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Taking a Case to Strasbourg

(174 Ratings)

Produced on: December 18, 2014

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 62 minutes
Difficulty Advanced

This lecture presented by Athan Tsimpedes and Dr. Theodora Christou provides an introduction in how to take a case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The presentation sets out the procedure before the Court from admissibility of an application through execution of a judgment.


The lecture sets out the admissibility criteria which are to be used when assessing whether an application should be made to the Court. The availability of Interim Measures as a useful mechanism of the Court are covered in detail. The lecture also explores the key concepts and autonomous meanings developed by the Court.


In addition, Athan Tsimpedes and Dr. Theodora Christou focus on the requirements and procedures for making an application before the Court.


The lecture outline includes: the steps in your case; application flow chart; the application; admissibility criteria and inadmissibility decisions; legal aid and costs; absolute rights; qualified rights and the questions to consider when assessing whether a violation exists; and other key concepts.


Learning Objectives:

I.     Know what cases can be taken to the European Court of Human Rights

II.    Understand what the steps and processes are in an application before the Court

III.   Gain the ability to assess whether an application meets the admissibility criteria

IV.   Identify how to make an application to the Court

V.    Detail the key concepts developed by the Court


Athan Tsimpedes

Tsimpedes Law Firm

Athan Tsimpedes is the founder of Tsimpedes Law Firm. He has enjoyed success in a variety of complex cases involving international and civil litigation. Athan has appeared on various media and news outlets involving cases from McDonald's french fries litigation to the notorious DC Madam, Julio Iglesaias, former NY Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, as well as human rights cases and consumer actions.. 


His firm was involved in the landmark case of Kirkham v. Air France 429 F3d. 288 (DC Cir. 2005) and covered in the Fall 2006 edition of ATLA, where the framework of suing a foreign nation before US courts for acts outside of the US borders was established. He was able to successfully represent his client in US courts against the nation of France. Mrs. Kirkham, a U.S. resident, suffered severe personal injuries in France when in transit between connecting flights. Athan, as her attorney, was able to show that a ticket purchased by Mrs. Kirkham in the U.S. to fly to France gave rise to a duty of care and provided the necessary nexus to the District of Columbia to obtain jurisdiction over Air France and thereby the nation of France (majority shareholder of Air France) in the United Stated District Court in Washington, DC. 


The current legal precedent for commercial activity exception has been set largely due to this landmark case and allows lawsuits to go forward against those entities outside the United States that would hide behind their flag and country. Athan is licensed in the District of Columbia and the states of NJ and MD; U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Ninth and Federal Circuits; U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, District of Columbia, District of New Jersey and the Western District of Pennsylvania; U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the United States Supreme Court.

Theodora Christou

Tsimpedes Law Firm

Dr Theodora A Christou has been a Consultant at Tsimpedes Law Firm since 2010. Notably she has worked on two cases with Athan Tsimpedes; N Kantzilaris, M Tompazou, M Toumazou, et al (Plaintiffs) v HSBC and "TRNC" (Defendants) and the petition to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (Cypriots Against War Crimes v Turkey). She has over 10 years of experience as a consultant including on human rights, public international law, transitional justice, legal reform and transnational law. She has conducted training in over 10 different jurisdictions and has also taught at University level in London. She has worked on over 200 cases including before the European Court of Human Rights.


Alain F.

Very precise and useful explanations together with practical insights.

Sheldon M.

Good course.

Sheila B.

I enjoyed this course very much and am looking forward to further exploration of human rights law.

Daniel M.

Great presentation, substance and procedure covered very nicely, dialogue went smoothly

mark s.

speaker knew her stuff so well.

James L.

very informative

Geoffrey K.

Dr. Christou gave a very comprehensive and clear summary of the procedure involved in taking a case to the Court.

Jane K.

Very clear presentation. Thank you.

Maria B.

Excellent presentation.

john b.

Dr. Christou and slides were excellent

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