65 years since the European Convention on Human Rights came into force
In force since September 3, 1953, after having been ratified by 10 member states of the Council of Europe, the European Convention on Human Rights is one of the most important documents laid at the foundation of the Council of Europe.
As a legally binding international treaty, signed and ratified by all 47 Member States of the Council of Europe (Romania ratified the European Convention on Human Rights on 20 June 1994), the system of protection of fundamental rights and freedoms introduced by the European Convention on Human Rights and its Additional Protocols is primarily within the competence of the States Parties to the Convention. They have the task of guaranteeing their application, and the European Court of Human Rights must intervene only when the states have failed to fulfil their obligations.
Since its adoption, the Convention has been supplemented with 16 protocols. The most recent of them, Protocol no. 16 to the Convention, which allows national courts to request the European Court of Human Rights to provide consultative opinions on questions of principle relating to the interpretation or application of the rights and freedoms defined in the Convention or its protocols, entered into force on 1 August 2018.
On this occasion, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Torbjørn Jagland, underlined in his statement the importance and significance of this legal instrument that protects the rights of over 830 million people. He stressed the key role of the Convention in promoting stability and security in Europe at a time when the continent faced multiple challenges, its safeguards being as important today as they were 65 years ago.