The full examination of your application, including a judgement of the European Court of Human Rights can take several years.


After the Court has received your initial application it will examine it to see if your application is complete and if any important documents or information are missing. This can take up to 1-2 months.

  • If the Court does not need any additional information and your application is complete, it will be placed on a list and will be examined in turn. You may not receive any notification about this.
  • If your application is not complete and you need to send in additional documents, the Court will send you a letter advising you what kind of information is missing and that your application has not been accepted. If this is the case you will have to send the entire application, including the missing information, again.


If your application is accepted it will be placed on a list and will be examined in turn. You may not receive a notification about this from the Court.

If the Court examines your application and concludes that one or more of the admissibility criteria are not fulfilled, you will receive a letter from the Court in about a year’s time that your complaint has been rejected.

Further examination

If your complaint is admissible, the examination of your case could take up to 6-7 years. The Court will give priority to certain categories of cases which it considers urgent. For example, cases involving the rights of a child or pending extradition cases which could potentially endanger an applicant’s life or health.

When the Court examines your application, it will ask the Bulgarian government to provide its response to your complaints. The Court may also ask you to provide additional observations or information.

The Court usually examines cases in written proceedings, which means that you will not have to travel to Strasbourg. In exceptional cases, the Court may decide to hold an oral hearing. In that case you will be notified about such a hearing.


Last updated 30/03/2019