To The General Agreement On Privileges And Immunities Of The
Council Of Europe
The Governments signatory hereto, being Members of the Council
Considering that, under the terms of Article 59 of the
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental
Freedoms, signed at Rome on 4th November 1950 (hereinafter
referred to as "the Convention''), the members of the European
Court of Human Rights (hereinafter referred to as "the Court")
are entitled, during the discharge of their functions, to the
privileges and immunities provided for in Article 40 of the
Statute of the Council of Europe and in the Agreements made
Considering that it is necessary to specify and define the
said privileges and immunities in a Protocol to the General
Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Council of Europe,
signed at Paris on 2nd September 1949;
Have agreed as follows :
For the purposes of this Protocol, the term "judges" means
judges elected in accordance with Article 39 of the Convention as
well as any ad hoc judge appointed by a State party
concerned in pursuance of Article 43 of the Convention.
The udges shall,while exercising their functions and during
journeys made in the exercise of their functions, enjoy the
following privileges and immunities
(a) immunity from personal arrest or detention and from
seizure of their personal baggage, and, in respect of words
spoken or written and all acts done by them in their official
capacity, immunity from legal process of every kind;
(b) exemption in respect of themselves and their spouses as
regards any restrictions on their freedom of movement on exit
from and return to their country of residence, and entry into and
exit from the country in which they exercise their functions; and
from aliens' registration in the country which they are visiting
or through which they are passing in the exercise of their
In the course of journeys undertaken in the exercise of their
functions, the judges shall, in the matter of customs and
exchange control, be accorded:
(a) by their own Government the same facilities as those
accorded co senior Government officials travelling abroad on
temporary official duty;
(b) by the Governments of other Members, the same facilities
as those accorded to heads of diplomatic missions.
l. Documents and papers of the Court, judges and Registry, in
so far as they relate to the business of the Court, shall be
2. The official correspondence and other official
communications of the Court, its members and the Registry may not
be held up or subjected to censorship.
In order to secure for the judges complete freedom of speech
and complete independence in the discharge of their duties, the
immunity from legal process in respect of words spoken or written
and all acts done by them in discharging their duties shall
continue to be accorded, notwithstanding that the persons
concerned are no longer engaged in the discharge of such
Privileges and immunities are accorded to judges not for the
personal benefit of the individuals themselves but in order to
safeguard the independent exercise of their functions- The Court
alone, sitting in plenary session, shall be competent to waive
the immunity of judges; it has not only the right, but is under a
duty, to waive the immunity of a judge in any case where, in its
opinion, the immunity would impede the course of justice, and
where it can be waived without prejudice to the purpose for which
the immunity is accorded.
1. The provisions of Articles 2 to 5 of this Protocol shall
apply co the Registrar of the Court and co the Deputy Registrar
when he is acting as the Registrar, without prejudice to any
privileges and immunities to which they may be entitled under
Article 18 of the General Agreement on Privileges and Immunities
of the Council of Europe.
2. The provisions of Article 18 of the General Agreement on
Privileges and Immunities of the Council of Europe shall apply to
the Deputy Registrar of the Court in respect of his services as
such when he is not acting as Registrar.
3. The privileges and immunities referred to in paragraphs I
and 2 of this Article are accorded to the Registrar and Deputy
Registrar, not for the personal benefit of the individuals
themselves but to facilitate the discharge of their duties. The
Court alone, sitting in plenary session, shall be competent to
waive the immunity of its Registrar and Deputy Registrar; it has
not only the right, but is under a duty, to waive such immunity
in any case where, in its opinion, the immunity would impede the
course of justice, and where it can be waived without prejudice
to the purpose for which the immunity is accorded.
1. Any State may, at the time of its signature without
reservation in respect of ratification, of its ratification or at
any time thereafter, declare, by notification addressed to the
Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, that the present
Protocol shall extend to all or any of the territories for whose
international relations it is responsible and where, according to
Article 63 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights
and Fundamental Freedoms, the said Convention applies.
2. The Protocol shall extend to the territory or territories
named in the notification as from the thirtieth day after the
receipt of this notification by the SecretaryGeneral of the
Council of Europe.
This Protocol shall be open to the signature of the Members of
the Council of Europe who may become parties to it either by
(a) signature without reservation in respect of ratification,
(b) signature with reservacion in respect of ratification
followed by ratification.
Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the
Secretary-General of the Council of Europe.
1. This Protocol shall enter into force as soon as three
Members of the Council of Europe shall, in accordance with
Article 9, have signed it without reservation in respect of
ratification or shall have ratified it.
2. As regards any Member subsequently signing it without
reservation in respect of ratification, or ratifying it, this
Protocol shall enter into force at the date of signature or
deposit of the instrument of ratification.
The Secretary-General of the Council of Europe shall notify
Members of the Council of:
(a) the names of signatories and the deposit of any
(b) the date of entry into force of this Protocol.
In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorised to
that effect, have signed the present Protocol.
Done at Paris, this 16th day of December, 1961, in English and
in French, both texts being equally authoritative, i a single
copy which shall remain deposited in the archives of the Council
of Europe. The Secretary - General shall send certified copies to
each of the signatory Governments.