ECtHR Grand Chamber to examine two inter-state cases lodged by Armenia and Azerbaijan

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) Grand Chamber will examine two inter-state cases lodged by Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Principal facts and complaints

The applications concern mainly the recent hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan and contain allegations of widespread violations of the Convention by the respondent States during the hostilities, including indiscriminate attacks on civilians as well as civilian and public property and infrastructure; executions, ill-treatment and mutilations of combatants and civilians; the capture and continued detention of prisoners of war; and the forced displacement of the civilian population in areas affected by the military actions.

Azerbaijan additionally submits that Armenia has been responsible for a number of Convention violations since 1992, including the continued displacement of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis from their homes and property; the ill-treatment and disappearance of Azerbaijani nationals without proper investigations; and the destruction of cultural and religious property.


The applications were lodged with the European Court of Human Rights on 27 September 2020 (Armenia v. Azerbaijan) and on 27 October 2020 (Azerbaijan v. Armenia).

In the context of the mentioned inter-State cases, the Court received requests for interim measures. Taking the view that the situation had given rise to a risk of serious violations of the Convention, the Court granted an interim measure under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court and called upon both Azerbaijan and Armenia to refrain from taking any measures, in particular military action, which might entail breaches of the Convention rights of the civilian population, including putting their lives and health at risk, and to comply with their obligations under the Convention, notably in respect of
Article 2 (right to life) and Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment).

Details of the above interim measure as well as many other requests for interim measures received and examined by the Court in regard to the recent hostilities can be seen in the press releases referred to below.

On 9 March 2021 the Chamber to which the two inter-State applications had been allocated decided unanimously to inform the parties about its intention to relinquish jurisdiction in favor of the Grand Chamber. Neither of the parties objected to a relinquishment.

The Chamber relinquished jurisdiction in favor of the Grand Chamber on 11 May 2021.

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