Applying for interim measures

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Interim measures may, in exceptional circumstances, whether at the request of a party or of any other person concerned, or of the Court’s own motion, be indicated under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, where there is an imminent risk of irreparable harm. They play a vital role in avoiding irreversible situations that would prevent national courts and/or the Court from properly examining Convention complaints and, where appropriate, in securing to the applicant the practical and effective benefit of the Convention rights asserted.

A failure by a Contracting Party to comply with interim measures undermines the effectiveness of the right of individual application guaranteed by Article 34 of the Convention and the State’s formal undertaking in Article 1 to protect the rights and freedoms set forth in the Convention. When issuing interim measures, the Court exercises its jurisdiction to ensure observance of the engagements undertaken by the High Contracting Parties in the Convention and the Protocols thereto, in accordance with Article 19, which jurisdiction extends to all matters concerning their interpretation and application, as provided in Article 32 of the Convention.

Interim measures may be indicated where there is an imminent risk of irreparable harm to a Convention right. 

The Court indicates interim measures only in exceptional cases and on the basis of a rigorous examination of all the relevant circumstances. In most of those cases, the evidence available points to a clearly arguable case of a genuine threat to life and limb, with the ensuing real risk of grave harm in breach of the core provisions of the Convention