Pursuant to the Protocol No. 15 amending the European Convention on Human Rights ["ECHR / Convention"], the time-limit for the application to the European Court of Human Rights ["ECtHR"] was reduced from 6 months to 4 months, effective as of February 1, 2022. Accordingly, once remedies available as per domestic laws are exhausted, the application should be filed with the ECtHR within 4 months following the final court judgment. Having said that if the court decision was adopted before February 1, 2022, the ECtHR application based on this decision will still be subject to 6-month time-limit.
General Application Procedure to ECHR
Any natural person or legal entities, non-governmental organization or association, or de facto community without legal personality who claims to be a victim of a violation of the rights specified in the Convention and/or Amending Protocols – e.g., right to a fair trial, freedom of expression, and so on - by one of the ECHR parties can apply to the ECtHR with regard to such violation.
In order for the ECtHR not to declare the application inadmissible in the first examination, as a rule, ordinary domestic remedies must be exhausted, and the application must be filed within 4 months following the finalization date. The application is filed directly by the person who alleges the violation or their representative, to the ECtHR "Cour Européenne des Droits de L'Homme, Conseil de L'Europe, F-67075 Strasbourg-Cedex/FRANCE, Telephone: 33(0)3 88 41 20 18, Fax: 33 (0)3 88 41 27 30".
In principle, ECtHR decisions cannot overturn or correct domestic court decisions. In general, the Court does not have the authority to intervene directly with the ECHR parties. In fact, Turkey, which is a party state pursuant to Article 90 of Act No. 2709, the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey, is obliged to implement the decisions of the ECtHR. States that do not comply with the decisions may face sanctions both at the Council of Europe and other international platforms. In fact, termination of the membership to the Council of Europe may be on the agenda.
In case the applicant is awarded a compensation, they should request compensation by sending a petition to the Human Rights Department of the Ministry of Justice. Then the relevant amount is deposited into the applicant's bank account within 3 months.
By Zahide Altunbas Sancak, Partner, and Baris Ulker, Senior Associate, Guleryuz & Partners