Judicial formations

Grand Chamber


The Grand Chamber comprises 17 judges, including the President of the Court, the Vice-Presidents, the Presidents of the Sections and the national judge; the remaining judges are designated by drawing lots (Rule 24 of the Rules of Court). It also includes substitutes judges who can step into a case if a member of the Grand Chamber is prevented from continuing in the case because, for one reason or another, they are not available. 

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Role of the Grand Chamber


The Grand Chamber examines the cases that are submitted to it either after a Chamber has relinquished jurisdiction (Article 30 of the Convention) or when a request for referral of the case has been granted by the Grand Chamber Panel (Article 43).

It also has jurisdiction to deal with requests for advisory opinions (Article 47 of the Convention and Protocol No. 16).

No application is ever sent directly to the Grand Chamber, but a Chamber may relinquish jurisdiction to it or a case may be referred to it by one of the parties; this happens at a more advanced stage in the procedure. In both cases, examination by the Grand Chamber is the exception to the rule.

  • Relinquishment

Where the case raises a serious question affecting the interpretation of the Convention or there is a risk of inconsistency with a previous decision of the Court, the Chamber to which the case was allocated may relinquish jurisdiction in favour of the Grand Chamber.

  • Referral

Within three months of delivery of the Chamber judgment the parties may request the referral of the case to the Grand Chamber. A panel of judges decides whether or not the case should be referred to the Grand Chamber for fresh examination (Rule 25 of the Rules of Court).

  • Advisory opinions

The Grand Chamber also has jurisdiction to give advisory opinions pursuant to Protocol No. 16 and Article 47 of the Convention. When the Court receives a request for an advisory opinion, it falls to the Grand Chamber to examine it. In addition, pursuant to Article 29 of the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (the Oviedo Convention), the Grand Chamber has limited jurisdiction to give advisory opinions on legal questions concerning the interpretation of the said Convention under certain conditions.

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Third-party intervention before the Grand Chamber


In all cases before a Chamber or the Grand Chamber, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights may submit written comments and take part in hearings (Article 36 § 3 of the Convention) as may a High Contracting Party one of whose nationals is an applicant (Article 36 § 1).

Before the Grand Chamber, as before a Chamber, persons and non-governmental organisations (other than the applicant), as well as States (other than that against which the application has been lodged) may seek permission to intervene in the procedure.

These are known as third-party interveners. They may be given permission to submit written comments, and may, exceptionally, also be authorised to take part in the public hearing held by the Grand Chamber. 

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Grand Chamber panel


The panel of the Grand Chamber, made up of five judges, decides on the referral requests made under Article 43 of the Convention. As to requests for advisory opinions, it examines whether the conditions of admissibility are met.

 Practice of the Grand Chamber panel

Sections


A Section is an administrative entity and a Chamber is a judicial formation of the Court within a given Section. The Court has five Sections in which Chambers and Committees are formed (Rule 25 of the Rules of Court). Each Section is composed of a President, a Vice-President and a number of other judges. The composition of the Sections, which is approved by the Plenary on a proposal of the President of the Court, is geographically and gender balanced, to the extent possible, and reflects the different legal systems among the Contracting Parties (Rule 25 § 2).

The overview below provides a list of judges by Section, as well as the complete lists of various Chamber and Committee formations within each Section.

Composition of the Sections


Composition of the Sections as at 02/07/2024
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Section I

President

Ivana Jelić

Vice-President

Alena Poláčková*

Marko Bošnjak
Krzysztof Wojtyczek
Lәtif Hüseynov
Péter Paczolay
Gilberto Felici
Erik Wennerström
Raffaele Sabato

Registrar

Ilse Freiwirth

Deputy Registrar

Liv Tigerstedt

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Section II

President

Arnfinn Bårdsen

Vice-President

Jovan Ilievski*

Pauliine Koskelo
Saadet Yüksel
Lorraine Schembri Orland
Frédéric Krenc
Diana Sârcu
Davor Derenčinović
Gediminas Sagatys

