Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights





Reopening of Judicial proceedings



Re-opening proceedings in the domestic courts may be an effective way of redressing the consequences of a violation of the Convention caused by unfair national proceedings (see, for example, Barber, Messegu and Jabardo v. Spain (10588/83), Resolution DH (94) 84).

Re-opening proceedings may also provide the opportunity to rectify a domestic decision which is deemed incompatible with the substance of the Convention, for example, a prohibition on the publication of certain information (see, for example, Open Door and Dublin Well Woman v. Ireland (14234/88), Resolution DH (96) 368). Similarly, when the Court concludes that an applicants expulsion from a country is, or would be, incompatible with the Convention, the execution of the judgment may require the authorities to reconsider their decisions to ensure that the applicant can return to the country in question or remain there if the deportation has not yet taken place (see, for example D. v. United Kingdom (30240/96), Resolution DH(98)010).

The reopening of domestic proceedings is of fundamental importance for the execution of the European Courts judgments. Indeed, in some cases, this is the only form of "restitutio in integrum" possible, ie the only effective means of redressing the violation of the Convention.

In response to execution problems, caused in certain cases by the lack of appropriate national legislation on the re-opening of proceedings, the Committee of Ministers adopted a Recommendation to member states on the re-examination or reopening of certain cases at domestic level following judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (Recommendation No R (2000) 2), inviting them to ensure that there existed at national level adequate possibilities for achieving, as far as possible, restitutio in integrum, including the reopening of proceedings.

Recommendation No R (2000) 2 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the re-examination or reopening of certain cases at the domestic level following judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.

Explanatory Memorandum on the Recommendation No. R (2000)2 of the Committee of Ministers on the re-examination or reopening of certain cases at domestic level following judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.

Examples of requests for the reopening of proceedings in order to give effect to decisions by the European Court of Human Rights and the Committee of Ministers (Ref. H(99)10rev).

Reopening of proceedings before domestic courts following findings of violation by the European Court of Human Rights - Draft survey of existing legislation and case-law (Ref. DH-PR(2005)2).