About the Library

The library of the Court is an international court library specialised in the European human rights system. Created in 1966 the library has built up an important fund of general human rights literature as well as items on other human rights systems. The majority of the material is in one of the two official languages, French and English, but there are also items in German, Italian, Spanish, Russian and other languages. The library serves primarily the Court and its Registry in their judicial and publishing activities. External researchers are also welcome to come and take advantage of the collection.

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Upholding the prohibition of torture – the contribution of the European Court of Human Rights

Examines and critically appraises the practice of the ECHR on torture, exploring the contribution of the Court to the clarification of applicable law and illustrating developments of legal significance. 
Stresses the many achievements of the ECHR while also exploring some still contentious issues and questionable outcomes.

Upholding the prohibition of torture – the contribution of the European Court of Human Rights / Andrea Carcano and Tullio Scovazzi. - Leiden  : Brill/ Nijhof, 2023 – 436 p. 24 cm. – ISBN : 9789004468696 (hbk.)

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My first visit - what to do

  • Appointment – indicate your preferred date  and research topic when you contact us

  • Identification – present your passport/identity card at the entrance  and you will receive a day pass for the Library

  • Reading room – you will be escorted to the Library, where you have direct access to the collection

  • Facilities – there are lockers for your belongings, and free Wi-Fi

  • Cancellation – in case you cannot keep your appointment, please inform us
     Call number plan 
     How to read call numbers 
     Library rules 

Library Facts 2023

Area: 560m2 on 2 floors

Collection - Catalogue items: 80,000

Monographs: 30,000
Digital items: 1,000
Articles in periodicals: 32,000
Chapters in books: 11,600
Doctrines on the European Convention: 2,800
Current Periodicals: 131

Catalogue: Online catalogue

Language Coverage: Items in the collection are mainly in the two official languages: English and French - but other languages such as German, Italian etc. are also represented

Library System: SirsiDynix (USA) – Symphony 4.0.0.

Cataloguing Format: MARC 21

Cataloguing Rules: Anglo-American cataloguing rules. 2nd ed., 1998 revision

Transliteration Rules: ALA-LC romanization tables: transliteration schemes for non-roman scripts. 1997

Classification System: Classification decimale universelle. - 1990 with internal adaptions

Thesaurus: Internal keyword list

Staff: 4 librarians

Library Committee: 5 judges and 4 members of the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights

Former Heads of the Library:

Sigfrid BEIN – 1966-1999
Nora (Eleonora) BINDER – 1999-2001 (acting)
Nora (Eleonora) BINDER – 2002-2016

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European Court of Human Rights
F-67075 Strasbourg cedex
Tel. :+33(0)
Fax :+33(0)

For an appointment please indicate your preferred date, and give an outline of your research topic. Online contact form

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Opening Hours

Monday to Friday

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

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COE staff have automatic access to the Library.
External visitors are kindly asked to take an

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You are welcomed by:

Genevieve WOODS – Head of the Library
(management, acquisitions, budget, cataloguing and indexing)
Alain HEISSERER – Deputy Head of the Library
(database administrator, inventory, New Acquisitions Bulletin, inter-library loans, cataloguing and indexing, pagemaster)
Yann SOUPPART – Librarian
(KS and SCN coordinator, thesaurus, loose-leaf updating, cataloguing and indexing)
Barry TOLAND – Librarian
(periodical registration, pre-cataloguing and indexing, statistics, secretariat)