Entry into Force of Protocol No. 16 to the ECHR
On 1 August 2018, Protocol No. 16 to the ECHR, which shall strengthen the dialogue between the European Court of Human Rights and the highest national courts, came into force after 10 Member States signed and ratified it: Albania, Armenia, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Lithuania, San Marino, Slovenia, and Ukraine. Ten more countries have signed the Protocol but have yet to ratify it: Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Italy, the Republic of Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, and Turkey.
Protocol No. 16 enables the highest national courts and tribunals, as designated by the Member States concerned, to request the Court to give advisory opinions on questions of principle relating to the interpretation or application of the rights and freedoms defined in the Convention or the Protocols thereto. Requests can be made in the context of cases pending before a national court or tribunal, with the Court having the discretion to accept a request or not. The Courts reasoned advisory opinions are non-binding and will be delivered by the Grand Chamber.