Vlad And Others v Romania (Legal Summary): ECHR 26 Nov 2013

ECHR Article 46-2
Execution of judgment
Measures of a general character
Respondent State encouraged to take further measures to provide genuine effective relief for violations of the right to a fair trial within a reasonable time
Facts – In their applications to the European Court, the three applicants complained of the lack of an effective domestic remedy in respect of delays in civil and criminal proceedings in which they had been involved before the domestic courts. The applications were lodged in 2006 and 2007 and the Government argued that legislation had since been introduced to provide remedies in such cases: Law no. 202/2010, which amended the 1993 Code of Civil Procedure and the 1997 Code of Criminal Procedure pending the entry into force and implementation of new codes of procedure, and Articles 522 to 526 of the new Code of Civil Procedure, which provided a complaints procedure for delays (but applied only to proceedings instituted after 15 February 2013). The Government also submitted that a number of recent cases based on the direct applicability of the Convention in Romania demonstrated that litigants now had access to compensation in length-of-proceedings cases.
Law – Article 6 – 1: In each of the applicants’ cases the length of the proceedings had been excessive and failed to meet the ‘reasonable-time’ requirement of Article 6.
Conclusion: violation (unanimously).
Article 13: The second and third applicants complained that they had not had effective remedies in respect of the length of the proceedings in which they were involved. Although the Government had argued that the changes to the national legal system and the direct applicability of the Convention meant that litigants now had an effective remedy, they had failed to produce examples of domestic cases in which litigants had been able to access an effective remedy in length-of-proceedings cases. Furthermore, both the change to the law and the new Code of Civil Procedure had come into force only after the domestic courts had already dealt with the majority of the proceedings brought by the two applicants concerned.
Conclusion: violation (unanimously).
Article 46: Since its first judgment concerning the length of civil proceedings in Romania*, the Court had adopted decisions and judgments in some 200 Romanian cases dealing with allegations of breaches of the ‘reasonable-time’ requirement laid down in Article 6 – 1 in relation to civil and criminal proceedings. A further 500 cases were currently pending. Those figures indicated the existence of a systemic problem, one the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe had noted in 2011 was of grave concern and required tackling as a matter of priority.**Although new legislation had been introduced, the Government had not submitted any information in reply to questions that had been raised by the Committee of Ministers regarding, in particular, the procedural rules applicable to length-of-proceedings complaints under the new Code of Civil Procedure, the remedies available in criminal proceedings or the possibility of introducing a specific compensatory remedy.*** In any event, the measures aimed at ensuring the speedy examination of civil cases applied only to proceedings instituted after 15 February 2013 and could not remedy the problem of delays accrued before that date.
Accordingly, in view of the extent of the recurrent problem and of the weaknesses and shortcomings of the current remedies, Romania was encouraged to either amend the existing range of legal remedies or add new remedies, such as a specific and clearly regulated compensatory remedy, in order to provide genuine effective relief for violations of the right to a fair trial within a reasonable time.
Article 41: Sums ranging from EUR 2,340 to EUR 7,800 to each applicant in respect of non-pecuniary damage; claim in respect of pecuniary damage dismissed.

40756/06 – Legal Summary, [2013] ECHR 1309
European Convention on Human Rights
Human Rights
Cited by:
Legal SummaryVlad And Others v Romania ECHR 26-Nov-2013
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See AlsoVlad And Others v Romania ECHR 17-Mar-2015
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Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights

Updated: 27 November 2021; Ref: scu.519061