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Access To Justice Access To Justice Document Transcript

  • Justice an overview of challenges access to justice in europe: and opportunities A ccess to j u st i ce i n E u ro p e : a n ove r v i ew of c h a l l e n g es a n d o p p o r t u n i t i es
  • This report addresses matters related to the right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial (Article 47) falling under Chapter VI ‘Justice’ of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Europe Direct is a service to help you find answers to your questions about the European Union new freephone number (*): 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 (*) Certain mobile telephone operators do not allow access to 00 800 numbers or these calls may be billed. In certain cases, these calls may be chargeable from telephone boxes or hotels.Cover picture: iStockphotoMore information on the European Union is available on the Internet (http://europa.eu).FRA - European Union Agency for Fundamental RightsSchwarzenbergplatz 111040 WienAustriaTel.: +43 (0)1 580 30 - 0Fax: +43 (0)1 580 30 - 691Email: information@fra.europa.eufra.europa.euCataloguing data can be found at the end of this publication.Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2011ISBN 978-92-9192-676-3doi: 10.2811/171© European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2010Reproduction is authorised, except for commercial purposes, provided the source is acknowledged.Printed in Luxembourg by Imprimerie CentralePrinted on white chlorine‑free PaPer
  • Access to justice in Europe:an overview of challenges and opportunities 
  • ForewordThepossibilityofenforcingarightiscentraltomakingfundamentalrightsareality.Accesstojusticeisnotjustarightinitselfbutalsoanenablingandempoweringrightinsofarasitallowsindividualstoenforcetheirrightsandobtainredress.Inthissense,ittransformsfundamentalrightsfromtheoryintopractice.Researchandevidence-basedadviceonaccesstojustice,therefore,alsosupportmakingotherrightseffective.ThisreportisanintroductoryoverviewonaccesstojusticethataddstothefourreportsoftheEuropeanUnionAgencyforFundamentalRightsonthe‘fundamentalrightsarchitectureintheEuropeanUnion’,publishedin2010.ItdoessobyprovidingcorefindingsonthechallengestoandopportunitiesfortherealisationofaccesstojusticeinEurope.BuildingontheAgency’sEuropeanUnionminoritiesanddiscriminationsurvey(EU-MIDIS)–whichconcluded,amongotherthings,thatlevelsofawarenessandconfidenceincomplaintsmechanismswerelowamongstethnicminoritiesandimmigrantgroupswhowerevictimsofdiscrimination–thisreportprovidesinsightintothenatureandfunctioningofjudicialmechanismsintheEuropeanUnion(EU).TheparticularfocusofthereportisonjudicialmechanismsatnationallevelinEUMemberStates.Thisisaddressedthroughdiscussionofnationalpracticesandproceduresapplicableintheareaofnon-discriminationlaw.ThisfocuswaschosensincetheMemberStatesareunderanobligationtoprovideeffectiveremediesaspartoftheirimplementationofEUlawinthisarea.Apartfromthenationallevel,avenuesavailableattheEuropeanandinternationallevelsarealsodescribed,namelythroughtheCourtofJusticeoftheEU,theEuropeanCourtofHumanRightsandthemonitoringbodiesofUnitedNationshumanrightstreaties.Thereportexplainshowthesemechanismsworkanddealswiththeircomparableadvantages.ChangesintroducedbytheTreatyofLisbon,suchasaccessionoftheEUtotheEuropeanConventiononHumanRightsandalterationstorulesonlegalstandingarehighlighted.However,fundamentalrightsaremostcommonlyanissueatthenationallevel,andforthisreasonthereportfocusesondomesticjudicialmechanismsandtheirchallenges.Atnationallevel,thereportpointsoutconcernsandconcreteobstaclestoaccessingjusticebutalsohighlightsactualpractices.Someofthekeyconcernsincludeunnecessarilystricttimelimitsonbringingclaims.Thisis,forinstance,thecasein22ofthe27EUMemberStates.Othernotabledifficultiesincluderestrictiverulesonwhocanmakeaclaim,excessivelegalcosts,andthecomplexityoflegalprocedures.ThisreportisthefirststudybytheEuropeanUnionAgencyforFundamentalRightsdealingprimarilywithaccesstojustice.Itwillbefollowedbyareportfocussingontheroleofequalitybodiesandsimilarentitiesinfacilitatingaccesstojusticeandtheexperiencesofequalitybodies,claimantsandthoseactorsprovidingsupporttoclaimants.Thesereportsarecomplementaryinnature,focussingrespectivelyonthecourtsystemandonequalitybodiesintheirfunctionofassistingclaimantsorprovidinganalternativeavenueofredress.Thisreflectsabroadconceptionofaccesstojustice.Byhighlightingwheretheprincipalchallengesexist,aswellasexamplesofgoodpractice,thisreportcancontributetoabetterunderstandingofhowimprovementscanbemadeinordertoallowindividualstoenforcetheirfundamentalrightsinpractice.Morten KjaerumDirector 3
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  • contentsForEword .......................................................................................................................................................3List oF AbbrEviAtions....................................................................................................................................7ExEcutivE suMMAry .......................................................................................................................................9opinions ......................................................................................................................................................111 AccEss to JusticE – situAting thE concEpt in thE Eu ...........................................................................13 1.1.  heFRAresearchonaccesstojustice....................................................................................................................13 T 1.2. Reportbackground....................................................................................................................................................14 1.3. Theconcept................................................................................................................................................................14 1.4. elatedresearchandinstrumentsbytheCouncilofEurope..............................................................................16 R 1.5.  ccesstojusticeinEuropeanlaw............................................................................................................................17 A 1.6.  ccesstojusticeinEUpolicy .................................................................................................................................. 20 A . 1.7. Summary.....................................................................................................................................................................222 AvAiLAbLE MEchAnisMs At EuropEAn And intErnAtionAL LEvEL ........................................................23 2.1.  ommonfeaturesanddistinctions..........................................................................................................................23 C 2.2.TheUNtreatybodies ................................................................................................................................................25 . 2.3. heCouncilofEuropemechanisms........................................................................................................................ 30 T 2.4. ourtofJusticeoftheEuropeanUnion...................................................................................................................33 C 2.5.Summary................................................................................................................................................................... 363 AccEssing JusticE At nAtionAL LEvEL .....................................................................................................37 3.1. Limits......................................................................................................................................................................... 37 3.2.Alternatives..............................................................................................................................................................44 3.3.Summary....................................................................................................................................................................464 LEgAL Aid At nAtionAL LEvEL ..................................................................................................................47 4.1.  