The European Court of Human Rights was founded in 1950 to allow individual applicants to lodge complaints against contracting states for alleged violations of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Judgments made by the court are public domain documents and can be accessed directly and free of charge by members of the public by contacting the Council of Europe information service in Strasbourg. Alternatively, a comprehensive database of all court judgments and associated case law is accessible free of charge through the Council of Europe human rights Internet service. Members of the public wishing to gain access to this documentation can do so freely through Internet terminals supplied for public use in libraries across the State. The Council of Europe service also provides general information on the court, and on pending cases. The Internet address for this service is: www.dhdirhr.coe.fr. The Department of Foreign Affairs can provide advice on procedures in any case where difficulty is experienced accessing information.