Council of Europe report says the number of ECHR judgments not implemented by Balkan and Central European countries is ‘still high’.
The annual report for 2022 on the implementation of European Court of Human Rights’ judgements published by Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers shows that the number of ECHR judgements to be fully executed by Balkan and Central European countries remains high.
“Nonetheless, there has been an increase in the total number of judgments currently pending full execution (6,081 compared to 5,533 in December 2021),” the report wrote.
The report noted that the full execution of the ECHR judgements by the member state faces several challenges.
“This challenging situation is compounded by the high number of long-standing systemic or complex problems which have not been resolved by the States concerned and which the Committee therefore continued to examine in 2022,” the report wrote.
According to the report, this may partly be explained by a lack of political will to embark on reforms which might require sustained efforts and expenditure.
“It is also linked to the persistent problem in a number of States of insufficient capacity to take measures to ensure the prompt, full and effective execution of the European Court’s judgments, due in particular to the low status and/or lack of resources of national coordinators,” the report continued.
Although the number of pending cases to be fully implemented stood at 6,112 in 2022, almost half the number in 2012, the new cases may place a burden on the court, the report notes.
In 2022, 1,459 new cases to be implemented by member states were added, a record number in the last decade. A total of 880 cases were closed, the lowest number of closed cases since 2012.
“As the report indicates, whilst the number of pending cases in 2022 remained relatively stable, the incoming cases pose increasing challenges and are arriving in greater numbers,” the report said.
Russia had the highest number of new cases in 2022, with 413 cases. Russia was excluded from the Council of Europe in March 2022 but remains obliged to implement relevant ECHR rulings.
Russia was followed by Ukraine with 145 cases and Romania with 137 cases.
Balkan and Central European countries continue to have highest number of ECHR cases to be implemented.
Some 78 cases to be fully implemented in 2022 came from Serbia, and 77 came from Turkey, 63 from Hungary, 54 from Poland and 36 from Moldova.
The ECHR is an international court of the Council of Europe which interprets the European Convention on Human Rights. The court hears applications alleging that a contracting state has breached one or more of the human rights enumerated in the convention or its optional protocols to which a member state is a party. 46 European countries recognise its jurisdiction.
The Committee of Ministers is the Council of Europe’s decision-making body and it monitors member states’ compliance with their undertakings, including the implementation of ECHR rulings.