atureandscopeoflegalaid.................................................................................................................................49 N . 4.2.Eligibilityforlegalaid................................................................................................................................................51 4.3.Complementaryschemes.........................................................................................................................................53 4.4.Summary.................................................................................................................................................................... 545 rEdrEss At nAtionAL LEvEL ....................................................................................................................55 5.1. Natureofredress...................................................................................................................................................... 56 5.2. eveloffinancialcompensation............................................................................................................................. 58 L 5.3.Paymentoflegalcosts............................................................................................................................................. 59 5.4.Evidence.....................................................................................................................................................................61 5.5.Executionofjudgments............................................................................................................................................ 62 5.6.Summary....................................................................................................................................................................64concLusions .................................................................................................................................................65 5
  • Figures and tables Table1: EUMemberStatesaspartiestotheUNConventions................................................................................................ 26 Table2: NumberofStatepartiesamongtheEU-27thathaveacceptedindividual complaintsproceduresundertherespectiveTreatybodies................................................................................... 27 Table3: Acceptedindividualcomplaintsprocedures,byEUMemberState..................................................................... 28 Table4: EUMemberStatespartiestotheAdditionalProtocolundertheESC.................................................................32 Table5: OverviewofprovisionsprovidingforaccesstojusticebeforetheCJEU.......................................................... 34 Figure1: Accesstojusticeandrelatedterminology..........................................................................................................................16 Figure2: Overviewofselectedmechanisms..........................................................................................................................................23 Figure3: ThetwomainroutestoaccesstheCJEU..............................................................................................................................33 Figure4: RestrictionsonaccesstojusticeinEUMemberStates............................................................................................... 38 Figure5: ViolationsconcerninglengthofproceedingsasapercentageofallECtHR’sjudgmentsfinding violationsoftheECHR,byEUMemberState(%),duringtheperiod1959–2009.......................................41 Figure6: PossibilityofwaivingtherightofaccesstoajudicialbodyinEUMemberStates....................................44 Figure7: Possibilityofaccessingnon-judicialproceduresinEUMemberStates............................................................ 45 Figure8: AvailabilityoflegalaidinMemberStates.......................................................................................................................... 49 Figure9: EligibilitytestsforlegalaidinEUMemberStates.......................................................................................................... 51 Figure10: NatureofredressinEUMemberStates............................................................................................................................... 57 Figure11: AvailabilityofpunitivedamagesinEUMemberStates............................................................................................. 58 Figure12: Levelofcompensation:thehighestrecordedamountsinEUMemberStates(€)................................... 59 Figure13: Rulesregardingpaymentoflegalcosts,byEUMemberState.............................................................................. 60 Figure14: ExecutionoffinalawardsinEUMemberStates............................................................................................................. 636
  • List of abbreviationscAt ConventionagainstTortureandOtherCruel,InhumanorDegrading TreatmentorPunishment/CommitteeAgainstTorturecEdAw ConventionontheEliminationofAllFormsofDiscriminationagainstWomen / CommitteeontheEliminationofDiscriminationAgainstWomencEpEJ EuropeanCommissionfortheEfficiencyofJustice(oftheCouncilofEurope)cErd CommitteeonEliminationofRacialDiscriminationcFr CharterofFundamentalRightsoftheEuropeanUnioncJ CourtofJustice,whenneededtodistinguishfromtheGeneralCourt–boththese courtsjointlyconstitutingtheCourtofJusticeoftheEuropeanUnioncJEu CourtofJusticeoftheEuropeanUnion(formerlytheCourtofJusticeof theEuropeanCommunities),hereinreferringbothtotheGeneralCourt andtheCourtofJusticeoftheEuropeanUnion,unlessspecifiedcrc ConventionontheRightsoftheChildcrpd ConventionontheRightsofPersonswithDisabilitiesEchr ConventionfortheProtectionofHumanRightsandFundamental FreedomsorEuropeanConventiononHumanRightsEcsr EuropeanCommitteeofSocialRightsEcthr EuropeanCourtofHumanRightsEsc EuropeanSocialCharterEu EuropeanUnionEu-Midis EuropeanUnionMinoritiesandDiscriminationSurveyFrA EuropeanUnionAgencyforFundamentalRightsFrALEx FRAnetworkoflegalexpertsgc GeneralCourt(formerlyCourtofFirstInstance)iAchr Inter-AmericanCommissiononHumanRightsiActhr Inter-AmericanCourtonHumanRightsiccpr InternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticalRightsicErd InternationalConventionontheEliminationofAllFormsofRacialDiscriminationicEscr InternationalCovenantonEconomic,SocialandCulturalRightsicpEd InternationalConventionfortheProtectionofAllPersonsfromEnforcedDisappearance InternationalConventionontheProtectionoftheRightsofAllicrMw MigrantWorkersandMembersofTheirFamiliestEc TreatyestablishingtheEuropeanCommunitiestEu TreatyonEuropeanUniontFEu TreatyontheFunctioningoftheEuropeanUnionudhr UniversalDeclarationofHumanRightsun UnitedNationsun hrc UnitedNationsHumanRightsCommittee 7
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  • Executive summaryThisreportprovidesanEU-widecomparativeanalysis operateas‘subsidiary’meansofobtainingredress.oftheeffectivenessofaccesstojusticeasameans Thatis,beforehavingrecoursetotheseprocedures,ofensuringindividuals’rightsintheareaofnon- individualsareunderanobligationtopursueremedies,discriminationlaw.Theareaofnon-discriminationlaw, sofarastheyareeffective,atthenationallevel.InasembodiedintheRacialEqualityDirective,Gender thisway,statesaregiventheopportunitytoremedyEqualityDirective(recast),GenderGoodsandServices breachesoftheirobligationsinternally,beforeanDirectiveandEmploymentEqualityDirective,provided internationalbodymaytakejurisdiction.afocusforthereport,intermsofthecasessampledandrulesandpracticesthatwereobserved,aswell TheUNmonitoringbodiesresponsibleforoverseeingasensuringthattheenquiryfellwithinthescopeof theimplementationofhumanrightstreatiesofferaEUlaw.Becausetheapplicablerulesandpractices relativelyaccessiblequasi-judicialmechanism.Sometendedtorelatenotonlytonon-discriminationlaw ofthesebodiesaremandatedtodealwithindividualbutciviland/oradministrativelawmoregenerally, complaints,suchastheCommitteeonEliminationofhowever,thepresentfindingsintermsofchallenges RacialDiscrimination(CERD)undertheConventiononandgoodpracticesarelikelytoapplybeyondthis theEliminationofAllFormsofRacialDiscriminationareaofsubstantivelaw.Itshouldalsoberecalledthat (ICERD)ortheHumanRightsCommittee(UNHRC)theresearchwasconfinedprincipallytocivillaw,and undertheInternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticalmayalsoincludeadministrativeprocedures,where