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Pritzker Legal Research Center

International Human Rights Law Research


The Council of Europe is a regional intergovernmental human rights organization on the European continent with 47 member states. The Council of Europe should not be confused with the European Union, which is a political and economic union of 27 member states. 

European Convention on Human Rights

The European Convention on Human Rights is a regional treaty between Member States of the Council of Europe. The convention protects human rights and political freedoms in Europe. 

Other COE Treaties


Commentaries provide article-by-article analysis of treaties and include citations to relevant jurisprudence, preparatory works, and other documents. The following commentary is available electronically through Oxford Scholarly Authorities on International Law. The complete list of titles included in this collection is available here

You can find additional commentaries by searching on NUsearch, our library catalog, for keywords such as [name of treaty] + commentary (example: European Convention on Human Rights commentary). 


The European Court of Human Rights, established in 1959, rules on applications alleging violations of the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights and its protocols. 

To find jurisprudence from the European human rights system:

Step 1: Consult a commentary or other secondary sources to identify citations to relevant cases and decisions. See above for suggestions on how to find commentaries and the Secondary Sources page of this guide for guidance on how to find additional secondary sources. 

Step 2: Use the subscription and/or free resources suggested below to search for or retrieve cases. HUDOC is the official case law database for the European Court of Human Rights and permits full-text searches.