European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights

Court to trial new ‘friendly settlements’ procedure

A new system to encourage friendly settlements to human rights disputes will start on New Year’s Day, the European court has announced.

The one-year trial project , involving a dedicated, non-contentious phase in respect of all Contracting States, starts on 1 January 2019.

Under the new system, the court’s registry will have the discretion to make a friendly settlement proposal when respondent governments are given notice1 of applications.

The court has confirmed that the procedure will have two phases : a 12-week friendly settlement phase (non-contentious), and a further 12-week observations phase (contentious with an exchange of observations).

Currently these two procedures run in parallel.

According to the court, friendly settlement proposals will only made in appropriate circumstances. They will not be offered in cases raising novel issues which have not previously  been examined by the court.

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