1959

The establishment of the European Court of Human Rights

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The European Court of Human Rights was set up in Strasbourg, on the 21 January 1959 as a part of the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1951). As one of the most important international courts it aims to apply and protect the civil and political rights of European citizens. Since 1998 it has sat as a full-time court and individuals can apply to it directly. Its jurisdiction has been recognised by 47 European States. Judgments – delivered by the Court – are binding on the countries concerned and have led governments to alter their legislation and administartive practice in a wide range of areas.