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ATop ∧


An obligation to accept responsibility for one’s actions.


Applying changes in one culture as a result of interacting with other cultures.


Adjusting to new circumstances through modifications in one’s behavioural, cognitive or emotional repertoire.

Applications and cases

When the Court’s statistics refer to an “application”, they mean a complaint registered in the Court’s database under a separate application number. A “case” may comprise only one application examined separately or a number of applications examined jointly by the Court. For example, one judgment delivered by the Court may concern numerous applications which have been joined into one case.

Applications allocated to a judicial formation

When the Registry receives the completed application form, an application is “allocated to a judicial formation” which opens the way to judicial examination. Upon allocation, a preliminary assessment is made as to whether the application is to be considered by a Single-Judge formation, a Committee or by a Chamber (applications are “earmarked” for Single-Judge, Committee or Chamber procedure).

Applications at a pre-judicial stage

This term refers to applications which have not been allocated to a judicial formation (e.g. the completed application form has not been received) and have not been disposed of administratively (see below).

Applications decided (by decision or judgment delivered)

Applications allocated to a judicial formation are “decided” when a decision has been given to declare them inadmissible or strike out of the list of cases or a judgment has been delivered in their respect.

Applications disposed of administratively

These are applications which were never allocated to a judicial formation because the applicants failed to submit a duly completed application form within the allotted time. Their complaints are not examined by the Court and the file opened in respect of the application is destroyed.

Applications pending before a judicial formation

This term indicates applications which have been allocated to a judicial formation and have not been disposed of by a final judgment or decision.

BTop ∧

Behavioural flexibility

The ability to adapt one’s behaviour to different requirements and situations.

CTop ∧

Critical Incident

Critical intercultural interaction or intercultural misunderstanding.


Putting shared goals, needs and interests of a group above individual goals, needs and interests.

Cultural differences

Differences between cultures stimulated by society’s attempts to survive within a particular reality.

Cultural Emotion Expressions

The ways of expressing emotions in different cultures (e.g. expressing emotions freely, holding emotions.


“…the set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of a society or social group… (encompassing) in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs” (UNESCO).

Culture shock

Experiencing unpleasant emotions when facing something unknown or different from one’s own practice.

DTop ∧


A public display of group feelings toward a person or a cause.


Variation within a group that shares a common basis.

ETop ∧

Education for democratic citizenship

“Education for democratic citizenship” means education, training, awareness-raising, information, practices and activities which aim, by equipping learners with knowledge, skills and understanding and developing their attitudes and behaviour, to empower them to exercise and defend their democratic rights and responsibilities in society, to value diversity and to play an active part in democratic life, with a view to the promotion and protection of democracy and the rule of law.


Being able to place oneself in other people’s position and participate in others’ experiences (intellectually and emotionally). Empathy enables also taking into account other people’s perspective and recognizing that other people perceive the world from their own point of view.


Perceiving the norms, customs, values of one’s own culture as the best and the most adequate.

FTop ∧

Formal education

Formal education means the structured education and training system that runs from pre-primary and primary through secondary school and on to university. It takes place, as a rule, at general or vocational educational institutions and leads to certification.

GTop ∧


Describing a group of people by using a predominant characteristic of its members.


The process of transformation and expansion beyond national borders (e.g. trade and commerce) where people are unified into a single society.

HTop ∧

Human rights education

Human rights education means education, training, awareness raising, information, practices and activities which aim, by equipping learners with knowledge, skills and understanding and developing their attitudes and behaviour, to empower learners to contribute to the building and defence of a universal culture of human rights in society, with a view to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Human rights defender

Individuals, groups or other organs of society that work or act to promote and protect universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms.

ITop ∧

Importance of judgments

Judgments published in HUDOC, the Court’s database of case-law, are classified under three categories in order to enable researchers to focus on the judgments which are significant from the jurisprudential point of view: “High importance” judgments are those selected for reporting in the Court’s official printed reports. These are judgments which the Court considers make a significant contribution to the development, clarification or modification of its case-law, either generally or in relation to a particular State. “Medium importance” judgments are judgments which do not make a significant contribution to the case-law – and so are not published in the official reports – but which nevertheless are of some legal interest. “Low importance” judgments are judgments of little legal interest – those applying existing case-law, friendly settlements and routine striking-out judgments (unless these have any particular point of interest).


Putting individual goals, needs and interests above shared goals, needs and interests of the group.

