Strasbourg Court Upholds Four Complaints of Human Rights Violations By Czech Republic
The ECHR ruled on 29 complaints against the Czech Republic last year, a large increase compared to previous years. Photo credit: Freepik.
Prague, Jun 1 (CTK) – The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) found violations of the Convention on Human Rights in four cases of complaints against the Czech Republic last year, related to the use of force by police, compensation for expropriation, and the legality of extradition detention, according to a report discussed by the cabinet yesterday.
The report was submitted by Petr Konupka, the government commissioner representing the Czech Republic at the ECHR.
In another 25 Czech cases, the Strasbourg-based ECHR found that the Convention had not been violated.
Konupka stated in the report that the ECHR ruled on 29 complaints against the Czech Republic last year, a large increase compared to previous years. “In the previous five years, the court ruled on an average of only ten complaints a year,” he said.
In the proceedings that ended last year, the complainants sought compensation totaling some CZK 337.3 million. The Strasbourg court awarded them a total of CZK 1.4 million.
“The defence of the state by the Office of the Government Commissioner has therefore saved the state budget a sum of about CZK 336 million,” said Konupka, who replaced longtime commissioner Vit Alexander Schorm in January after Schorm became Czech deputy ombudsman.
The Czech cases in which the court found no violation of the convention last year included the questioning of witnesses in criminal proceedings, the placement of children in a temporary substitute care facility, artificial insemination, the takeover of a joint-stock company by a majority shareholder, and the involuntary removal of biological material.
Last year, the Czech Republic also succeeded with two requests to refer cases to the Grand Chamber of the ECHR, which happens in only about 5-6% of all cases, Konupka said.
The court will thus deal again with two complaints in which the Czech Republic has been convicted, but not definitively: the case of debt collector Jan Grosam, and the case of the company FU Quan. The first case concerns the issue of disciplinary proceedings with debt collection officers, the second the seizure of property for the purposes of criminal proceedings.
Last year, the ECHR sent 19 new cases to the Czech government for comment. These include a police action against a person suffering from a mental disorder, an investigation into sexual abuse by a priest, copying of electronic data during a search of a lawyer’s office, criminal convictions for defamation, expulsion on the basis of classified intelligence information, and church restitution.
Other cases are also awaiting a ruling from the Strasbourg court, such as the Liechtenstein complaint linked to the confiscation of their property after World War II, and climate action, in which the Czech Republic is one of more than 30 states being sued. The complaint about the reduction of Czech judges’ salaries between 2011 and 2014 will also be addressed.
The biggest challenge for the Czech Republic, according to Konupka, is not defending itself before the Strasbourg court, but the subsequent implementation of the decisions.
“In the coming period, therefore, it will be necessary for the responsible authorities to devote increased attention and efforts to strengthening equal access to primary education for Roma pupils, eliminating sterilisation as a condition for legal recognition of gender reassignment, legislatively enshrining the unacceptability of corporal punishment of children, and ensuring equal opportunities for women and men in remuneration,” Konupka stated.
The implementation of ECHR verdicts is supervised by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. It cannot impose a financial sanction on the state concerned, but it can adopt a resolution. The harshest step is then for the Committee of Ministers to submit the case back to the court.