial.
4. Everyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings by which the lawfulness of his detention shall be decided speedily by a court and his release ordered if the detention is not lawful.
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. In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, 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 but the press and public may be excluded from all or part of the trial in the interests of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society, where the interests of juveniles or the protection of the private life of the parties so require, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice.
2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.
3. Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:
a. to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him;
b. to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence;
c. to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require;
d. to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;
e. to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court.
Article 7: No punishment without law
1. No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission 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.
2. This article shall not prejudice the trial and punishment of any person for any act or omission which, at the time when it was committed, was criminal according to the general principles of law recognised by civilised nations.
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 such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society 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; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
2. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
Article 10: Freedom of expression
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.
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.
2. No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, 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. This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces, of the police or of the administration of the State.
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 notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity.
Article 14: Prohibition of discrimination
The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.
Status of Signature, Ratification and Entry into force of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
|Country||Signature||Ratification||Entry into force|
|Albania||13 July 1995||02 October 1996||02 October 1996|
|Andorra||10 November 1994||22 January 1996||22 January 1996|
|Armenia||25 January 2001||26 April 2002||26 April 2002|
|Austria||13 December 1957||03 September 1958||03 September 1958|
|Azerbaijan||25 January 2001||15 April 2002||15 April 2002|
|Belgium||04 November 1950||14 June 1955||14 June 1955|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||24 April 2002||12 July 2002||12 July 2002|
|Bulgaria||07 May 1992||07 September 1992||07 September 1992|
|Croatia||06 November 1996||05 November 1997||05 November 1997|
|Cyprus||16 December 1961||06 October 1962||06 October 1962|
|Czech Republic||21 December 1991||18 March 1992||01 January 1993|
|Denmark||04 November 1950||13 April 1953||03 September 1953|
|Estonia||14 May 1993||16 April 1996||16 April 1996|
|Finland||05 May 1989||10 May 1990||10 May 1990|
|France||04 November 1950||03 May 1974||03 May 1974|
|Georgia||27 April 1999||20 May 1999||20 May 1999|
|Germany||04 November 1950||05 December 1952||03 September 1953|
|Greece||28 November 1950||28 November 1974||28 November 1974|
|Hungary||06 November 1990||05 November 1992||05 November 1992|
|Iceland||04 November 1950||29 June 1953||03 September 1953|
|Ireland||04 November 1950||25 February 1953||03 September 1953|
|Italy||04 November 1950||26 October 1955||26 October 1955|
|Latvia||10 February 1995||27 June 1997||27 June 1997|
|Liechtenstien||23 November 1978||08 September 1982||08 September 1982|
|Lithuania||14 May 1993||20 June 1995||20 June 1995|
|Luxembourg||04 November 1950||03 September 1953||03 September 1953|
|Malta||12 December 1966||23 January 1967||23 January 1967|
|Moldova||13 July 1995||12 September 1997||12 September 1997|
|Monaco||05 October 2004||30 November 2005||30 November 2005|
|Montenegro||03 April 2003||03 March 2004||06 June 2006|
|Netherlands||04 November 1950||31 August 1954||31 August 1954|
|Norway||04 November 1950||15 Jaunary 1952||03 September 1953|
|Poland||26 November 1991||19 January 1993||19 January 1993|
|Portugal||22 September 1976||09 November 1978||09 November 1978|
|Romania||07 October 1993||20 June 1994||20 June 1994|
|Russian Federation||28 February 1996||05 May 1998||05 May 1998|
|San Marino||16 November 1988||22 March 1989||22 March 1989|
|Serbia||03 April 2003||03 March 2004||03 March 2004|
|Slovakia||21 February 1991||18 March 1992||01 January 1993|
|Slovenia||14 May 1993||28 June 1994||28 June 1994|
|Spain||24 November 1977||04 October 1979||04 October 1979|
|Sweden||28 November 1950||04 February 1952||03 September 1953|
|Switzerland||21 December 1972||28 November 1974||28 November 1974|
|The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia||09 November 1995||10 April 1997||14 April 1997|
|Turkey||04 November 1950||18 May 1954||18 May 1954|
|Ukraine||09 November 1995||11 September 1997||11 September 1997|
|United Kingdom||04 November 1950||08 March 1951||03 September 1953|