High Contracting Parties are the countries or states that are signatories to a particular international treaty or agreement. In the context of the European Convention on Human Rights, also known as the Convention or abbreviated as the ECHR, the High Contracting Parties are the countries that have ratified and are bound by the provisions of the ECHR.
When a country decides to become a party to the ECHR, it is referred to as a High Contracting Party to the ECHR. By doing so, the country voluntarily accepts the obligations and responsibilities outlined in the ECHR, including the obligation to respect and ensure the human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in the ECHR within its own jurisdiction.
Currently, there are 46 member states that were High Contracting Parties to the ECHR, including most European countries, but excluding Russia which was expelled following its invasion of Ukraine. Each of these countries has ratified the ECHR and is subject to its provisions. These countries have established national legal and judicial mechanisms to uphold the rights and freedoms protected by the ECHR and to ensure that individuals within their jurisdictions can seek redress if their rights are violated.
The European Court of Human Rights, located in Strasbourg, France, is the judicial body responsible for adjudicating cases related to alleged violations of the ECHR by the High Contracting Parties. Individuals and organisations can bring cases before this court if they believe that their rights under the Convention have been violated by a member state.