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#4389666 June 2013 Information about the new Rule 47 Amended Rule 47 with changes integrated Entry into force on 1 January 2014 Rule 47^ - Contents of an individual application 1. An application under Article 34 of the Convention shall be made on the application form provided by the Registry, unless the Court decides otherwise. It shall contain all of the information requested in the relevant parts of the application form and set out (a) the name, date of birth, nationality and address of the applicant and, where the applicant is a legal person, the full name, date of incorporation or registration, the official registration number (if any) and the official address; (b) the name, occupation, address, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address of the representative, if any; (c) the name of the Contracting Party or Parties against which the application is made; (d) a concise and legible statement of the facts; (e) a concise and legible statement of the alleged violation(s) of the Convention and the relevant arguments; and (f) a concise and legible statement confirming the applicant's compliance with the admissibility criteria laid down in Article 35 S: 1 of the Convention.[DEL: :DEL] 2. (a) All of the information referred to in paragraph 1 (d) to (f) above that is set out in the relevant part of the application form should be sufficient to enable the Court to determine the nature and scope of the application without recourse to any other document. (b) The applicant may however supplement the information by appending to the application form further details on the facts, alleged violations of the Convention and the relevant arguments. Such information shall not exceed 20 pages. 3.1. The application form shall be signed by the applicant or the applicant's representative and shall be accompanied by (a) copies of documents relating to the decisions or measures complained of, judicial or otherwise; (b) copies of documents and decisions showing that the applicant has complied with the exhaustion of domestic remedies requirement and the time-limit contained in Article 35 S: 1 of the Convention; (c) where appropriate, copies of documents relating to any other procedure of international investigation or settlement; (d) where represented, the original of the power of attorney or form of authority signed by the applicant. [DEL: :DEL] 3.2. Documents submitted in support of the application shall be listed in order by date, numbered consecutively and be identified clearly. 4. Applicants who do not wish their identity to be disclosed to the public shall so indicate and shall submit a statement of the reasons justifying such a departure from the normal rule of public access to information in proceedings before the Court. The Court may authorise anonymity or grant it of its own motion. 5.1. Failure to comply with the requirements set out in paragraphs 1 to 3 of this Rule will result in the application not being examined by the Court, unless (a) the applicant has provided an adequate explanation for the failure to comply;[DEL: :DEL] (b) the application concerns a request for an interim measure; (c) the Court otherwise directs of its own motion or at the request of an applicant. 5.2. The Court may in any case request an applicant to provide information or documents in any form or manner which may be appropriate within a fixed time-limit. 6. (a) The date of introduction of the application for the purposes of Article 35 S: 1 of the Convention shall be the date on which an application form satisfying the requirements of this Rule is sent to the Court. The date of dispatch shall be the date of the postmark. (b) Where it finds it justified, the Court may nevertheless decide that a different date shall be considered to be the date of introduction. 7. Applicants shall keep the Court informed of any change of address and of all circumstances relevant to the application. ______________________________________________________________________ ____________ 1. On 6 May 2013 the Plenary Court approved a revision of Rule 47 of the Rules of Court which sets out what an individual application to the Court should contain (see appended text). The purpose of the revision is to achieve greater efficiency in the way applications are dealt with at the initial stage of the process before the Court. The amendments will entail two important changes. First, the rules on what an application must contain will be applied more strictly. An application which does not contain the necessary information will not be examined by the Court. Secondly, in future only an application which fulfils the conditions of Rule 47 will interrupt the running of time for the purposes of lodging an application within the prescribed period. 2. As regards the first amendment, i.e. the stricter application of the requirements concerning the contents of an application, the Court has tested a more formal approach to applications on the basis of the current wording of Rule 47. Starting in September 2011, it applied the policy to new applications coming from certain countries. The test was subsequently extended to other countries and the Court then made an assessment of the trial. The experience gained enabled the fine-tuning of the text of Rule 47 in the form that has now been adopted. 3. The main idea is that applicants must provide the Court with sufficient information to allow it to conduct an initial analysis of the application. Introducing an application before the Court is a formal legal act and applicants can consequently be required to observe basic formalities. With thousands of new applications reaching the Court each month, the Registry simply does not have the time to engage in lengthy correspondence with applicants with a view to completing the information necessary for processing their case. 4. Each application submitted to the Court should therefore contain all the essential information about the complaints made, and be accompanied by the necessary supporting documents (in particular copies of the relevant domestic decisions). This will allow the Registry to determine the nature and scope of the case at the outset. In this way, priority cases can be identified at the initial stage. Similarly, applications with obvious problems of admissibility will be submitted rapidly to a single judge for decision. 5. A new application form is being prepared. Some of the points in the current form will simply be deleted. Only their essential personal data is needed in order to identify with sufficient certainty the person who is exercising the right of individual application. 6. Applicants must provide the Court with a concise and legible statement of facts, and be clear in the way they formulate and argue their complaints. The application form must be complete and filled in so as to enable the Court to determine from the form alone the nature and scope of the application. In recognition that there are cases which are factually and legally complex, additional pages will be accepted, up to a maximum of 20. If more are used, the Registry may instruct the applicant to re-submit the application in a shorter form. 7. The previous text of Rule 47 paragraph 5 stated that if an applicant did not fully comply with the formal requirements, this "may" result in the application not being examined by the Court. The new text replaces "may" by "will", creating a new rule that applicants must observe or face the consequence of their application being rejected as non-compliant. It is not an inflexible rule, however. It will not apply where there is an "adequate explanation" for the failure to present the application in the required form, for example, an applicant who is in detention may find it practically impossible to obtain the necessary supporting documentation. In addition a specific exception is made for applicants seeking interim measures. Lastly, the Court retains discretion to accept an application even if not presented in the correct form. These three exceptions will ensure that the rule does not operate harshly or unjustly. They will however concern a minority of new applications. For the great majority, the Registry will systematically apply the new rule. 8. The second key point of the reform concerns the six-month time-limit. Under present practice, the six-month period can be interrupted by an incomplete application or a simple letter. Under the amended rule only an application satisfying the formal requirements will interrupt the running of time, the relevant date being that of the postmark on the envelope. Registry staff are under instructions to examine all new applications promptly, so as to allow applicants a second chance to introduce their application, where possible. However, if they re-submit their application outside the six-month period, it will be referred to the single judge for rejection as inadmissible. 9. Where justified, the Court may consider that the prescribed period was interrupted on a different date, so as to permit the examination of the application. This could apply, for example, in case of administrative error by the Registry, or if the submission of the form to the Court was unduly delayed through no fault of the applicant. 10. The Court has decided that the new Rule 47 should take effect as from 1 January 2014. Well in advance of that date, the Court will take all necessary steps to inform the public appropriately, so that potential applicants are put on notice of this change to the Court's long-established practice. It will ensure that the legal profession as well as civil society organisations are made aware of the change. 11. The new application form will be available in all of the official languages of the 47 Contracting Parties. The application pack will also include clear guidance on the new requirements for introducing a valid application. . As amended by the Court on 17 June and 8 July 2002, 11 December 2007, 22 September 2008 and 6 May 2013.
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