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European Commission of Human Rights - Rules of Procedure

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Title III: Procedure

Chapter I: General Rules

Rule 30

1. The official languages of the Commission shall be English and French.

2. The President may authorise a member to speak in another language.

3. The President may permit the use by a party or a person representing that party of a language other than English or French, either in hearings or documents. Any such document shall be submitted in an original and at least two copies.

4. The Secretary is authorised, in correspondence with an applicant, to employ a language other than English or French.

Rule 31

The High Contracting Parties shall be represented before the Commission by their agents who may have the assistance of advisers.

Rule 32

1. Persons, non-governmental organisations, or groups of individuals, may present and conduct applications under Article 25 of the Convention on their own behalf or through a representative appointed under paragraph 2 of this Rule.

2. Any such applicant may appoint, and be represented in proceedings before the Commission by, a lawyer or any other person, resident in a Convention country, unless the Commission at any stage decides otherwise.

3. Any such applicant or representative shall appear in person before the Commission:

a. to present the application in a hearing fixed by the Commission; or

b. for any other purpose, if invited by the Commission.

4. In the other provisions of these Rules the term "applicant" shall, where appropriate, include the applicant's representative.

Rule 33

The Commission shall deal with applications in the order in which they become ready for examination. It may, however, decide to give precedence to a particular application.

Rule 34

1. The Commission may, proprio motu or at the request of a party, take any action which it considers expedient or necessary for the proper performance of its duties under the Convention.

2. The Commission may delegate one or more of its members to take any such action in its name, and in particular to hear witnesses or experts, to examine documents or to visit any locality. Such member or members shall duly report to the Commission.

3. In case of urgency when the Commission is not in session, the President of the Commission or, if he is prevented from carrying out his duties, the President of either Chamber, may take any necessary action on behalf of the Commission. As soon as the Commission is again in session, any action which has been taken under this paragraph shall be brought to its attention.

Rule 35

The Commission may, if it considers necessary, order the joinder of two or more applications.

Rule 36

The Commission, or when it is not in session, the President may indicate to the parties any interim measure the adoption of which seems desirable in the interest of the parties or the proper conduct of the proceedings before it.

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