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ECHR: Delays in court proceedings appear in all European countries

Delays in court proceedings are a problem in all European countries, not only in Slovakia, Philippe Boillat, Director General of Human Rights and Legal Issues at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), said at a press conference on April 3.

Delays in court proceedings are a problem in all European countries, not only in Slovakia, Philippe Boillat, Director General of Human Rights and Legal Issues at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), said at a press conference on April 3.

Boillat was speaking after the launch of a 'Seminar on The Tasks of Government Representatives in Securing The Effective Protection of Human Rights'. The seminar is being attended among others by representatives of national governments at the ECHR.

"Approximately 60 percent of cases handled by the ECHR are connected to delays in court proceedings. That's why it's necessary to begin introducing measures in individual countries," said Boillat.

Slovak Justice Minister Štefan Harabin spoke about the measures that Slovakia has introduced in its efforts to lower the number of complaints against this country filed with the ECHR. "If the 22,000 participants in court proceedings that the Slovak judicial system hasn't completed in the past five years were to complain to the ECHR, they would succeed. We've accepted a whole range of protective measures in order to avoid these complaints," said Harabin.

He mentioned, e. g., an amendment to the civil-court system, which should prevent court-case obstructions. According to Harabin, the Justice Ministry is also preparing a major amendment to this system. "We're submitting to the Government an amendment to the penal system that should speed up the court process," said the minister. "We've employed 100 new judges over the past year. At the same time, we're ready to take on another 50," added Harabin, who also noted that nine previously abolished district courts have been put back in operation.

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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