Registrar

Hasan Bakırcı

Deputy Registrar

Dorothee von Arnim 

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Section III

President

Pere Pastor Vilanova

Vice-President

Jolien Schukking*

Georgios Serghides
Darian Pavli
Peeter Roosma
Ioannis Ktistakis
Andreas Zünd
Oddný Mjöll Arnardóttir
Diana Kovatcheva

Registrar

Milan Blasko

Deputy Registrar

Olga Chernishova

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Section IV

President

Gabriele Kucsko-Stadlmayer

Vice-President

Tim Eicke*

Faris Vehabović
Branko Lubarda
Armen Harutyunyan
Anja Seibert-Fohr
Ana Maria Guerra Martins
Anne Louise Bormann
Sebastian Rădulețu

Registrar

Andrea Tamietti

Deputy Registrar

Simeon Petrovski

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Section V

President

Mattias Guyomar

Vice-President

Lado Chanturia*

Carlo Ranzoni
Mārtiņš Mits
Stéphanie Mourou-Vikström
María Elósegui
Kateřina Šimáčková
Mykola Gnatovskyy
Stéphane Pisani
Úna Ní Raifeartaigh

Registrar

Victor Soloveytchik

Deputy Registrar

Martina Keller

* Duty judge in charge of interim measures
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Chambers and Committees


Chambers and Committees are constituted within each Section in accordance with Rules 26 and 27 of the Rules of Court.

Click on the Section tab below to see all Chamber and Committee formations from each Section. 

Changes in these formations, which generally happen in each Section once a year, or following the departure of judges and the arrival of their successors, are posted on the website as soon as possible.

Chambers


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A

Ivana Jelić
Alena Poláčková
Krzysztof Wojtyczek
Lәtif Hüseynov
Péter Paczolay
Erik Wennerström
Raffaele Sabato

Substitutes

Gilberto Felici

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B

Ivana Jelić
Alena Poláčková
Krzysztof Wojtyczek
Lәtif Hüseynov
Péter Paczolay
Erik Wennerström
Raffaele Sabato

Substitutes

Raffaele Sabato

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C

Ivana Jelić
Marko Bošnjak
Alena Poláčková
Péter Paczolay
Gilberto Felici
Erik Wennerström
Raffaele Sabato

Substitutes

Krzysztof Wojtyczek
Lәtif Hüseynov

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D

Ivana Jelić
Alena Poláčková
Krzysztof Wojtyczek
Lәtif Hüseynov
Gilberto Felici
Erik Wennerström
Raffaele Sabato

Substitutes

Péter Paczolay

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E

Ivana Jelić
Alena Poláčková
Krzysztof Wojtyczek
Lәtif Hüseynov
Péter Paczolay
Gilberto Felici
Raffaele Sabato

Substitutes

Erik Wennerström

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F

Ivana Jelić
Krzysztof Wojtyczek
Lәtif Hüseynov
Péter Paczolay
Gilberto Felici
Erik Wennerström
Raffaele Sabato

Substitutes

Alena Poláčková

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G

Ivana Jelić
Alena Poláčková
Lәtif Hüseynov
Péter Paczolay
Gilberto Felici
Erik Wennerström
Raffaele Sabato

Substitutes

Krzysztof Wojtyczek

Committees


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A

Krzysztof Wojtyczek
Lәtif Hüseynov
Erik Wennerström

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B

Péter Paczolay
Alena Poláčková
Gilberto Felici

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C

Péter Paczolay
Gilberto Felici
Raffaele Sabato

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D

Alena Poláčková
Gilberto Felici
Raffaele Sabato

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E

Péter Paczolay
Alena Poláčková
Gilberto Felici

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F

Péter Paczolay
Gilberto Felici
Raffaele Sabato

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G

Alena Poláčková
Gilberto Felici
Raffaele Sabato

Chambers


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A

Arnfinn Bårdsen
Jovan Ilievski
Pauliine Koskelo
Saadet Yüksel
Diana Sârcu
Davor Derenčinović
Gediminas Sagatys

Substitutes

Lorraine Schembri Orland
Frédéric Krenc

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B

Arnfinn Bårdsen
Jovan Ilievski
Pauliine Koskelo
Lorraine Schembri Orland
Frédéric Krenc
Davor Derenčinović
Gediminas Sagatys