Informal education

Informal education” means the lifelong process whereby every individual acquires attitudes, values, skills and knowledge from the educational influences and resources in his or her own environment and from daily experience (family, peer group, neighbours, encounters, library, mass media, work, play, etc).


Interaction between people from different cultures which leads to cooperation, mutual influence and exchange.

Intercultural communication

Communication between representatives of other cultures which can be applied in a verbal, non-verbal, spoken or written form. Apart from knowing foreign languages it is also needed to be aware of other cultures’ mentality, values and customs.

Intercultural competence

Intercultural competence helps to communicate with people from different cultures and adapt effectively to intercultural environments. It is an ability which allows appreciating and understanding different points of view, ways of thinking, feelings and behaviours of people from other cultures.

Intercultural dialog

Intercultural dialog comprises an “open and respectful exchange of views between individuals and groups with different ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds and heritage” that should lead to the understanding of different views of the world (CoE).

Intercultural education

Intercultural education is more than teaching about other cultures, their customs, languages and religions. It is also learning about attitudes and abilities needed for successful communication and cooperation with other cultures. Intercultural education prepares us not only for encounters with representatives of different cultures but also with people from our own culture (who think in a different way than we do). The intercultural education, as contrasted with the traditional education, allows us to learn “from within” (from and with others).

JTop ∧

Judicial formations

Judicial formations within the Court are Single-Judge formations, Committees, Chambers and the Grand Chamber.

LTop ∧


The state of one who is bound in law and justice to do something that may be enforced by action.

MTop ∧


The existence of many cultures in a common public sphere.

NTop ∧

Non-formal education

Non-formal education” means any planned programme of education designed to improve a range of skills and competences, outside the formal educational setting.

National security

The quality or state of being capable of resisting hostile or destructive acts from inside or outside a state.

Non-lethal weapons

A weapon that is designed to incapacitate the target rather than kill or seriously injure.


Those who are not citizens of a given state.

Non-verbal communication

Communicating between people without using verbal codes (words). It is both intentional and unintentional. Non-verbal messages can be produced by the body (touch, eye contact, volume, gestures, posture) or by the broad setting (time, space, silence).

PTop ∧


A punishment established by law for its breach.

Peremptory norm

A fundamental principle of international law considered to have acceptance among the international community of states as a whole. Peremptory norms do not require consent and cannot be violated by any state.


Collection of unique, inherently and environmentally conditioned characteristics of an individual.


Integration of aspects of other cultures by the individual which allows him/her to function within two or more cultures.


Making judgments on a person or a group of people without knowing them.

Processing applications - major procedural steps

An application may be declared inadmissible or struck out of the Court’s list of cases by a Single-Judge formation, Committee or a Chamber, without any further procedural steps. Otherwise the Section President or the competent Chamber generally decides to give notice of the application to the respondent government (communication). At the communication stage the Section Registrar may encourage the Parties to reach a friendly settlement. If the parties accept the Registrar’s proposal, reach a settlement on their own initiative or if the Court is otherwise satisfied that the case has been settled, it will be struck out of the list of cases. If the application has not been settled, the Chamber or Committee will resume, on the basis of the material received, the examination of the admissibility and merits. Unless the Chamber or Committee decides at this stage to declare the application inadmissible, the decision on admissibility is usually incorporated in the judgment on the merits. This judgment becomes final after expiry of a three-month period for submitting a request for referral to by the Grand Chamber.

Protection of rights and freedoms of others

Prevention of major interference with the conflicting rights and freedoms of others.

Public safety

A broad notion involving the protection of the population at large from varied kinds of significant damage, harm, or danger, including emergencies.

RTop ∧

Requests for interim measures

The Court receives a significant number of requests for the application of interim measures made pursuant to Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. Statistics under this head refer to the number of the Court’s decisions to grant or refuse such requests. In addition, many requests fall outside the scope of application of Rule 39 but nonetheless need to be dealt with by the Registry.

Respectful attitude

Being able to show respect for: culture, age, status, personal privacy and religion. Respect can be showed in speech, eye contact, non-verbal communication etc.

STop ∧


A coercive measure intended to ensure compliance with the law.


A social and political side of empathy which includes the capacity to interact and work with others, to undertake social and political action and the ability to challenge existing power and structures.


A negative and incorrect statement about a group of people (based on minimal experiential evidence) which is applied in perception of an individual in the group without recognising the variation within a group.

TTop ∧


A just, objective and nonjudgmental attitude towards people whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own.

Tolerance of ambiguity

Reacting positively and openly to everything what is new, different and unpredictable for us.

VTop ∧


Illegal or abusive exertion of physical force.