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European Court of Human Rights

A European court based in Strasbourg, where a person can bring a human rights claim if they feel the courts in England and Wales have made the wrong decision.

The UK Courts are required by the Human Rights Act 1998 to take account of European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) case law and the Government is bound by its judgments in cases against the UK.

A person can only take their human rights case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) once they have exhausted all domestic remedies. This means they have to make human rights arguments before a first instance judge and fail; then appeal to the Court of Appeal and fail; and finally appeal to the Supreme Court – if they are given permission to get that far – and fail again.