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Law - Europe: European Human Rights Law

What does 'case citation' mean?

A case is usually referred to using a case citation.

A law report citation tells you where to find a case in law report series:

A European Court of Human Rights case will also have an application number (e.g. 23452/94 for Osman). This includes the number of the application made (23452) and the year (94).

What is a law report abbreviation?

Often a law report series will be referred to using an abbreviation, e.g. EHRR for European Human Rights Reports.

To find out what an abbreviation means, check the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations or Raistrick's Index to Legal Citations and Abbreviations.

How do I search HUDOC?


The Council of Europe was founded in 1949 and currently has 47 member countries. It was established to promote democracy and to protect human rights and the rule of law in Europe.

The Council's main achievement is the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (better known as the European Convention on Human Rights) which was adopted in 1950 and came into force in 1953. The Convention was incorporated into UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998.

The Convention provided for the creation of two institutions: the European Commission of Human Rights (1954) and the European Court of Human Rights (1959). In 1998, those institutions were abolished and a new full-time permanent European Court of Human Rights was established.

Where can I find European human rights legislation?

Where can I find case law from the European Court of Human Rights?

The European Court of Human Rights rules on individual or state applications alleging violations of the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights. You can find out more about the European Court of Human Rights on the Court's website.

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