Services & Policy

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The Library is housed on two floors and is equipped with study desks, and copy facilities.

The librarian at the reference desk is available to answer your questions, assist with targeted bibliographies, and provide guidance on international human rights literature and the general use of the collection.

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The catalogue consists of references to books and chapters in books, as well as periodical articles on the subject topics covered by the Library.

To exploit the richness of the collection requires making effective searches in the catalogue.

A selection of some of the most useful subject keywords can be found in the Search Guide

Locating material in the collection

The call number (location number) is used to find material in the collection.

Shelving - after use, all items for return to the shelves must be placed on the blue trolley dedicated for this purpose.

Please note - only the librarians shelve material.

Document supply (loans and copies)

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External users

Photocopies and scans are permitted within the limits of copyright restrictions. Copy cards can be purchased from the Reference Desk. All used cards should be returned to the Library.

Card prices:

  • 20 copies : 1.50 €
  • 50 copies : 4.00 €
  • 100 copies : 6.00 €
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Only Court and Council of Europe staff can borrow material from the Library.

As the collection must be readily accessible for Court staff, the Library regrets it is unable to offer a loans service to other libraries or external users.


Please note the library has no document supply service.

Practical information

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In the Library

Free WiFi is available in the reading room, and work desks are equipped with sockets.

Two PCs are available to Library users for conducting searches in the catalogue.

All material for shelving must be placed on the blue trolley provided for this purpose.

There is wheelchair access to the Library.

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Near the Library (Garden Level)

Refreshments from a drinks and a snack machine are available. External visitors requiring a meal at mid-day will need to exit the building to enjoy the restaurant facilities near the Court.

Toilets, including a facility for wheelchair users.

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The Court Library gratefully acknowledges the support from those who have donated books and articles relevant to our Collection Policy.

Donations can be sent to :

Council of Europe
European Court of Human Rights
Library of the Court
F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex

If donating an electronic item, please ensure copyright authorisation is given for full text access from our catalogue.

In accordance with its collection policy, the Court Library reserves the right to integrate or not donations received.


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Collection policy

Acquisitions are made possible by an annual budget and by donations. The Court Library develops its collection in the following subject areas:

• European Convention on Human Rights
• European Court of Human Rights
• Human Rights (human rights and civil liberties etc.)
• Law (constitutional, administrative, criminal law etc.)
• European law (European Union law)
• International law (public int. law and int. criminal law)
• International Courts (ICC ;ECJ ; ICJ ; IACHR etc.)
• International organisations (role, int. relations)
• National legislation and case-law (primary literature)


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Library Rules

The Library staff are committed to making access to the collection as user-friendly as possible.

The Library rules address the following issues :


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Legal Assistance

Please note that the Library does not give legal assistance. This should be sought in the member State.

Help with bringing an application to the Court can be found on the Court’s website

Data protection policy

Institutional users 

Case files (dockets) are held by the Court Archives