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47 ( )





                                                                June 2013

                     Information about the new Rule 47

   Amended Rule 47 with changes integrated

                                       Entry into force on 1 January 2014

   Rule 47^ - Contents of an individual application

   1.  An application under Article 34 of the Convention shall be made on
   the  application  form  provided  by  the  Registry,  unless the Court
   decides  otherwise.  It shall contain all of the information requested
   in the relevant parts of the application form and set out

   (a)  the name, date of birth, nationality and address of the applicant
   and,  where  the  applicant  is a legal person, the full name, date of
   incorporation  or  registration,  the official registration number (if
   any) and the official address;

   (b)  the  name,  occupation,  address,  telephone  and fax numbers and
   e-mail address of the representative, if any;

   (c)  the  name  of  the Contracting Party or Parties against which the
   application is made;

   (d)  a concise and legible statement of the facts;

   (e)  a  concise  and  legible statement of the alleged violation(s) of
   the Convention and the relevant arguments; and

   (f)  a  concise  and  legible  statement  confirming  the  applicant's
   compliance  with the admissibility criteria laid down in Article 35 S:
   1 of the Convention.[DEL: :DEL] 

   2.  (a)  All  of the information referred to in paragraph 1 (d) to (f)
   above  that  is  set  out in the relevant part of the application form
   should  be  sufficient to enable the Court to determine the nature and
   scope of the application without recourse to any other document.

   (b)  The applicant may however supplement the information by appending
   to  the  application  form  further  details  on  the  facts,  alleged
   violations   of  the  Convention  and  the  relevant  arguments.  Such
   information shall not exceed 20 pages.

   3.1.  The  application  form  shall  be signed by the applicant or the
   applicant's representative and shall be accompanied by

   (a)  copies  of  documents  relating  to  the  decisions  or  measures
   complained of, judicial or otherwise;

   (b)  copies  of documents and decisions showing that the applicant has
   complied  with the exhaustion of domestic remedies requirement and the
   time-limit contained in Article 35 S: 1 of the Convention;

   (c)  where  appropriate,  copies  of  documents  relating to any other
   procedure of international investigation or settlement;

   (d)  where  represented, the original of the power of attorney or form
   of authority signed by the applicant.

   [DEL: :DEL] 

   3.2.  Documents  submitted  in  support  of  the  application shall be
   listed  in  order  by  date,  numbered consecutively and be identified

   4.  Applicants  who  do not wish their identity to be disclosed to the
   public  shall  so indicate and shall submit a statement of the reasons
   justifying  such  a departure from the normal rule of public access to
   information  in  proceedings before the Court. The Court may authorise
   anonymity or grant it of its own motion.

   5.1.  Failure  to comply with the requirements set out in paragraphs 1
   to 3 of this Rule will result in the application not being examined by
   the Court, unless

   (a)  the  applicant  has  provided  an  adequate  explanation  for the
   failure to comply;[DEL: :DEL]

   (b)  the application concerns a request for an interim measure;

   (c)  the  Court  otherwise directs of its own motion or at the request
   of an applicant.

   5.2.  The  Court  may  in  any  case  request  an applicant to provide
   information   or  documents  in  any  form  or  manner  which  may  be
   appropriate within a fixed time-limit.

   6.  (a)  The  date of introduction of the application for the purposes
   of  Article 35 S:  1  of  the Convention shall be the date on which an
   application  form  satisfying the requirements of this Rule is sent to
   the Court. The date of dispatch shall be the date of the postmark.

   (b)  Where  it  finds  it justified, the Court may nevertheless decide
   that  a  different  date  shall  be  considered  to  be  the  date  of

   7.  Applicants  shall keep the Court informed of any change of address
   and of all circumstances relevant to the application.


   1.  On  6 May 2013 the Plenary Court approved a revision of Rule 47 of
   the  Rules  of  Court which sets out what an individual application to
   the  Court  should  contain  (see  appended  text). The purpose of the
   revision  is to achieve greater efficiency in the way applications are
   dealt  with  at the initial stage of the process before the Court. The
   amendments will entail two important changes. First, the rules on what
   an  application  must  contain  will  be  applied  more  strictly.  An
   application  which does not contain the necessary information will not
   be  examined  by  the  Court.  Secondly, in future only an application
   which  fulfils the conditions of Rule 47 will interrupt the running of
   time  for the purposes of lodging an application within the prescribed

   2.  As  regards  the first amendment, i.e. the stricter application of
   the  requirements concerning the contents of an application, the Court
   has  tested a more formal approach to applications on the basis of the
   current wording of Rule 47. Starting in September 2011, it applied the
   policy to new applications coming from certain countries. The test was
   subsequently  extended  to  other countries and the Court then made an
   assessment of the trial. The experience gained enabled the fine-tuning
   of the text of Rule 47 in the form that has now been adopted.