Rights(ICCPR).TheICERDwasthefirstoftheUNhumanapplicable,butdidnotcovercriminallaw. rightstreatiesthatprovidedforaspecificmonitoring body–CERD–andservedastheprecursortothoseTheresearchforthecountryreports,whichconstitute undertheotherconventions,includingtheUNHRC.thebackgroundinformationforthisreport,was SpecialfeaturesoftheICERDincludetheabilitytoconductedthroughanalysisoflawsandrulesof receivecomplaintsnotonlyfromindividualsbutalsoprocedureaswellasaselectionofcasesineachof groupsofindividuals.However,theUNHRCisthethe27EUMemberStates,inthelightoftheconceptof monitoringbodythathasbuiltupthegreatestvolumeaccesstojustice.Thisconceptisbrokendownthrough ofdecisionsonindividualcomplaints.Atthesameatypologyofthecomponentsofthisbroaderidea. time,itshouldbenotedthatstateshavenotexpresslyAsfortheEUandinternationalelements,itisbased recognisedtheviewsofthetreatybodiesaslegallyonavailableliteratureandanalysisofcaselaw. binding.However,theydorepresentauthoritative interpretationsoftherelevanttreaties.Thereportshowsthataccesstojusticeisaconceptwithmanynuanceswhichincludes,firstandforemost, TheEuropeanCourtofHumanRights(ECtHR)haseffectiveaccesstoanindependentdisputeresolution responsibilitytodecideoncomplaintssubmittedinmechanismcoupledwithotherrelatedissues,such respectoftheEuropeanConventiononHumanRightsastheavailabilityoflegalaidandadequateredress. (ECHR).Inrecentyears,theECtHRcaseload,relativeTherearevariousavenuesavailableatbothnational toitscapacitytodeliverjudgmentshasbecomeandEuropean/internationallevels. unsustainable,causingdelaysintheresolutionofcases. ProtocolNo.14totheECHRhasintroducedarange ofmeasuresdesignedtoaddressthis,includingtheEuropean and ‘pilot’procedurefordealingwithrepeatviolations– similarcasesduetosystemicproblemsatnationalinternational level level.Consideringthesereforms,thesignificanceofThereportanalysesjudicialandquasi-judicial therolethattheECtHRwillplayappearstobeshiftingmechanismsatEuropean(EUandCouncilofEurope) fromprovidingindividualswitharecourseoflastandinternational(UnitedNations)levels.Eachofthese resorttowardsamoreconstitutionalroleindeliveringlevelshasbothcommonanddivergentcharacteristics decisionsonlegalissuesofbroaderimportanceandinrelationtorulesonlegalstanding,thenatureof ofrelevancetoanumberofcomplaints.Inthecontextproceedings,theremediesavailable,andapplicable ofsocialrights,theECtHRiscomplementedbythefollow-upmechanisms.SavefortheCourtofJusticeof EuropeanCommitteeofSocialRights(ECSR),whichtheEU(byreasonofthewaythatEUlawisintegrated monitorsimplementationoftheEuropeanSocialintonationalsystems),allthemonitoringmechanisms Charter(ESC). 9
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities Therearetwomainavenuesthroughwhichan bodyandsettlethedisputeoutsidethecourt,subject individualcanaccesstheCourtofJusticeofthe tocertainsafeguards. EuropeanUnion(CJEU)inpursuingaremedyagainst theEUitself:direct(throughtheactionforannulment) Legalaidisgenerallyavailableforapartyto andindirect(throughpreliminaryrulings).While proceedingsintheareaofnon-discriminationlawinall therulesrelatingtolegalstandingundertheaction EUMemberStatesthroughtheapplicationof‘means’ forannulmenthavebeenloosenedbytheLisbon or‘meansplusmerits’tests.Nevertheless,agreater Treaty,accesstotheCJEUremainsrelativelynarrow. allocationofresourcesappearstobeneeded.Particular concernhasbeenraisedregardingbudgetcutsdueto TheTreatyofLisbonhasalsointroducedother theeconomiccrises.Thesedifficultiesappeartobe significantchanges.Firstly,theCharterofFundamental partiallyoffsetinsomeMemberStatesthroughthe RightsoftheEuropeanUnionhasacquiredlegally existenceofinitiativescomplementarytolegalaid, bindingstatus.SecondlythejurisdictionoftheCJEU suchasfreelegaladviceservicesorlegalinsurance. hasbeenbroadenedtoallowforreviewinareasof EUlawthatwereformerlybeyonditsremit.Thirdly, Accordingtotherelevantresearchfindings,financial itmandatestheEUtoaccedetotheECHR,whichwill compensationistheprimarymeansofcompensating conferjurisdictionontheECtHRinrelationtobreaches victimsofdiscriminationinall27EUMemberStates.In oftheECHRbytheEUitself. themajorityofEUMemberStates,furthermore,such financialcompensationissupplementedbyothernon- financialformsofreparation(suchasreinstatement inthecaseofdismissalfromemploymentthatwas national level discriminatory). Sincetheprotectionoffundamentalrightsshould firstandforemostbeprovidedatthenationallevel, Asfortheleveloffinancialcompensation,thereare judicialmechanismsinindividualEUMemberStates considerablevariationsamongEUMemberStates. constitutethefocusofthereport.Themainissues Therelevantresearchfindingsshowedthatthe coveredincludeconcretelimitsinthecontextof averageamountoffinancialcompensationawarded accessingjusticeatnationallevel,existingregimesof bydomesticcourtsvariesgreatly,andthatthisdoes legalaidanddifferentmeansofcompensatingvictims notappeartobeowedentirelytofactorssuchas ofdiscriminatorytreatment.Specificpracticesthatcan variationsinlivingcosts.OnlytwoMemberStates befoundindifferentEUMemberStatesinrelationto allowfortheawardofpunitivedamages. theseissuesarelikewiseidentified.Inaddition,these chaptersrefer,whererelevant,toexistingpractices MostEUMemberStatesoperatea‘loserpays’rule thatoftenintendtofacilitateaccesstojustice. wherethelosingpartyisexpectedtocoverthelegal costsoftheotherside.Atthesametimeinsome Fromtheresearchfindingspresentedinthereport, MemberStatesthejudiciaryhasdiscretionnotto itcanbeconcludedthatexcessivelyshorttime applythisrule.Itappears,however,thatlegalcosts limitsforbringingaclaiminordertoinitiatejudicial maybeofsuchalevelastoconstituteabarrierto proceedings,restrictiveconditionsoflegalstanding accesstojusticeinsomeMemberStates. (includingabsenceorrigidapplicationofpublic interestcomplaintruleswhichareusuallylimitedto Thereportidentifiednumerousgoodpracticesthat environmentalcases)aswellasunduedelaysinnon- hadthepotentialtofacilitateaccesstojusticefor discriminationproceedings,representmajorobstacles complainants.Theseinclude:simplifiedandless forindividualswhenaccessingjusticeinthedomestic formalisticproceduralrulesmakingiteasiertoenforce courtsofindividualMemberStates.Inthecontext rights;E-justiceinitiativesthataimtomakerelevant ofunduedelaysinparticular,itshouldbenotedthat jurisprudencewidelyaccessibleatnocost;generous althoughdomesticlawsofmostMemberStates rulesonlegalstanding(suchaspublicinterestactions); containprovisionsforthespeedyresolutionofurgent theavailabilityofredressotherthancompensation;pro orsensitivecases,itremainsunclearwhetherin bonoinitiativesandlegaladvicecentres. practicesuchexpeditedproceduresdoactuallyreduce thelengthofthelegalprocess. Inlightofthefactthatthereisgreatdivergence betweentheMemberStatesintermsofthe Inordertoreducerelianceoncourtproceedings, challengesthattheyfaceandpracticestheyadopt, whichmaybelengthyandcostly,manyEUMember theresultsoftheFRAresearchatnationalleveldonot Statesprovidevictimsofdiscriminationwith alwaysallowfordirectcomparison.Inordertoensure alternativenon-judicialroutesthroughwhichtheycan ascompleteapictureaspossiblefurtherinformation obtainredress.InadditionsomeEUMemberStates isavailableviatheFRAwebsitecontainingdetailson allowvictimstowaivetherightofaccesstoajudicial accesstojusticebyMemberStateandcorecategories.10
