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This fact was correct when it was updated on 21 Sep 2020

What is the difference between the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice?

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and its European Court of Human Rights are part of a completely different legal system to the EU. The ECHR and its court are part of the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states, including Russia and the UK. The EU, on the other hand, consists of 27 Member States. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is the body responsible for overseeing compliance with EU law within the EU. That said, the EU and Council of Europe systems are intertwined because the ECHR lies behind many of the general principles of EU law and its provisions have been used as a basis for the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights. All 27 EU member states are also members of the Council of Europe.

Find out more – read our explainer on the institutional set up of the EU and analysis by Professor Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos on the position of Human Rights in the Brexit debate.

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