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, the members of
the European Commission of Human Rights (hereinafter referred to
as " the Commission 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 thereunder;
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
The members of the Commission shall, while exercising their
functions and during their journeys to and from their place of
meeting, 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) inviolability for all papers and documents;
(c) exemption in respect of themselves and their spouses from
immigration restrictions or aliens registration in the State
which they are visiting or through which they are passing in the
exercise of their functions.
1. No administrative or other restrictions shall be imposed on
the free movement of members of the Commission to and from the
place of meeting of the Commission.
2. Members of the Commission shall, in the matter of customs
and exchange control, be accorded :
(a) by their own Government, the same facilities as those
accorded to senior officials travelling abroad on temporary
(b) by the Governments of other Members, the same facilities
as those accorded to representatives of foreign Governments on
temporary official duty.
In order to secure for the members of the Commission 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 the members of the
Commission, not for the personal benefit of the individuals
themselves, but in order to safeguard the independent exercise of
their functions. The Commission alone shall be competent to waive
the immunity of its members; it has not only the right, but is
under a duty, to waive the immunity of one of its members 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.
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 reservation 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 5, 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 the date of entry into force of this
Protocol and shall give the names of any Members who have signed
it without reservation in respect of ratification or who have
In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorised to
that effect, have signed the present Protocol.
Done at Paris, this 15th day of December, 1956, in English and
in French, both texts being equally authoritative, in 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.