  • opinionsTheEuropeanUnionAgencyforFundamentalRightshasformulatedthefollowingopinionsbasedonthe Legal aidfindingsandcomparativeanalysisinthisreport. Highcostsassociatedwithlegalproceedings,suchas courtandlawyers’fees,maydeterindividualsfromAccesstojusticeisacrucialrightsinceallother pursuingremediesthroughthecourts.Althoughlegalfundamentalrightsdependuponitfortheir aidisavailableinallMemberStates,ofitselfthisenforcementintheeventofabreach.Analysing maynotbesufficienttoallowallvictimsofbreachesthesituationintheEUMemberStates,there ofnon-discriminationlawtobringclaims.Rulesisaneedforrevisitingprocedureswithaview surroundingthedeterminationofeligibilityforlegaltoensuringthataccesstojusticeismade aidshouldbeformulatedinsuchawayastoensuremoreeffectiveacrosstheEuropeanUnion. thatthosewithoutsufficientfinancialmeanshave accesstoadequateassistance.Accordingly,Member Statesshouldconsiderre-examiningthethresholds setfor‘means’testing,ortheformulationsappliedLegal standing in‘meansandmerits’testinginsuchawayastoNarrowrulesrelatingtolegalstandingprevent guaranteeaccesstojusticeforall.civil societyorganisationsfromtakingamoredirectroleinlitigation.EUnon-discriminationlaw TheintroductionofalternativedisputesettlementrequiresMemberStatestoallowassociations,such mechanisms,suchasquasi-judicialproceduresasnon-governmentalorganisations(NGOs)or availablebeforesomeoftheequalitybodies,maytradeunions,toengageinjudicialoradministrative helptoensureaccesstojusticebyprovidingafasterproceedingsonbehalfoforinsupportofclaimants. andcheaperalternativetoclaimants.ThoseMemberBeyondthisareaoflawsuchentitiesareallowed Statesthathavenotendowedequalitybodieswithtoinitiate legal proceedingsinonlysome thesepowerscouldconsiderdoingso.InthisregarditMember States.MostMemberStatesallowfor shouldbenotedthatequalitybodiesrequireadequatepublicinterestactions(actio popularis)inrelationto resourcestocarryoutthisfunction.environmentalcasesaccordingtotheirobligationsundertheAarhusConvention.Thissuggeststhat Considerationshouldbegiventoalternativeorbroaderrulesonlegalstandingareacceptablein complementarymeasuresavailableinsomeMemberprinciple,andMemberStatesshouldconsiderwidening States,suchas:agreedlimitsonlegalfees,waivingtheirrulesonstandinginotherareasoflaw. courtfeesforclaimantsinfinancialdifficulty,and legalinsurance.Considerationshouldalsobegivento promotingpracticessuchasthedeliveryofsupport throughlegaladvicecentresorprobonowork,whilewaiver of rights ensuringthatthesearecomplimentarytoandnotInthelawofsevenMemberStates,itispossible asubstituteforanadequatelyresourcedlegalaidtowaive,atleastpartially,therightofaccess system.Theintroductionofsimplifiedprocedurestoajudicialbodyby,forinstance,concludingafriendly whereindividualsarenotrequiredtoberepresentedsettlementorthroughanarbitrationormediation throughalawyershouldalsobeconsidered,whileclauseinacontract,solongastherearenoelements ensuringthatadequatesafeguardsareinplacetoofcoercioninvolved.Incontrast,13MemberStates guaranteetheirrightsandtheirabilitytoparticipateprohibitcontractualtermspurportingtolimitor effectivelyinproceedings.excludeanindividual’srightofaccesstoacourt.Whileofferingalternativemeansofobtainingaremedythatarelesscostlyorlengthythanjudicialproceedings,itisdesirabletheseshould statutes of limitationsbeappliedinsuchawayastoavoidoverridingan Timelimitationsforclaimsareneededforindividual’srightofaccesstojustice.Inaddition, the sake oflegalcertainty,however,thismustanyremediesagreeduponthroughmeanssuch bebalancedagainsttherightoftheclaimantasarbitration,mediation,orconciliationshould toobtainaremedy.Unnecessarilyshorttimefullyreflecttheentitlementoftheclaimanttoan limitsappeartoconstituteamajorobstacletoeffectiveproportionateanddissuasiveremedy. accessing justice acrosstheEUMemberStates. 11
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities MemberStatesshouldensurethattimelimitsare extendedtoareasonablelengthsoastocomplywith thestandardslaiddownbytheECtHRinitscaselaw. Length of proceedings Ifanindividualisobligedtowaitforanunreasonably longperiodoftimeforaremedyitrisksrendering theirrightsineffective.Inthelong-runitalsohasthe consequenceofdeterringfutureclaimants.Analysisof judgmentsdeliveredbytheECtHR,aswellassample casescollectedforthisreport,suggestthatsystematic difficultiesexistinsomeMemberStatespreventing thedeliveryofjudgmentswithinareasonabletime. ThecaselawoftheCJEUrequiresthatremedies innationalcourtsforrightsderivedfromEUlaw areeffective.MemberStatesshouldconsider examiningtheorganisationoftheirjudicialsystems andallocationofresourcesinordertoensurethis. international commitments WhilealltheMemberStatesarepartytoacore of UN humanrightstreaties,notallofthemhave consentedtothejurisdictionofthemonitoringbodies tohearindividualcomplaints.Thegenerousruleson legalstandingandaccessibilityoftheproceduresmake theseavaluablealternativetootherfora,suchas theECtHR.Inaddition,someofthesebodiesoversee theimplementationofrightsthatarenotcurrently containedintheECHRortheCharterofFundamental RightsoftheEuropeanUnion,suchascertainsocial rights.FurthermoreonlyoneMemberStatecurrently allowsnationalNGOstobringcasesbeforethe EuropeanCommitteeofSocialRights.Inlightofthe benefitofallowingaccesstodisputesettlement proceduresattheEuropeanandinternationallevels, thoseMemberStatesthathavenotdonesoshould considerconsentingtothejurisdictionofthesebodies.12
  • 1 Access to justice – Situating the concept in the EU vulnerable groups, such as minorities and immigrants.1.1. he FRA research on T This report on access to justice will be followed by access to justice a study focussing on the role of equality bodies and similar entities in facilitating access to justice and theThis report is about ‘access to justice’ in the European experiences of equality bodies, claimants and thoseUnion – that is, how rights can be enforced in the EU. actors providing support to claimants. These studiesThis is done by analysing mechanisms in Member are complementary in nature, focussing respectivelyStates, as well as mechanisms offered by the EU, on the court system and on equality bodies in theirthe Council of Europe, and the United Nations (UN). function of assisting claimants or providing anHowever, focus is placed on judicial mechanisms at the alternative avenue of redress. In May 2010, the FRAnational level, and the challenges and good practices published a set of reports on how the architecturethat pertain to them. A further delimitation is a focus for the promotion and protection of human rights, inon access to justice in the area of non-discrimination particular National Human Rights Institutions, Datalaw as laid down by the Gender Equality Directives, Protection Authorities, and Equality Bodies, couldRacial Equality Directive and Employment Equality be improved in the EU.3 Other related projects thatDirective.1 This examination is focused principally on address various components of access to justicecivil law remedies and may also include administrative include:law remedies, but excludes the area of criminal law.This comparative report is the first study of the FRA to • the asylum-seeker perspective: access to effectiveexplicitly focus on access to justice.2 remedies and the duty to inform applicants;The report should be seen in the context of a series • access to remedies for irregular migrants;of FRA research projects. The FRA 2009 European • the impact of the Racial Equality Directive – Views ofUnion Minorities and Discrimination Survey (EU-MIDIS) trade unions and employers in the European Union;showed that awareness of redress mechanisms (fordiscrimination) is very low, in particular among • the right to political participation of persons with mental health problems and persons with intellectual disabilities; • joined-up governance: connecting fundamental1 Directive 2000/43 implementing the principle of equal treatment rights (including improved access to complaint between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin (OJ. L 180, 19 July 2000, p. 22); Directive 2000/78 establishing a general mechanisms at the local level and their links framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation to national and international levels); (OJ. L 303, 02 December 2000, p. 16); Directive 2004/113 implementing the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services (OJ. L 373, 21 December 2004, p. 37); Directive 2006/54 on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and 3 Produced in a series as Strengthening the fundamental rights occupation (recast) (OJ. L 204, 26 July 2006, p. 23). architecture in the EU I–III: National Human Rights Institutions2 See also the recently published FRA report on Access to effective in the EU Member States; Data Protection in the European remedies: The asylum-seeker perspective (Vienna, 2010) available Union: the role of National Data Protection Authorities; EU-MIDIS at: http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/attachments/asylum- Data in Focus Report 3: Rights awareness. All available at: access-remedies-report-092010_en.pdf (all hyperlinks listed in http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/research/publications/ the report have been accessed in November 2010). publications_en.htm. 13
