The European Court of Human Rights has issued its report for 2020, in which some 5,233 cases were still yet to be implemented by the Member States
Out of these, some 1258 were ones involving a new structural or systemic problem, and 3,975 demonstrated a repeat of existing problems. The judgment of some 634 cases was still pending after more than five years.
581 payments to applicants were made on time, but 1574 were still awaiting payment at the end of the year. Two-thirds of these were still awaiting payment more than six months after the judgment was made.
The Committee of Ministers noted that they received a record 176 formal communications from NGOs and human rights institutions during the year, from 28 different states.
As of the end of the yea, Albania had four cases that were still under ongoing supervision from the Committee.
In 2020, in Albanian cases, they were ordered to pay EUR 62,220, a decrease on the EUR 117,050 the previous year.
The first was relating to the inhuman and degrading treatment of a forensic psychiatric payment who had an imposed court order for “compulsory treatment” due to poor living conditions. The final judgment was delivered in May.
“As regards general measures, the Court indicated, that an “appropriate institution” should be established to accommodate persons such as the applicant with a view to improving their living conditions. This institution must respect the therapeutic purpose of this form of deprivation of liberty and a sufficient number of qualified mental health care staff should be recruited. In addition, the authorities should consider, where appropriate, the possibility of outpatient mental health treatment,” the report notes.
The second relates to the excessive length of judicial procedures. The Committee said there were failures in the case management system which caused a multiplication of proceedings on the same issue and that there was a lack of remedy in this respect.
In the report, concerns over access to a court and the efficiency of justice at a national level were raised.
“The Gjyli group of cases against Albania may be cited, concerning notably the failure of the public administration or other legal persons under the responsibility of the Albanian State to abide by final court decisions. A number of legislative reforms undertaken have introduced substantial guarantees to the rights and status of civil servants, and administrative courts have been established to adjudicate on disputes arising from administrative decisions. Legislation has also introduced remedies pertaining to the enforcement of final administrative court orders and decisions including an acceleratory and compensatory remedy in cases of delayed enforcement.”
There was also supervision ongoing for the failure to enforce judicial decisions and to award damages to claimants.
Lastly, the issue of the demolition of flats and business premises in an Albanian coastal town without a court order was being supervised. The judgment was made in 2018 and the authorities are supposed to refrain from taking action that could breach applicants’ property rights.
Some 983 cases were initiated across all member states last year, out of these, the states with the highest number of cases were Russia (218), Turkey (103), Ukraine (84), Romania (78), and Hungary (61).
The main themes of enhanced supervision included actions of security forces, illegal detention, the right to life, conditions of detention and medical care, and the length of judicial proceedings.
While states are making some progress despite the COVID-19 pandemic, further efforts are needed to tackle systemic issues.
“Today’s report shows that our member states take their obligation to implement judgments from the European Court of Human Rights very seriously, even in difficult circumstances,” said Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić.
“It is also very positive that NGOs and National Human Rights Institutions are becoming more and more involved in the process, making it more effective and transparent.
“Nevertheless, this is no time for complacency. Many important judgments have been outstanding for several years and a small number of high-profile cases are not being resolved quickly enough. Our member states have a duty to implement ECHR judgments promptly and fully. This is not a kind request – it is a binding requirement.”