Compatibility studies

Justice and Legal Co-operation Department

Compatibility studies

Compatibility studies involve a detailed examination of the compatibility of domestic legislation and practices of Council of Europe’s member states with the requirements of the ECHR, its Protocols and the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECtHR) case law.

Aim of the compatibility studies

The aim is to prevent a large number of applications being lodged with the ECtHR as a result of substantial differences between domestic legislation and the ECHR. A compatibility study can assist member States in identifying areas where legislative reforms may be necessary as well as areas where improvements in human rights practices are called for.

Authors of the compatibility studies

There is no fixed structure, but in the past, many compatibility studies were elaborated by a compatibility working group, which included governmental representatives, and local and international experts appointed by the Council of Europe.

What does a compatibility study focus on?

A compatibility study focuses on the legislation of a country and on the practice of the judiciary and the administration in applying that legislation. It assesses whether they are compatible with the requirements of the ECHR.

A large number of compatibility studies were completed and published