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities • developingindicatorsfortheprotection,respect 3. therighttotimelyresolutionofdisputes; andpromotionoftherightsofthechildinthe 4. therighttoadequateredress; EuropeanUnion(child-friendlyjustice); 5. theprinciplesofefficiencyandeffectiveness. • HandbookonEuropeanonnon-discrimination Thesewereinturnsub-dividedintomoredetailed case-law.4 points,referredtoasindicators.Forthreeof Thisfirstchapterelaboratesontheconceptofaccess theseindicators,theFRALEXteamswereaskedto tojusticeandsituatesitwithintheframeworkof analyseaselectionof50-80nationalcases.6The Europeanlawandpolicy.Fourchaptersfollow, dealing caseshadtoberelatedto‘civil’rightsasprotected with:(2)accessingmechanismsatEuropean byArticle6(1)oftheEuropeanConventionon and internationallevel,(3-5)accessingjusticeat HumanRights(ECHR)andArticle14ICCPR.7 thenationallevel,includinglegalandavailable remedies.Importantcasesfromnationalcourtsas Non-discriminationwasselectedasafocusareato wellasfromtheCourtofJusticeoftheEuropean reducethescopeofenquirytoafeasiblelevel,but Union(CJEU)andtheEuropeanCourtofHumanRights alsobecausepreviousFRAresearchshowedthe (ECtHR)arepresentedasillustrativeexamples. particularneedforimprovingandfacilitatingaccess tojusticeinthisarea.However,thepurposeofthe studyistocaptureaccesstojusticemorebroadly 1.2. report background andthisreportisonlyafirststepinthisregard. Thisreportdrawsmainlyon27nationalstudies Elementsofthe27nationalstudies,whichprovide producedbytheFRAnetworkoflegalexperts additionalcountry-specificinformationonaccess (FRALEX)5onthebasisofatypologydesignedto tojusticeinthecontextoftheaforementioned allowforacomparativeoverviewonselectedkey typology,areavailableonlineviatheFRAwebsite.8 elementsofaccesstojustice.Forthenationallevel, Thereports,structuredinaccordancewiththe theanalysisandinformationonwhichthisreportis typology,analysethejudicialsystemsinthe basedpresentsthesituationasitstoodattheend respectiveEUMemberStates.Detailsthatwere of2008.Caseassessmentandstatistics,aswell notpossibletocaptureinornotrelevanttothis ashigh-leveladministrativeorpoliticalresponses comparativereportareprovidedinthesenational toaccesstojusticeissues,covertheperiodfrom overviews,whichofferinsightintothemechanisms 2000 to 2009.TheEUandinternationalelements foraccessingjusticeincasesofdiscrimination.9 representthesituationasitstoodon15October2010. Sincethereisnostandardisedconceptof‘accessto justice’,theresearchatnationallevelwasstructured 1.3. the concept aroundafive-parttypologysettingoutitsconstituent Theterm‘accesstojustice’isnotcommonlyused elements.Thiswasdevelopedusingtherighttoa aslegalterminologyandisnotexpresslyused fairtrialaswellasthebroaderrighttoaremedy in,forexample,theECHR.10Instead,theECHR containedinArticles6and13ECHR;Articles2(3) containsprovisionsonfairtrialandtherightto and14oftheInternationalCovenantonCiviland aremedy(Articles6and13ECHR).Similarly,the PoliticalRights(ICCPR);andArticle47oftheCharter UniversalDeclarationonHumanRights(UDHR) ofFundamentalRightsoftheEuropeanUnion(CFR). statesthat“everyonehastherighttoaneffective Onthebasisoftheseprovisions‘accesstojustice’ remedybythecompetentnationaltribunalsfor wasbrokendownintothefollowingelements: actsviolatingthefundamentalrightsgrantedhim 1. therighttoeffectiveaccesstoadisputeresolu- 6 InsomeMemberStatesthisproveddifficultgiventhe tionbody; impossibilityofaccessingcaselawfromlowercourts. 7 Seefurther,UNHumanRightsCommittee(UNHRC)General 2. therighttofairproceedings; Comment No. 32, Article 14, Right to equality before courts and tribunals and to a fair trial,23August2007,CCPR/C/ GC/32,paragraph16;ECtHR,Sporrong and Lonnroth v. Sweden, 4 AllFRAprojectsavailableat:http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/ No. 7151/75,23September1982,paragraphs 79-83.Article47CFR research/projects/proj_accesstojustice_en.htm;andallFRA doesseeminglynothavethesamelimitationbutisapplicableto publicationsat:http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/research/ alltypesofcases. publications/publications_en.htm. 8 Seehttp://fra.europa.eu/. 5 FRALEXwassetupin2007andiscomposedofhighlyqualified 9 ReferencestotheUKprimarilyrefertothesituationinEngland legalexpertsinthefieldoffundamentalrightsineachofthe andWales.However,mostoftherulesandpracticesdiscussed MemberStatesoftheEuropeanUnion.FRALEXdeliversavariety arealsoapplicableinsubstance(ifnotinform)inScotlandandto ofreports,analysesandstudiesatthenationalandcomparative alesserextent,NorthernIreland. level,whichareusedasbackgroundmaterialforFRApublications. 10 Theconceptreceivedexplicitattentioninthelegaldoctrine AseparatereportonaccesstojusticeattheEUandinternational byMauroCappellettiinthe1970’s-1980’s,seeCappelletti, levelwasalsocommissioned.Basedonthese27nationalreports M. (ed.) (1978)Access to Justice,Milan:SijthoffandNoordhoff. andtheEUandinternationalreport,alongwithadditional MorerecentlyseeFrancioni,F.(ed.)(2007)Access to Justice as a research,theFRAproducedthiscomparativereport. Human Right,OxfordUniversity:OxfordUniversityPress(OUP).14
  • Accesstojustice–SituatingtheconceptintheEU bytheconstitutionorbylaw.”11TheICCPRequally • righttoaneffectiveremedybeforeatribunal;referstoan“effective remedy”(Article2(3a)) • righttoafairandpublichearingwithinaforalltherightsintheconventionandfurther reasonabletimebyanindependentandimpartialguaranteestherightto“takeproceedingsbefore tribunalpreviouslyestablishedbylaw;acourt”(Article9(4)),therighttoa“fairandpublichearing”(Article14(1)),andtherighttobe • righttobeadvised,defendedandrepresented;andtriedwithoutunduedelay(Article14(3c)).12 • righttolegalaidforthosewholacksufficient resourcesinsofarassuchaidisnecessaryHowever,withtheTreatyofLisbon,aspecific toensureeffectiveaccesstojustice.referencetoaccesstojusticewasintroduced:theTreatyontheFunctioningoftheEuropean AttheinternationalleveltheUNHRC,sinceitsUnion (TFEU),Article67(4)stipulatesthat establishmentundertheICCPR,hasleadthe“the Union shallfacilitateaccesstojustice, wayamongtheUNtreatybodiesoninterpretinginparticularthroughtheprincipleofmutual conceptsrelatedtoaccesstojustice.17recognitionofjudicialandextrajudicialdecisionsincivilmatters.”13TheCFRwhich,accordingtothe Alsothe1998AarhusConventiononAccesstoreformsintroducedbytheLisbonTreaty,hasthe Information,PublicParticipationinDecision-MakingsamelegallybindingstatusastheTreaties,provides andAccesstoJusticeinEnvironmentalMatters18forthe“righttoaneffectiveremedyandtoafair isanexampleofanexplicituseof‘accesstotrial”(Article47CFR).14Thethirdparagraphofthat justice’.TheConventiondefinesaccesstojusticeArticlespecificallyreferstoaccesstojusticeinthe as“accesstoareviewprocedurebeforeacourtcontextoflegalaid,butthetermaccesstojustice oflaworanotherindependentandimpartialalsoconcludestheArticleasawhole.15Inthisway bodyestablishedbylaw”(Article9(1)).Moreover,theArticlesummarisesalltheparticularrights withthe2006ConventionontheRightsofenshrinedintheconceptof‘accesstojustice’:16 PersonswithDisabilities,‘accesstojustice’was enshrinedinaUnitedNationsconvention.19 Accordingtocurrentusage,then,accesstojustice isrelatedtoanumberoftermsthatattimes areusedinterchangeablyortocoverparticular elements,suchasaccesstocourt,effective11 UNGeneralAssembly,Universaldeclarationofhumanrights, Resolution217A(III),UNDocumentA/810at71(1948),Article 8. remediesorfairtrial.Figure1offersaschematic12 TheUNHRChasupheldtheviewthatdenialofaccesstojustice overviewofthemostcommonterms. isasufficientlyegregiousbreachofhumanrightsthatitmay giverisetotherighttohaveacriminalconvictionreconsidered iftherighttosubmitanappealhasbeenviolated.UNHRC,Earl Pratt and Ivan Morgan v. Jamaica,CommunicationsNo.210/1986 andNo.225/1987.Viewsadoptedon6April1989,UNDocument A/44/40,Vol.II,222.TheInternationalCourtofJustice(ICJ) has takena similarstance.InAvena (case concerning Avena and other Mexican nationals (Mexico v. United States)31March2004), where anumberofMexicannationalshadbeensentencedto deathintheUnitedStateswithouthavingbenefitedfromthe consularassistancerequiredunderArticle36oftheVienna Conventionof1963.13 Article81(2)(e)referstoaccesstojusticeandArticle81(2)(f)to the“eliminationofobstaclestotheproperfunctioningofcivil proceedings”.14 ThestatusofCFRisprovidedinArticle6(1)TEU.Seethe ExplanationsrelatingtotheCharterofFundamentalRightsofthe EuropeanUnion,OJC303/17of14December2007,availableat: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:20 07:303:0017:0035:EN:PDF.15 CFR,ChapterVI,Justice,Article47,Righttoaneffectiveremedy 17 SeeforexampleUNHRC,GeneralCommentNo.32(n.7), andafairtrial:“Everyonewhoserightsandfreedomsguaranteed paragraphs 8-13. bythelawoftheUnionareviolatedhastherighttoaneffective 18 ConventionoftheUNEconomicCommissionforEurope(UNECE) remedybeforeatribunalincompliancewiththeconditionslaiddown concernedwithtransparencyandaccountabilitythatlinkshumanand inthisArticle.Everyoneisentitledtoafairandpublichearing environmentalrights.Thephraseaccesstojusticeisreferredtoin withinareasonabletimebyanindependentandimpartialtribunal thetitle,thepreambleandinArticles1,3,9and10.Itplacespositive previouslyestablishedbylaw.Everyoneshallhavethepossibility obligationsupontheStatespartiesandimportantlyestablishes ofbeingadvised,defendedandrepresented.Legalaidshallbe relativelyfirmparameters,whichmustbesatisfiedinordertofulfil madeavailabletothosewholacksufficientresourcesinsofaras theStates’dutiesandgrantadequateenjoymentoftheright. suchaidisnecessarytoensureeffectiveaccesstojustice.” 