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Council of Europe

The Council of Europe is the oldest intergovernmental organization in Europe and brings together the largest number of European countries: 46 Member States. While it is totally independent from the European Union, the two entities collaborate in certain domains aiming to defend human rights and parliamentary democracy. The organization is composed of two bodies : the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly, as well as three institutions: the European Court of Human Rights, the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities

The Council of Europe website is a portal with comprehensive and large source of information organised around three main subjects: Human Rights; Democracy and Rule of Law. The fourth section "Explore" gives access to the websites of bodies and institutions of the Council of Europe as well as their activities and relevant documents.

 Council of Europe online databases:

  • Central Archives' database  allows access to digital collections, including audio recordings and image files, and an increasing collection of external documents.

  • WebCAT is the collective online catalogue of the Central Archives and some of the Council of Europe's libraries and information centres that contains several thousand bibliographic records of paper archives and publications, some of which include links to full texts.

  • The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) database, HUDOC  includes the case-law of the Court (Grand Chamber, Chamber and Committee judgments and decisions, communicated cases, advisory opinions and legal summaries from the Case-Law Information Note), the European Commission of Human Rights (decisions and reports) and the Committee of Ministers (resolutions).

  • CODICES, created by the so-called Venice Commission at the Council of Europe, contains case law on constitutional matters not only of EU Member States but also of other members of the Council of Europe.

  • Yearbook of the European Audiovisual Observatory (EUI library subscription) provides a wide range of statistical data on the four main industry branches of the audiovisual sector in Europe: the film industry, television and video/DVD and on-demand audiovisual services. 

The European Documentation Centre holds a selection of Council of Europe published documents and publications:

The founding text, its Statute, was officially published as Number One in the  Council of Europe's European Treaty Series (ETS). The Council of Europe Treaty Series groups together all the conventions/treaties concluded within the Organisation since 1949. These were published in the "European Treaty Series" (ETS No. 001 to 193 included). Since 2004, this Series is continued by the "Council of Europe Treaty Series" (CETS No. 194 and following) and reprinted by the Council in "European Conventions and Agreements" (Shelf number: EDC CO-KK-66 EURCAA11) along with declarations and reservations by the parties, an explanation of the treaty process, and other useful information.

  • The printed ETS/CETS is held at the EDC (Shelf number: CO-KK-66 EURTS11 ).

  • The entire series is also available on the  CoE's conventions website.

European Court of Human Rights Cases published in:

Lists of the Court's judgments by date and subject appear in Part II of the Yearbook of the European Convention on Human Rights, together with statistical analyses of the year's cases.

Committee of Ministers' Resolutions in application of the Convention are published in: 

Documents of the Committee of Ministers and the adopted texts are available in the Archival Database, a search tool limited to documents produced by the Committee of Ministers and its subsidiary bodies. The adopted texts gather the treaties and conventions, the declarations and conclusions, the recommendations to member states, the resolutions and decisions. 

European Commission of Human Rights' Decisions (active until 1998) were published in:

Page last updated on 06 November 2023

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