The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR or ECtHR; French: Cour européenne des droits de l’homme), also known as the Strasbourg Court, is an international court of the Council of Europe which interprets the European Convention on Human Rights. The court hears applications alleging that a contracting state has breached one or more of the human rights enumerated in the Convention or its optional protocols to which a member state is a party. The European Convention on Human Rights is also referred to by the initials "ECHR".
An application can be lodged by an individual, a group of individuals, or one or more of the other contracting states. Aside from judgments, the court can also issue advisory opinions. The convention was adopted within the context of the Council of Europe, and all of its 47 member states are contracting parties to the convention. The court's primary means of judicial interpretation is the living instrument doctrine, meaning that the Convention is interpreted in light of present-day conditions.
International law scholars consider the ECtHR to be the most effective international human rights court in the world. Nevertheless, the court has faced challenges with verdicts not implemented by the contracting parties, as well as balancing caseload management with access.