19 Article13placesanobligationuponstatestoensureequalaccess16 Indeed,theterms“effectiveremedy”and“accesstojustice” tojusticetothosepersonswithdisabilities,furtherobliging appeartobeusedinterchangeably:theExplanationsrelating thestatestoprovidetheiragentswithappropriatetrainingto totheCharterofFundamentalRights(n.14),p.30:where accomplishthis.UsefulanalysesofarangeofEuropeanand the relevantcaselaw(ECtHR,Airey v. Ireland,No.6289/73, internationalstandardsonaccesstojusticecanbefoundin: 09 October1979)oftheECtHRisreferredtoandtheterm McBride,J.(2009)Access to Justice for Migrants and Asylum Seekers effectiveremedyisusedtoexplainingaccesstojustice. in Europe,Strasbourg:CouncilofEuropePublishing. 15
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities Figure 1: Access to justice and related terminology amongotherissues,thefundamentalcriteriaof theruleoflaw,theindependenceofthejudiciary, rule of law accesstojustice,andtheprinciplesofethicsand responsibilityinanationalandinternationalcontext.23 Access to justice TheCommitteeofMinistersoftheCouncilofEurope Effective remedies redress adopted,on24February2010,Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)3oneffectiveremediesforexcessive lengthofproceedings.TheRecommendation Access to court Judicial protection makesreferencetothecaselawoftheECtHRas wellasitspilotjudgmentsintheareaandcalls Fair trial due process onMemberStatesto,amongotherthings,ensure mechanismsthatidentifyexcessivelengthof proceedings;effectiveremediesforatrialwithin Source: FRA, 2010 areasonabletime;compensation,includingnon- pecuniarydamages;andtoconsidernon-monetary redresswheretrialshaverunforanexcessive lengthoftime,suchasreductionofsanctions.24 1.4. related research and ThisFRAreportcomplementsexistingresearchin instruments by the council thisareabyofferingabroadoverviewandanalysis of Europe oftheprincipalchallengesandexistinggood practicesatnationallevelinlightoftherequirements TheCouncilofEurope’sEuropeanCommissionforthe ofEuropeanandinternationalhumanrightslaw. EfficiencyofJustice(CEPEJ)hasdevelopedaseries Inthissenseitisabletocommentonparticular ofstudiesonaccesstojusticeintheMemberStates practiceswhicheitherlimitorhelptocontribute oftheCouncilofEurope.20CEPEJcollectsjudicialdata totherealisationofMemberStates’obligations. fromthe47MemberStates,analysesshortcomings ItwillinthiswayalsofeedintotheFRAresearch andnewtrends,andpromotesamorehomogenous onaccesstojusticewithrespecttocomplainant’s datacollectionatnationallevel.Acomprehensive accesstojusticethroughequalitybodies. report,European Judicial Systems(2008-2010),covers, forinstance,publicexpendituresoncourtsandlegal aid,typesoflegalaidincriminalcases,numberof casesinvolvinglegalaid,conditionsforgranting aid,systemsofcourtfees,lengthofprocedures, availabilityoflegalrepresentationincourt,and executionofcourtdecisions.21CEPEJhasalsoissued areportontheuseofe-justiceinEurope.22 On18November2010,theConsultativeCouncil 23 Forthetext,seehttps://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?Ref=CCJE- ofEuropeanJudges(CCJE,anadvisorybodyof MC%282010%293&Language=lanEnglish&Ver=original&BackCol theCouncilofEuropeonissuesrelatedtothe orInternet=DBDCF2&BackColorIntranet=FDC864&BackColorLogg ed=FDC864.Inabroadercontext,seealsotheCCJE’sOpinion independence,impartialityandcompetenceofjudges, No. 13ontheroleofjudgesintheenforcementofjudicialdecisions, composedexclusivelyofjudges,adoptedtheMagna whichisanessentialelementofthefunctioningofastate,based CartaofJudges(Fundamentalprinciples).ThisMagna ontheruleoflawadoptedon09December2010,availableat: https://wcd.coe.int/wcd/ViewDoc.jsp?Ref=CCJE(2010)2&Langua Cartaofjudgeshighlightsthefundamentalprinciples ge=lanEnglish&Ver=original&BackColorInternet=DBDCF2&BackC relatingtojudgesandjudicialsystems.Itreiterates, olorIntranet=FDC864&BackColorLogged=FDC864. 24 SeealsotheRecommendationoftheCommitteeofMinistersof theCouncilofEuropetoMemberStatesonjudges:independence, 20 SeeinparticularEuropeanCommissionfortheefficiencyof efficiencyandresponsibilities,adoptedon17November2010. justice(CEPEJ)European Judicial Systems – Edition 2008 (2006 data): Itplacesemphasisontheindependenceofeveryindividual Efficiency and quality of justice;aswellasAccess to Justice in Europe, judgeandofthejudiciaryasawhole,preciselytoguarantee CEPEJStudiesNo.9.TheEuropeanParliament,initsresolution theindependenceofindividualjudges.Forthefirsttimeever, of 19May2010(2009/2241(INI))ontheaccessionof theUnionto judicial“efficiency”isdefinedinaclearandsimplemanner theECHR,calledontheUniontobecomememberoftheCEPEJ. as“thedeliveryofqualitydecisionswithinareasonabletime Moreinformationavailableat:www.coe.int/t/dghl/cooperation/ followingfairconsiderationoftheissues”.Furthermeasures cepej/series/default_en.asp. proposedconcerningtheselectionandtrainingofjudges,their 21 CEPEJ(2010)European Judicial Systems(2008-2010),Strasbourg: responsibility,aswellasjudicialethics,arefurtherstepstowards CouncilofEurope,availableat:www.coe.int/t/dghl/cooperation/ strengtheningtheroleofindividualjudgesandthejudiciaryin cepej/evaluation/default_en.asp. general.CEPEJalsohostsacentreforjudicialtimemanagement, 22 CEPEJ(2008)Use of information and communication technologies SATURN,thatprovidesstatisticsontimemanagementand (ICT) in European judicial systems, Strasbourg:CouncilofEurope, supportsselectedcourtsinimprovingtimemanagement. availableat:www.coe.int/t/dghl/cooperation/cepej/series/ See furtherwww.coe.int/t/dghl/cooperation/cepej/Delais/ Etudes7TIC_en.pdf. default_en.asp.16
  • Accesstojustice–SituatingtheconceptintheEU  influencedbythecaselawoftheECtHR.30TheCJEU1.5. Access to justice in hastraditionallyusedtheconstitutionaltraditions European law commontotheMemberStatesandArticles6 and13ECHRasabasisfortherighttoobtainanInEurope,therighttoaccesstojustice–specifically effectiveremedybeforeacompetentcourt.toacourtoratribunal–wasdevelopedbytheECtHRinthecontextofArticle6ECHRandhassince AdvocateGeneralRuiz-JaraboColomerhasstatedinbeenextensivelydealtwithinscholarlydoctrine.25 hisOpinioninRoda Golf & Beach Resort SL:“AccesstoArticle6ECHRappliesonlyto“civilrightsand justiceisafundamentalpillarofwesternlegalculturecriminalcharges”.AlthoughECtHRjurisprudencehas, [...].Thereforetherighttoeffectivelegalprotectionovertheyears,continuouslyenlargedthescope isoneofthegeneralprinciplesofCommunityofthenotionof‘civilrights’,sothatnowadaysalso law,inaccordancewithwhichaccesstojusticeisconsiderablepartsofadministrativelawarenow organised[...].Accesstojusticeentailsnotonlycoveredbythesafeguardsofthisprovision,26itis thecommencementoflegalproceedingsbutalsononethelessanotablestepforwardthatArticle47 therequirementthatthecompetentcourtmustbeCFRhasabandonedthisrestriction,deliberately seizedofthoseproceedings.”31Inotherwords,accessgrantingaccesstojusticetoallsortsofrightsand tojusticemustbemuchmorethanamereformalfreedomsguaranteedbythelawoftheUnion.27 possibility,itmustalsobefeasibleinpracticalterms.Accordingtolongestablishedcaselawofthe WithintheEUlegalorder,therighttoeffectivelegalCJEU,accesstojusticeisoneoftheconstitutive protectionequallycoversaccesstotheEUcourtselementsofaUnionbasedontheruleoflaw.28This (here,theCourtofJusticeandtheGeneralCourt),isguaranteedinthetreatiesthroughestablishinga aswellasaccesstonationalcourtsandtribunalsforcompletesystemoflegalremediesandprocedures theenforcementofrightsderivedfromEUlaw.designedtopermittheCJEUtoreviewthelegalityofmeasuresadoptedbytheinstitutions.29Therighttoeffectivejudicialprotectionhasbeenaccepted 1.5.1. rights derived from Eu law inbytheCJEUasageneralprincipleofUnionlaw,as national courts: equivalence and effectiveness TheideathatEUlawmay,incertaincircumstances, giverisetoindividualrightsthatarecapableofdirect enforcementbydomesticcourtshasbeenrecognised sincetheclassiccaseofVan Gend en Loos.Inthis25 StartingwiththeGoldercase(ECtHR,Golder v. the United case,theCJEUconcludedthat:“Communitylaw[…] Kingdom, No.4451/70,21February1975).Seeaswell:Harris, D.J., notonlyimposesobligationsonindividualsbutisalso O’Boyle,M.,Bates,E.P.andBuckley,C.M.