Substitutes

Saadet Yüksel
Diana Sârcu

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C

Arnfinn Bårdsen
Jovan Ilievski
Saadet Yüksel
Lorraine Schembri Orland
Frédéric Krenc
Diana Sârcu
Gediminas Sagatys

Substitutes

Pauliine Koskelo
Davor Derenčinović

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D

Arnfinn Bårdsen
Pauliine Koskelo
Saadet Yüksel
Lorraine Schembri Orland
Frédéric Krenc
Diana Sârcu
Davor Derenčinović

Substitutes

Jovan Ilievski
Gediminas Sagatys

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E

Arnfinn Bårdsen
Jovan Ilievski
Pauliine Koskelo
Saadet Yüksel
Frédéric Krenc
Davor Derenčinović
Gediminas Sagatys

Substitutes

Lorraine Schembri Orland
Diana Sârcu

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F

Arnfinn Bårdsen
Jovan Ilievski
Pauliine Koskelo
Lorraine Schembri Orland
Frédéric Krenc
Diana Sârcu
Gediminas Sagatys

Substitutes

Saadet Yüksel
Davor Derenčinović

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G

Arnfinn Bårdsen
Jovan Ilievski
Saadet Yüksel
Lorraine Schembri Orland
Frédéric Krenc
Diana Sârcu
Davor Derenčinović

Substitutes

Pauliine Koskelo
Gediminas Sagatys

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H

Arnfinn Bårdsen
Pauliine Koskelo
Saadet Yüksel
Lorraine Schembri Orland
Diana Sârcu
Davor Derenčinović
Gediminas Sagatys

Substitutes

Jovan Ilievski
Frédéric Krenc

Committees


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A

Pauliine Koskelo
Lorraine Schembri Orland
Frédéric Krenc

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B

Jovan Ilievski
Diana Sârcu
Gediminas Sagatys

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C

Lorraine Schembri Orland
Frédéric Krenc
Davor Derenčinović

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D

Diana Sârcu
Davor Derenčinović
Gediminas Sagatys

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E

Lorraine Schembri Orland
Frédéric Krenc
Davor Derenčinović

Chambers


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A

Pere Pastor Vilanova
Georgios A. Serghides
Darian Pavli
Peeter Roosma
Ioannis Ktistakis
Andreas Zünd
Oddný Mjöll Arnardóttir

Substitutes

Jolien Schukking
Diana Kovatcheva

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B

Pere Pastor Vilanova
Jolien Schukking
Darian Pavli
Peeter Roosma
Andreas Zünd
Oddný Mjöll Arnardóttir
Diana Kovatcheva

Substitutes

Georgios A. Serghides
Ioannis Ktistakis

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C

Pere Pastor Vilanova
Jolien Schukking
Georgios A. Serghides
Peeter Roosma
Ioannis Ktistakis
Oddný Mjöll Arnardóttir
Diana Kovatcheva

Substitutes

Darian Pavli
Andreas Zünd

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D

Pere Pastor Vilanova
Jolien Schukking
Georgios A. Serghides
Darian Pavli
Ioannis Ktistakis
Andreas Zünd
Diana Kovatcheva

Substitutes

Oddný Mjöll Arnardóttir
Peeter Roosma

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E

Pere Pastor Vilanova
Jolien Schukking
Darian Pavli
Peeter Roosma
Ioannis Ktistakis
Andreas Zünd
Oddný Mjöll Arnardóttir

Substitutes

Diana Kovatcheva
Georgios A. Serghides

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F

Pere Pastor Vilanova
Georgios A. Serghides
Darian Pavli
Peeter Roosma
Andreas Zünd
Oddný Mjöll Arnardóttir
Diana Kovatcheva

Substitutes

Ioannis Ktistakis
Jolien Schukking

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G

Pere Pastor Vilanova
Jolien Schukking
Georgios A. Serghides
Darian Pavli
Peeter Roosma
Ioannis Ktistakis
Diana Kovatcheva

Substitutes

Andreas Zünd
Oddný Mjöll Arnardóttir

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H

Pere Pastor Vilanova
Jolien Schukking
Georgios A. Serghides
Ioannis Ktistakis
Andreas Zünd
Oddný Mjöll Arnardóttir
Diana Kovatcheva

