Protocol No. 15 to the ECHR Enters into Force

On 21 April 2021, Italy deposited its instrument of ratification of Protocol No. 15 amending the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), thereby bringing the Protocol into force for all CoE member states with effect from 1 August 2021.

Protocol No. 15 adds a new recital to the Preamble of the ECHR. This reads as follows: “Affirming that the High Contracting Parties, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, have the primary responsibility to secure the rights and freedoms defined in this Convention and the Protocols thereto, and that in doing so they enjoy a margin of appreciation, subject to the supervisory jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights established by this Convention.”

The Protocol brings about a reform of the ECtHR by amending several provisions of the Convention. In particular, the time-limit, within which an application may be lodged to the ECtHR following a final domestic decision is reduced from six to four months. Judge Robert Spano, President of the ECtHR, stated that all relevant information on the measures taken to ensure the smooth functioning of the work of the Court will be published on its website in due course.

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Council of Europe Reform of the European Court of Human Rights


Dr. András Csúri

Vienna University of Economics and Business