(2009)Harris, intendedtoconferuponthemrightswhichbecome O’Boyle and Warbrick, Law of the European Convention on Human Rights,2ndedition,Oxford:OUP,Chapter6;vanDijk,P.,van Hoof, partoftheirlegalheritage.Theserightsarisenot G.J.H.,vanRijn,A.andZwaak,L.(eds.)(2006)Theory and onlywheretheyareexpresslygrantedbytheTreaty Practice of the European Convention on Human rights,Antwerpen: Intersentia,Chapter10;Frowein,A.J.andPeukert,W.(2009) butalsobyreasonofobligationswhichtheTreaty Europäische Menschenrechtskonvention, EMRK-Kommentar,Kehl: imposesinaclearlydefinedwayuponindividuals N.P.EngelVerlag;andGrabenwarter,C.(2009)Europäische aswellasupontheMemberStatesanduponthe Menschenrechtskonvention,4thedition,Basel:HelbingLichtenhahn Verlag.26 TheECtHRhasbeenreluctanttoofferaconcretedefinition of‘civil’rights,inpracticeitsinterpretationseemsconsistent 30 TheapproachoftheCJEUhasgenerallybeentofollowthe withthatoftheUNHRC(seeGeneralCommentNo.32(n.7), reasoningoftheECtHRwithregardtothemeaningoftheright paragraph 16).Seeibid. toafairtrialasageneralprincipleofUnionlaw.Seeforexample27 “InUnionlaw,therighttoafairhearingisnotconfinedtodisputes CJEU,Baustahlgewebe Gmbh,C-185/95,17December1998. relatingtocivillawrightsandobligations.”Thatisoneofthe However,ithasnotbeencommonfortheCJEUtofocusindetail consequencesofthefactthattheUnionisacommunitybasedon uponparticularaspectsofthisright;whereithasdoneso, theruleoflawasstatedbytheCourtofJusticeoftheEuropean thecontextofapplicationhasoftendifferedtothatofthepresent Communities(CJEU),Les Verts v. European Parliament,Case294/83, report.Forinstance,thecaselawoftheCJEUrelatingto 23April1986,ECR1339.ExplanationsrelatingtotheEUCharter thecriteriaof‘reasonabletime’hastendedtofocusuponactions ofFundamentalRights,OJC303/17of14December2007,p. 30, broughtagainsttheUnioninstitutions,whichmayreducetheir availableat:http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ. relevanceforthepresentreport.SeeforexampleCJEU, do?uri=OJ:C:2007:303:0017:0035:En:PDF. Hoechst v. Commission,T-410/03,18June2008,28 Thiscanbeseeninitsreasoningforestablishingthe paragraphs 227-228;CJEU,Limburgse Vinyl Maatschappij principlesofdirecteffect(CJEU,Van Gend en Loos,Case26/62, (LVM) v. Commission and Others,C-238/99P,15October2002, 05 February 1963)andsupremacy(CJEU,Costa v. ENELCase6/64, paragraph 169;CJEU,Chronopost and La Poste v. UFEX and Others, 15July1964),aswellastheconceptofstateliability(Francovich C-341/06P,1July2008,paragraph 45. and Bonifaci v. Italy,CaseC-6andC-9/90,19November1991) 31 OpinionofAdvocateGeneralRuiz-JaraboColomer,CJEU, andtherequirementthatnationalremediesforbreachesof Roda Golf & Beach Resort SL,C-14/08,paragraph29,delivered rightsderivedfromCommunitylawcomplywiththeprinciples on5 March 2009.TheCJdelivereditsjudgmentinthiscase ofequivalenceandeffectiveness(CJEU,Preston v. Wolverhampton on25June2009(notethatthejudgmentdoesnotinclude Healthcare NHS Trust, C-78/98,16May2000). any discussionontheissueofaccesstojusticeraisedby29 Case294/83,Les Verts v. Parliament,No.25,paragraph 23. the AdvocateGeneral). 17
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities InstitutionsoftheCommunity.”32Inthiscontext,the Insuchasituation,thenationallegalordermust, CJEUalsoplacedgreatemphasisontherolethat however,complywithtwoprinciples.Thefirstis nationalcourtsplayinthesafeguardingofindividuals’ theprinciple of equivalence:thedomesticprocedural CommunitylawrightsbyrulingthattheTreaty rulesenforcingUnionlawcannotbelessfavourable provisionatissue“producesdirecteffectsandcreates thanthoseappliedtosimilardomesticlawactions. individualrightswhichnationalcourtsmustprotect”. Thesecondisthe principle of effectiveness:the applicationofnationalproceduralrulescannot InitsseminaljudgmentinCosta v. ENELtheCJEU rendertheexerciseofrightsconferredbyUnion furtherheldthattheTEC,nowtheTFEU,hascreated lawvirtuallyimpossibleorexcessivelydifficult.36 “itsownlegalsystemwhich[...]becameanintegral partofthelegalsystemsoftheMemberStates Judgingnationallegalnormsonremediesand andwhichtheircourtsareboundtoapply.”33Itis proceduralandjurisdictionalissuesinthelight alsoimportanttorecognisethecloseconnection ofthesetwoprinciplesisessentiallyamatterof betweeneffectiveprotectionoftherightsofthe contextualcase-by-casedeterminationbydomestic individuals,andtheeffectiveenforcementofUnion courts.Theseprinciplesarecapableofaffecting law,giventhattheconcernofindividualsoftheir arangeofnationalremediesandproceduraland rightsconstitutesanadditionalformofenforcingEU jurisdictionalconditions,suchasdomestictimelimits law.Infact,inCosta v. ENELtheCJEUunderlinedthat andotherlimitationperiods,rulesofevidenceand the“vigilanceofindividualsconcernedtoprotect theburdenofproof,locus standirules,thenational theirrightsamountstoaneffectivesupervision conditionsforreparationoflossanddamage inadditiontothesupervisionentrusted”tothe andarangeofotherremediesandsanctions. EuropeanCommission.InthissenseEUcitizensact likedecentralisedagentscontributingtoanefficient Oneimportantdimensionoftheprincipleofnational implementationofEUlawatnationallevel. proceduralautonomyhastraditionallybeenthat thedomesticeffectofUnionlawis“notintended Indeednationalcourtsareobligedtoimplement tocreatenewremediesinthenationalcourtsto Unionlawandprotecttherightsoftheindividuals ensuretheobservanceofCommunitylawother underUnionlaw.Theycandosoaccordingtotheir thanthosealreadylaiddownbynationallaw”.37As domesticlegalprocedures,remediesandsanctions, amatterofUnionlaw,therefore,domesticcourts undertheprincipleofnationalproceduralautonomy.34 arenotobligedtotakeadvantageoflegalremedies InthewordsoftheCJEU:“Itmustalsobeborne beyondthosethatalreadyexistunderdomestic inmindthat,accordingtosettledcase-law,inthe law.Inpractice,however,domesticcourtsmayhave absenceofrelevantCommunityrules,thedetailed greatdifficultiesadaptingexistingrulesandineffect, proceduralrulesdesignedtoensuretheprotection newproceduresmighthavetobeestablished.38 oftherightswhichindividualsacquireunder Communitylawareamatterforthedomesticlegal 1.5.2. Liability for breach of union law orderofeachMemberState,undertheprincipleof TheCJEUhasalsodevelopedtheprincipleofstate theproceduralautonomyoftheMemberStates.”35 liabilityforbreachofUnionlaw.Accordingtothe CJEU,thefulleffectivenessofUnionruleswould beimpairedandtheprotectionoftherightswhich theygrantwouldbeweakenedifindividualswere 32 CJEU,Van Gend en Loos v. Nederlandse Administratie der Belastingen,Case26/62,5Feburary1963,p. 3. unabletoobtainreparationwhentheirrightsare 33 CJEU,Flaminio Costa v. ENEL,Case6/64,15July1964,p. 593. infringedbyabreachofUnionlawforwhicha 34 AstheCourtofJusticehaspointedout:“althoughtheTreaty has madeitpossibleunderanumberofcircumstancesforprivate personstobringadirectaction,whereappropriate,beforethe CourtofJustice,itwasnotintendedtocreatenewremedies 36 CJEU,Peterbroeck Van Campenhout SCS & Cie v. Belgian State, inthenationalcourtstoensuretheobservanceofCommunity C-312/93,14December1995,paragraph 12;CJEU,Comet v. lawotherthanthosealreadylaiddownbynationallaw”.See Produktschap voor Siergewassen,Case45/76,16December1976, Butterboatscase:CJEU,Rewe-Handelsgesellschaft Nord mbH paragraphs 12-6;CJEU,Commission v. Spain, C-96/91,9June1992, and Rewe-Markt Steffen v. Hauptzollamt Kiel,Case158/80, paragraph 12.SeealsoCJEU,Preston and Others, CaseC-78/98, 7 July1981,paragraph 44.SeealsoCJEU,Unectef v. Heylens and No.26,paragraphs 31and57.Inthiscase,theCJEUfoundthata Others, Case 222/86,15 October1987,paragraph14;andCJEU, requirementforamembershipclaimofanoccupationalpension Vlassopoulou v. Ministerium für Justiz,CaseC-340/89,7May1991. schemeshouldbemadewithinatimelimitofsixmonthsrunning 35 CJEU,Reemtsma Cigarettenfabriken GmbH v. Ministero delle Finanze, fromtheendofemploymentdidnotrendertheexerciseof C-35/05,15March2007,paragraph40.Seealso,interalia,CJEU, Communityrightsexcessivelydifficult.Atthesametimeitdid Preston and Others,C-78/98,16May2000,paragraph 31,and findthatarulerestrictingthecalculationofpensionableservice i-21 Germany and Arcor, JoinedCasesC-392/04andC-422/04, totwoyearsprecedingtheclaim,wheretheindividualhad 19 September2006,paragraph57.SeealsoCJEU,Rewe- beenmakingpaymentsoveralongerperiod,wouldrenderthe Zentralfinanz eG,Case33/76,16December1976.Thisisalso individual’srightsineffective(paragraphs 35–44). supportedbytheECtHR,Zubayrayev v. Russia, No. 67796/01, 37 CJEU,Rewe-Handelsgesellschaft Nord mbH and Rewe-Markt Steffen 10January2008,paragraph105;ECtHR,Khatsiyeva v. Russia, v. Hauptzollamt Kiel, Case158/80,7July1981,paragraph 44. No. 5108/02,17January2008,paragraph 161;ECtHR, 38 CJEU,R. v. Secretary of State for Transport, ex parte Factortame and Stoica v. Romania, No.42722/02,4March2008,paragraph 101. Others (Factortame I),C-213/89,19June1990.18
