You have the right to an effective remedy when your human rights and fundamental freedoms are restricted or violated. To obtain a remedy, you should not necessarily have to pursue legal action straight away. The avenues for seeking remedies should be available, known, accessible, affordable and capable of providing appropriate redress. Effective remedies can be obtained directly from Internet service providers, public authorities and/or national human rights institutions. Effective remedies can – depending on the violation in question – include inquiry, explanation, reply, correction, apology, reinstatement, reconnection and compensation.

In practice, this means:

Your Internet service provider, providers of access to online content and services, or other company and/or public authority should inform you about your rights, freedoms and possible remedies and how to obtain them. This includes easily accessible information on how to report and complain about interferences with your rights and how to seek redress.

Additional information and guidance should be made available from public authorities, national human rights institutions (such as ombudspersons), data protection authorities, citizens' advice offices, human rights or digital rights associations or consumer organisations.

National authorities have an obligation to protect you from criminal activity or criminal offences committed on or using the Internet, in particular when this concerns illegal access, interference, forgery or other fraudulent manipulation of your digital identity, computer and data contained therein. The relevant law-enforcement authorities have an obligation to investigate and take appropriate action, including seeking sanctions, if you complain of damage to, or interference with, your personal identity and your property online.

In the determination of your rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against you with regard to the Internet:

You have the right to a fair trial within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial court.

You have the right to an individual application to the European Court of Human Rights after exhausting all available domestic remedies.

Explanatory Memo >>

Following the decision of the Committee of Ministers on 16 March 2022 the Russian Federation is no longer a member of the Council of Europe. The website will be updated as soon as possible to take account of this development.

"Everyone has the right to freedom of expression"

Art. 10 European Convention on Human Rights


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