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March 23, 2023

ECHR threatens Romania with pilot rulings

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) might impose on Romania a procedure aimed at enforcing the regulation of property seized during the communist regime.

Yesterday’s ‘Evenimentul Zilei’ writes that roughly ]1,000 such cases against Romania have been registered with the ECHR.

The ECHR clerk office’s formal release yesterday shows the ‘pilot-ruling’ procedure might for the first time be applied against Romania in the said cases. The procedure consists in the Court recommending the country concerned general measures that need to be adopted in order to eliminate operational flaws that lead citizens to take their cases to ECHR. After the court pronounced the pilot-ruling, all similar cases are suspended until the state will have taken the legislative, budgetary and administrative measures aimed at eliminating malfunctioning. If this happens, the cases concerned will be tried in national courts. According to the said source, Romania may also be subjected to pilot judgments over ‘failing to observe the right to a fair trial’ (excessive long trials, final verdicts not being executed) and violation of the ‘right to not be subjected to torture’. Unless Romania complies, it might even risk being excluded from the Council of Europe.

Poland was the only other EU member country against which ECHR ruled such verdict. It took Poland four years to fix the dysfunctions signalled. ECHR judges also handed down such pilot rulings for two non-EU member countries – Republic of Moldova and Russia.

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