THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND ITS
The European Convention on Human
The Governments signatory hereto,
being Members of the Council of Europe,
Considering the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the General
Assembly of the United Nations on 10 December 1948;
Considering that this Declaration aims at securing the
universal and effective recognition and observance of the Rights
Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is the
achievement of greater unity between its Members and that one of
the methods by which the aim is to be pursued is the maintenance
and further realization of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;
Reaffirming their profound belief in those Fundamental
Freedoms which are the foundation of justice and peace in the
world and are best maintained on the one hand by an effective
political democracy and on the other by a common understanding
and observance of the Human Rights upon which they depend;
Being resolved, as the Governments of European countries which
are like-minded and have a common heritage of political
traditions, ideals, freedom and the rule of law to take the first
steps for the collective enforcement of certain of the Rights
stated in the Universal Declaration;
Have agreed as follows:
The High Contracting Parties shall secure to everyone within
their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms defined in Section I
of this Convention.
Everyone's right to life shall
be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life
intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court
following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is
provided by law.
Deprivation of life shall not
be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this article when
it results from the use of force which is no more than
(b) in order to effect a
lawful arrest or to prevent escape of a person lawfully
(c) in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling
a riot or insurrection.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment.
No one shall be held in
slavery or servitude.
No one shall be required to
perform forced or compulsory labour.
For the purpose of this
article the term forced or compulsory labour' shall not include:
(b) any service of a military
character or, in case of conscientious objectors in countries
where they are recognized, service exacted instead of compulsory
(c) any service exacted in
case of an emergency or calamity threatening the life or
well-being of the community;
(d) any work or service which forms part of normal civic
Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.
No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following
cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law:
(b) the lawful arrest or
detention of a person for non-compliance with the lawful order
of a court or in order to secure the fulfilment of any
obligation prescribed by law;
(c) the lawful arrest or
detention of a person effected for the purpose of bringing him
before the competent legal authority of reasonable suspicion of
having committed and offence or when it is reasonably considered
necessary to prevent his committing an offence or fleeing after
having done so;
(d) the detention of a minor
by lawful order for the purpose of educational supervision or
his lawful detention for the purpose of bringing him before the
competent legal authority;
(e) the lawful detention of
persons for the prevention of the spreading of infectious
diseases, of persons of unsound mind, alcoholics or drug
addicts, or vagrants;
(f) the lawful arrest or
detention of a person to prevent his effecting an unauthorized
entry into the country or of a person against whom action is
being taken with a view to deportation or extradition.
Everyone who is arrested shall
be informed promptly, in a language which he understands, of the
reasons for his arrest and the charge against him.
Everyone arrested or detained
in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1(c) of this
article shall be brought promptly before a judge or other
officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall
be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release
pending trial. Release may be conditioned by guarantees to
appear for trial.
Everyone who is deprived of
his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take
proceedings by which the lawfulness of his detention shall be
decided speedily by a court and his release ordered if the
detention is not lawful.
Everyone who has been the victim of arrest or detention
in contravention of the provisions of this article shall have an
enforceable right to compensation.
the determination of his civil rights and obligations
or of any criminal charge against him, everyone
is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable
time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by
law. Judgement shall be pronounced publicly by the
press and public may be excluded from all or part of the trial
in the interest of morals, public order or national security in
a democratic society, where the interests of juveniles or the
protection of the private life of the parties so require, or the
extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special
circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of
Everyone charged with a
criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty
according to law.
Everyone charged with a
criminal offence has the following minimum rights:
(b) to have adequate time and
the facilities for the preparation of his defence;
(c) to defend himself in
person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he
has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be
given it free when the interests of justice so require;
(d) to examine or have
examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and
examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions
as witnesses against him;
(e) to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he
cannot understand or speak the language used in court.
No one shall be held guilty of
any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did
not constitute a criminal offence under national or
international law at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a
heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at
the time the criminal offence was committed.
This article shall not prejudice the trial and punishment
of any person for any act or omission which, at the time when it
was committed, was criminal according the general principles of
law recognized by civilized nations.
has the right to respect for his private and family life, his
home and his correspondence.
There shall be no interference
by a public authority with the exercise of this right except
such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a
democratic society in the interests of national security, public
safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the
prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or
morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of
Everyone has the right to
freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes
freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either
alone or in community with others and in public or private, to
manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice
Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be
subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and
are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public
safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or
the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
Everyone has the right to
freedom of expression. this right shall include freedom to hold
opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without
interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.
This article shall not prevent States from requiring the
licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it
duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities,
conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law
and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of
national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for
the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of
health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or the
rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information
received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and
impartiality of the judiciary.
Everyone has the right to
freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with
others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for
the protection of his interests.
No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these
rights other than such as are prescribed by law and are
necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national
security or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or
crime, for the protection of health or morals or for the
protection of the rights and freedoms of others. this article
shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the
exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces, of the
police or of the administration of the State.
Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and
to found a family, according to the national laws governing the
exercise of this right.
Everyone whose rights and freedoms as
set forth in this Convention are violated shall have an effective
remedy before a national authority notwithstanding that the
violation has been committed by persons acting in an official
The enjoyment of the rights and
freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without
discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language,
religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin,
association with a national minority, property, birth or other
In time of war or other public
emergency threatening the life of the nation any High
Contracting Party may take measures derogating from its
obligations under this Convention to the extent strictly
required by the exigencies of the situation, provided that such
measures are not inconsistent with its other obligations under
No derogation from Article 2,
except in respect of deaths resulting from lawful acts of war,
or from Articles 3, 4 (paragraph 1) and 7 shall be made under
Any High Contracting Party availing itself of this right
of derogation shall keep the Secretary-General of the Council of
Europe fully informed of the measures which it has taken and the
reasons therefor. It shall also inform the Secretary-General of
the Council of Europe when such measures have ceased to operate
and the provisions of the Convention are again being fully
Nothing in Articles 10, 11, and 14 shall be regarded as
preventing the High Contracting Parties from imposing
restrictions on the political activity of aliens.
Nothing in this Convention may be interpreted as implying for
any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or
perform any act aimed at the destruction on any of the rights and
freedoms set forth herein or at their limitation to a greater
extent than is provided for in the Convention.
The restrictions permitted under this Convention to the said
rights and freedoms shall not be applied for any purpose other
than those for which they have been prescribed.
Go to the full Declaration for this at