Substitutes

Oddný Mjöll Arnardóttir
Yonko Grozev

Committees


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A

Georgios A. Serghides
Oddný Mjöll Arnardóttir
Diana Kovatcheva

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B

Darian Pavli
Ioannis Ktistakis
Andreas Zünd

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C

Jolien Schukking
Peeter Roosma
Diana Kovatcheva

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D

Peeter Roosma
Andreas Zünd
Oddný Mjöll Arnardóttir

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E

Ioannis Ktistakis
Oddný Mjöll Arnardóttir
Diana Kovatcheva

Chambers


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A

Gabriele Kucsko-Stadlmayer
Tim Eicke
Branko Lubarda
Armen Harutyunyan
Ana Maria Guerra Martins
Anne Louise Bormann
Sebastian Rădulețu

Substitutes

Faris Vehabović
Anja Seibert-Fohr

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B

Gabriele Kucsko-Stadlmayer
Tim Eicke
Branko Lubarda
Armen Harutyunyan
Ana Maria Guerra Martins
Anne Louise Bormann
Sebastian Rădulețu

Substitutes

Anja Seibert-Fohr
Faris Vehabović

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C

Gabriele Kucsko-Stadlmayer
Faris Vehabović
Branko Lubarda
Anja Seibert-Fohr
Ana Maria Guerra Martins
Anne Louise Bormann
Sebastian Rădulețu

Substitutes

Tim Eicke
Armen Harutyunyan

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D

Gabriele Kucsko-Stadlmayer
Faris Vehabović
Branko Lubarda
Anja Seibert-Fohr
Ana Maria Guerra Martins
Anne Louise Bormann
Sebastian Rădulețu

Substitutes

Armen Harutyunyan
Tim Eicke

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E

Gabriele Kucsko-Stadlmayer
Tim Eicke
Faris Vehabović
Branko Lubarda
Armen Harutyunyan
Anja Seibert-Fohr
Anne Louise Bormann

Substitutes

Ana Maria Guerra Martins
Sebastian Rădulețu

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F

Gabriele Kucsko-Stadlmayer
Tim Eicke
Faris Vehabović
Branko Lubarda
Armen Harutyunyan
Anja Seibert-Fohr
Anne Louise Bormann

Substitutes

Sebastian Rădulețu
Ana Maria Guerra Martins

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G

Gabriele Kucsko-Stadlmayer
Tim Eicke
Faris Vehabović
Armen Harutyunyan
Anja Seibert-Fohr
Ana Maria Guerra Martins
Sebastian Rădulețu

Substitutes

Branko Lubarda
Anne Louise Bormann

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H

Gabriele Kucsko-Stadlmayer
Tim Eicke
Faris Vehabović
Armen Harutyunyan
Anja Seibert-Fohr
Ana Maria Guerra Martins
Sebastian Rădulețu

Substitutes

Anne Louise Bormann
Branko Lubarda

Committees


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A

Branko Lubarda
Anne Louise Bormann
Sebastian Rădulețu

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B

Faris Vehabović
Anja Seibert-Fohr
Sebastian Rădulețu

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C

Tim Eicke
Armen Harutyunyan
Ana Maria Guerra Martins

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D

Branko Lubarda
Armen Harutyunyan
Ana Maria Guerra Martins

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A

Georges Ravarani
Lado Chanturia
Mārtiņš Mits
Stéphanie Mourou-Vikström
María Elósegui
Mattias Guyomar
Kateřina Šimáčková

Substitutes

Carlo Ranzoni
Mykola Gnatovskyy

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B

Georges Ravarani
Carlo Ranzoni
Mārtiņš Mits
María Elósegui
Mattias Guyomar
Kateřina Šimáčková
Mykola Gnatovskyy

Substitutes

Lado Chanturia
Stéphanie Mourou-Vikström

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C

Georges Ravarani
Carlo Ranzoni
Mārtiņš Mits
Stéphanie Mourou-Vikström
María Elósegui
Mattias Guyomar
Mykola Gnatovskyy

