European Convention on Human Rights

Below are brief summaries of the Articles contained in the first Section of the European Convention on Human Rights. ‘Section I’ sets out the main rights and freedoms which all the peoples of Europe should enjoy.

ARTICLE 1 – This Convention applies to all people’s within the Jurisdiction of the Council of Europe.


ARTICLE 2 – Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law.

ARTICLE 3 – No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

ARTICLE 4 – No one shall be held in slavery or servitude or shall be required to perform forced labour.

ARTICLE 5 – Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.

ARTICLE 6 – Everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.

ARTICLE 7 – Prohibits retrospective punishment if new laws are introduced.

ARTICLE 8 – Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

ARTICLE 9 – Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief.

ARTICLE 10 – Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, this right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority.

ARTICLE 11 – Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

ARTICLE 12 – Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family.

ARTICLE 13 – If the rights and freedoms in this Convention are violated then you shall have an effective remedy before the country or authority who violated that right.

ARTICLE 14 – The enjoyment of the rights without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.


In time of war or other public emergency threatening the life of the nation any High Contracting Party may take measures derogating from its obligations under this Convention to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, provided that such measures are not inconsistent with its other obligations under international law.
No derogation from Article 2, except in respect of deaths resulting from lawful acts of war, or from Articles 3, 4 (paragraph 1) and 7 shall be made under this provision.
Any High Contracting Party availing itself of this right of derogation shall keep the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe fully informed of the measures which it has taken and the reasons therefor. It shall also inform the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe when such measures have ceased to operate and the provisions of the Convention are again being fully executed.


Nothing in Articles 10, 11, and 14 shall be regarded as preventing the High Contracting Parties from imposing restrictions on the political activity of aliens.

Nothing in this Convention may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction on any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for in the Convention.


The restrictions permitted under this Convention to the said rights and freedoms shall not be applied for any purpose other than those for which they have been prescribed.