ENTRY INTO FORCE of the European Convention on Human Rights

3 September 1953

Number of implemented cases*



Compensation for North Sea divers denied access to information about health risks

Hundreds of divers suffered long-term health problems after taking part in diving operations during Norway’s “pioneer era” of oil exploration. The European court found that Norway had violated their human rights because they were denied access to information about health risks. The judgment allowed the divers to secure more compensation from the Norwegian government.

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Newspaper’s free speech victory leads to reforms

In 1988 the local newspaper Bladet Tromsø published claims by a government inspector alleging misconduct by certain seal hunters. The Norwegian courts found the newspaper liable for defamation, saying that it had relied too heavily on government reports. The European court ruled that this violated the paper’s right to free speech – leading to reforms to protect freedom of expression.

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Fairer television coverage for small political parties

Small political parties received virtually no television news coverage and were banned from TV advertising. The European court ruled that this left the Pensioner’s Party with no way of transmitting its message on TV, violating its right to free speech. Reforms were made to political broadcasting rules, requiring the national broadcaster to include smaller parties in its TV coverage.

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* This figure includes all judgments and decisions from the European Court of Human Rights (including friendly settlements) concerning which the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has decided that all necessary follow-up measures have been taken. Source: the database of the Department for the Execution of Judgments of the ECHR, HUDOC-EXEC.