The European Court of Human Rights can:

1. Examine your complaint about a possible human rights violation

It can do this in states which have signed the European Convention of Human Rights. Estonia is included among those states.

2. Require the state to grant you compensation

If your application is accepted, the court can determine whether Estonian state authorities have violated your human rights. If the court concludes that there has been a violation of your rights and you have asked for compensation, the Court can require the state to grant you compensation (usually a specific sum of money). The state must comply with the judgements of the Court. 

To receive compensation, you have to ask for it. There are two kinds of damages for which you can ask to be compensated:

Material damages (or pecuniary damages)
Actual loss of money or other property with value. In the case of material damages, you will have to establish the value of your lost property or the sum of money.

Moral damages (or non-pecuniary damages)
Mental suffering because of the human rights violation. In the case of moral damages, you can indicate a sum which you wish to receive, but the final decision on the amount of compensation will be made by the Court.

The European Court of Human Rights cannot:

The court can only carry out those tasks, which it is allowed to do under the European Convention on Human Rights. As an international court, it has very specific functions and it does not have the same power as higher courts in Estonia. Therefore, it cannot:

  • examine complaints about the actions of private companies and persons
  • revoke or change decisions of courts or state institutions
  • re-examine the evidence of national court cases
  • punish state officials or private individuals
  • examine complaints about violations of European Union law
  • annul or amend Estonian laws


Last updated 11/04/2024