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The applicant is expected to use, or at least attempt to use, the legal avenues available at the national level before applying to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). A complaint about the violation of the European Convention on Human Rights that the applicant subsequently intends to make before the ECtHR must first be raised in substance before national courts, so that the national courts are given an opportunity to redress the alleged breach. There may, however, be special circumstances dispensing the applicant from such an obligation, for example, where requiring the applicant to use a particular remedy would be unreasonable and impose a disproportionate burden. The requirement of exhausting domestic remedies is also inapplicable where an “administrative practice” consisting of a repetition of acts incompatible with the Convention and official tolerance by the state authorities has been shown to exist, and is of such a nature as to make proceedings futile or ineffective. Notably, the ECtHR can only deal with the complaint if it has been brought within a period of four months from the date of the final domestic decision. The four-month period starts running from the date on which the applicant and/or their representative has sufficient knowledge of the final domestic decision.