Slovakia paid out €370,000 in ECHR cases in 2013

The total number of complainants who took their cases against the Slovak Republic to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg fell when compared to 2012, but the bodies in Strasbourg still dealt with 464 complaints, while rejecting another 684, according to Slovakia’s representative at the court. The figures for 2012 were 531 and 1,079, respectively. Slovakia had to pay nearly €370,000 in compensation, of which €174,000 was paid via out-of-court settlements. Among the successful plaintiffs was Supreme Court Chairman Štefan Harabin who received €3,500 but had claimed as much as €152,000 for a disciplinary punishment that he received from the Constitutional Court, the TASR newswire wrote. Conversely, the court rejected a petition from a company called Lawyers Partners, which in the past was commissioned with extracting licence fees for public-service Slovak Radio. Lawyers Partners claimed that due to changes in laws, mainly pertaining to the level of fines for failure to pay licence fees, the company suffered damages reaching an astronomical €6.43 billion. The Strasbourg court turned the petition down.

The total number of complainants who took their cases against the Slovak Republic to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg fell when compared to 2012, but the bodies in Strasbourg still dealt with 464 complaints, while rejecting another 684, according to Slovakia’s representative at the court. The figures for 2012 were 531 and 1,079, respectively.

Slovakia had to pay nearly €370,000 in compensation, of which €174,000 was paid via out-of-court settlements. Among the successful plaintiffs was Supreme Court Chairman Štefan Harabin who received €3,500 but had claimed as much as €152,000 for a disciplinary punishment that he received from the Constitutional Court, the TASR newswire wrote.

Conversely, the court rejected a petition from a company called Lawyers Partners, which in the past was commissioned with extracting licence fees for public-service Slovak Radio. Lawyers Partners claimed that due to changes in laws, mainly pertaining to the level of fines for failure to pay licence fees, the company suffered damages reaching an astronomical €6.43 billion. The Strasbourg court turned the petition down.

The most frequent cases lost by Slovakia against individual complainants involved court delays and procrastination, the report of Slovak representative before ECHR, Marica Pirošíková, reads. Moreover, in some cases the Strasbourg court came to different conclusions that the Slovak Constitutional Court, the SITA newswire quoted the report. ECHR criticised the Slovak CC for not assessing the total duration of some cases, for practices in accepting complaints and conditioning this on the previous complaints concerning the procrastination, addressed to the head of the court involved; as well as for ignoring complaints concerning the violation of principle of legal certainty.

In cases involving journalists, Slovak courts should study the extent of public interest in publishing disputed information, and try to find a balance between the public interest and the concerned individual’s interest, the report said. It also mentions 13 complaints against regulated rents. The ECHR already announced a verdict in the first of these cases, accepting the reservations of complainants.

(Source: TASR, SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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