Substitutes

Lado Chanturia
Kateřina Šimáčková

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D

Georges Ravarani
Lado Chanturia
Carlo Ranzoni
María Elósegui
Mattias Guyomar
Kateřina Šimáčková
Mykola Gnatovskyy

Substitutes

Mārtiņš Mits
Stéphanie Mourou-Vikström

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E

Georges Ravarani
Lado Chanturia
Mārtiņš Mits
Stéphanie Mourou-Vikström
María Elósegui
Kateřina Šimáčková
Mykola Gnatovskyy

Substitutes

Carlo Ranzoni
Mattias Guyomar

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F

Georges Ravarani
Lado Chanturia
Carlo Ranzoni
Mārtiņš Mits
Stéphanie Mourou-Vikström
Mattias Guyomar
Kateřina Šimáčková

Substitutes

María Elósegui
Mykola Gnatovskyy

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G

Georges Ravarani
Lado Chanturia
Carlo Ranzoni
Mārtiņš Mits
Stéphanie Mourou-Vikström
Mattias Guyomar
Mykola Gnatovskyy

Substitutes

María Elósegui
Kateřina Šimáčková

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H

Georges Ravarani
Lado Chanturia
Carlo Ranzoni
Stéphanie Mourou-Vikström
María Elósegui
Kateřina Šimáčková
Mykola Gnatovskyy

Substitutes

Mārtiņš Mits
Mattias Guyomar

Committee


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A

Carlo Ranzoni
Mattias Guyomar
Mykola Gnatovskyy

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A1

Lado Chanturia
Carlo Ranzoni
María Elósegui

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B

Mārtiņš Mits
María Elósegui
Kateřina Šimáčková

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B1

Mārtiņš Mits
Georges Ravarani
María Elósegui

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C

Stéphanie Mourou-Vikström
Mattias Guyomar
Kateřina Šimáčková

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C1

Lado Chanturia
Stéphanie Mourou-Vikström
Mykola Gnatovskyy

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D

Mārtiņš Mits
Kateřina Šimáčková
Mykola Gnatovskyy

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E (Immigration)

Stéphanie Mourou-Vikström
Lado Chanturia
Mattias Guyomar

Single judges


​Manifestly inadmissible applications are examined by a single-judge formation.

Judges are appointed by the President of the Court to act as single judges in respect of one or more Contracting Parties. A judge may not examine as a single judge any application against the Contracting Party in respect of which that judge has been elected (Article 26 § 3 of the Convention), or of which he or she is a national (Rule 27A § 3 of the Rules of Court).

The Court delivers signed single-judge decisions in one of the Court’s two official languages, accompanied by a letter in the relevant national language and including, in most cases, reference to specific grounds of inadmissibility. However, the Court may issue global rejections in some cases, for example, where applications contain numerous ill-founded or otherwise inadmissible complaints. Single judges are assisted in their work by non-judicial rapporteurs appointed from the Registry by the President of the Court (Rules 18A and 27A § 5).

Single-judge formations were introduced with a view to dealing with a backlog which had reached untenable levels. In 2010, Protocol No. 14 to the Convention introduced a new procedure by which a single judge could declare applications inadmissible. In less than five years the new single-judge procedure allowed the Court to tackle the massive backlog of over 100,000 clearly inadmissible cases. 

Duty judges


​The President of the Court shall appoint judges elected as Vice-Presidents of Sections to act as duty judges and decide on requests for interim measures (Rules 8 §§ 1 and 2 and 39 § 5 of the Rules of Court). Since November 2022, all five Vice-Presidents of the Sections serve as duty judges. As a matter of practice, duty judges do not examine requests for interim measures against the Contracting Party in respect of which that judge has been elected or is a national.

Ad hoc judges


​If there is no national judge or if that judge is unable to sit in a particular case for the reasons set out in Rule 28 of the Rules of Court, an ad hoc judge is appointed by the President of the relevant judicial formation. The appointment is generally done from a list of ad hoc judges submitted in advance by the Contracting Party concerned but an elected judge may be appointed to sit as an ad hoc judge in certain exceptional circumstances (Rule 29).