   3.  The  main  idea  is  that  applicants  must provide the Court with
   sufficient  information  to allow it to conduct an initial analysis of
   the  application.  Introducing  an  application  before the Court is a
   formal  legal  act  and  applicants  can  consequently  be required to
   observe basic formalities. With thousands of new applications reaching
   the  Court  each  month, the Registry simply does not have the time to
   engage  in  lengthy  correspondence  with  applicants  with  a view to
   completing the information necessary for processing their case.

   4.  Each  application  submitted to the Court should therefore contain
   all  the  essential  information  about  the  complaints  made, and be
   accompanied  by  the  necessary  supporting  documents  (in particular
   copies  of  the  relevant  domestic  decisions).  This  will allow the
   Registry  to determine the nature and scope of the case at the outset.
   In  this  way,  priority cases can be identified at the initial stage.
   Similarly, applications with obvious problems of admissibility will be
   submitted rapidly to a single judge for decision.

   5. A new application form is being prepared. Some of the points in the
   current  form  will  simply  be deleted. Only their essential personal
   data  is  needed  in  order  to identify with sufficient certainty the
   person who is exercising the right of individual application.

   6.  Applicants  must  provide  the  Court  with  a concise and legible
   statement  of  facts, and be clear in the way they formulate and argue
   their  complaints. The application form must be complete and filled in
   so  as to enable the Court to determine from the form alone the nature
   and  scope  of  the  application.  In recognition that there are cases
   which  are  factually  and  legally  complex, additional pages will be
   accepted,  up  to  a maximum of 20. If more are used, the Registry may
   instruct the applicant to re-submit the application in a shorter form.

   7.  The  previous  text  of  Rule  47  paragraph  5  stated that if an
   applicant  did  not  fully  comply  with the formal requirements, this
   "may"  result  in the application not being examined by the Court. The
   new text replaces "may" by "will", creating a new rule that applicants
   must  observe  or  face  the  consequence  of  their application being
   rejected  as  non-compliant. It is not an inflexible rule, however. It
   will  not  apply  where  there  is  an  "adequate explanation" for the
   failure  to present the application in the required form, for example,
   an applicant who is in detention may find it practically impossible to
   obtain  the necessary supporting documentation. In addition a specific
   exception is made for applicants seeking interim measures. Lastly, the
   Court  retains  discretion  to  accept  an  application  even  if  not
   presented in the correct form. These three exceptions will ensure that
   the  rule  does  not  operate  harshly  or unjustly. They will however
   concern  a  minority  of new applications. For the great majority, the
   Registry will systematically apply the new rule.

   8.  The  second  key  point  of  the  reform  concerns  the  six-month
   time-limit.  Under  present  practice,  the  six-month  period  can be
   interrupted by an incomplete application or a simple letter. Under the
   amended  rule  only  an application satisfying the formal requirements
   will  interrupt  the  running of time, the relevant date being that of
   the postmark on the envelope. Registry staff are under instructions to
   examine  all  new  applications  promptly, so as to allow applicants a
   second chance to introduce their application, where possible. However,
   if  they  re-submit their application outside the six-month period, it
   will be referred to the single judge for rejection as inadmissible.

   9.  Where justified, the Court may consider that the prescribed period
   was  interrupted  on a different date, so as to permit the examination
   of  the  application.  This  could  apply,  for  example,  in  case of
   administrative error by the Registry, or if the submission of the form
   to the Court was unduly delayed through no fault of the applicant.

   10.  The  Court has decided that the new Rule 47 should take effect as
   from 1 January 2014. Well in advance of that date, the Court will take
   all  necessary  steps  to  inform  the  public  appropriately, so that
   potential  applicants  are put on notice of this change to the Court's
   long-established practice. It will ensure that the legal profession as
   well as civil society organisations are made aware of the change.

   11.  The new application form will be available in all of the official
   languages  of  the  47  Contracting Parties. The application pack will
   also  include clear guidance on the new requirements for introducing a
   valid application.

   .  As  amended  by  the  Court on 17 June and 8 July 2002, 11 December
   2007, 22 September 2008 and 6 May 2013.

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