  • Access to justice – Situating the concept in the EUMember State can be held responsible.39 In the them.”43 According to the directive, persons whoabsence of any Union legislation on the issue, the have been subject to discrimination based on racialstate must make reparation in accordance with the and ethnic origin should have adequate means ofrules of national law on liability. The principles of legal protection. The directive also makes a specificequivalence and effectiveness apply here as well. reference to associations or legal entities that should be empowered to engage, either on behalf or inThe principle of effective judicial protection of an support of any victim in proceedings in order toindividual’s rights under Union law may also require provide a more effective level of protection beforenational courts to review all legislative measures and the national courts.44 Finally, the Racial Equalityto grant interim relief where appropriate even when Directive establishes certain rules concerning thethere are no relevant national provisions on which burden of proof, according to which the latter mustsuch relief may be based.40 shift to the respondent when evidence of a prima facie case of discrimination is brought.45 Similarly1.5.3. Union legislation worded provisions appear in the Gender Equality Directives and the Employment Equality Directive.Within the Union legal order, there are a number oflegislative instruments that are intended to give effect Two specialised Union legal instruments deal withto the right to access to justice that therefore shape particular aspects of access to justice: the Legal Aidthe content of national law.41 For instance, Article 31 of Directive46 and the Mediation Directive.47 The LegalDirective 2004/38/EC on the right to move and reside Aid Directive promotes judicial cooperation in civilfreely42 (the Citizens’ Directive or Free Movement matters having cross-border implications withinDirective) contains certain procedural safeguards in an area of freedom, security and justice. The mainorder to ensure a high level of protection of the rights purpose of the directive is to guarantee an adequateof Union citizens and their family members in the level of legal aid in cross-border disputes by layingevent of their being denied to leave, enter or reside down certain minimum common standards. Thein another Member State. According to this provision, directive applies only in cross-border disputes, to civiljudicial redress procedures should be available to and commercial matters. It ensures that all personsUnion citizens and their family members who have involved in a civil or commercial dispute within thebeen refused leave to enter or reside in another scope of the directive must be able to assert theirMember State. Furthermore, the directive confirms the rights in the courts even if their personal financialright of Union citizens and their family members who situation makes it impossible for them to bear thehave been excluded from the territory of a Member costs of the proceedings. According to the directive,State to submit a fresh application after a reasonable legal aid is appropriate when it allows the recipientperiod, in line with the relevant case-law of the CJEU. effective access to justice. Legal aid covers pre- litigation advice with a view to reaching a settlementAnother example of an EU legislative instrument prior to bringing legal proceedings, legal assistance inproviding for the right to access to justice is Article 7 bringing a case before a court and representation inof the Racial Equality Directive: “Member States court and assistance with or exemption from the costshall ensure that judicial and/or administrative of proceedings.procedures, including where they deem it appropriateconciliation procedures, for the enforcement of According to the Mediation Directive, the objective ofobligations under this directive are available to securing better access to justice should encompassall persons who consider themselves wronged by access to judicial as well as extrajudicial disputefailure to apply the principle of equal treatment to resolution methods. Extrajudicial procedures for the settlement of disputes in civil and commercial matters can simplify and improve access to justice. Mediation can provide a cost-effective and quick extrajudicial39 CJEU, Frankovich and Bonifaci v. Italian Republic, Joined Cases C-6/90 and C-9/90, 19 November 1991; CJEU, Brasserie du Pêcheur and Factortame, Joined cases C-46/93 and C-48/93, 5 March 1996. 43 Directive 2000/43, 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of40 CJEU, R. v. Secretary of State for Transport, ex parte Factortame and equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic Others (Factortame I), C-213/89, 19 June 1990. origin, OJ L 180, 19 July 2000, p. 22.41 See also European Commission (2010) Promoting equality: 44 See FRA (2011) The Racial Equality Directive: application and activities on fighting discrimination in 2009, Luxembourg: challenges, Luxembourg: Publications Office. Publications Office of the European Union (Publications 45 See FRA and ECtHR (2011) Handbook on European non- Office), p. 26ff.ttp://ec.europa.eu/social/publications discrimination law, Luxembourg: Publications Office.42 Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the 46 Directive 2002/8/EC of 27 January 2003 to improve Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union access to justice in cross-border disputes by establishing and their family members to move and reside freely within minimum common rules relating to legal aid for the territory of the Member States amending Regulation (EEC), such disputes, OJ L26, 31 January 2003, p. 41. No. 1612/68 and repealing Directives 64/221/EEC, 68/360/EEC, 47 Directive 2008/52/EC of the European Parliament and of the 72/194/EEC, 73/148/EEC, 75/34/EEC, 75/35/EEC, 90/364/EEC, Council of 21 May 2008 on certain aspects of mediation in civil 90/365/EEC and 93/96/EEC, OJ L158, 30 April 2004, p. 77. and commercial matters, OJ L 136, 24 May 2008, p. 3. 19
  • Access to justice in Europe: an overview of challenges and opportunities resolution of disputes in civil and commercial matters applicable to access to justice as a whole, including through processes tailored to the needs of the through civil and administrative procedures. parties. Agreements resulting from mediation are more likely to be complied with voluntarily and are 1.6.2. The Hague more likely to preserve an amicable and sustainable The Hague European Council (2004) similarly relationship between the parties. The directive concluded on guaranteeing a “European area of applies to processes whereby two or more parties to justice by ensuring an effective access to justice a cross-border dispute attempt by themselves, on a for all and the enforcement of judgments.”49 The voluntary basis, to reach an amicable agreement on programme stressed that such access to justice “is the settlement of their dispute with the assistance more than an area where judgments obtained in of a mediator. However, it does not apply to rights one Member State are recognised and enforced and obligations on which the parties are not free to in other Member States, but rather an area where decide under the relevant applicable law. Such rights effective access to justice is guaranteed in order and obligations are particularly frequent in family to obtain and enforce judicial decisions”. law and employment law. The mediation provided for in the directive should be a voluntary process in the sense that the parties are themselves in charge 1.6.3. Stockholm of the process and may organise it as they wish The Stockholm European Council (2009) underscored a and terminate it at any time. However, it should be “Europe of law and justice: The achievement of possible under national law for the courts to set time a European area of justice must be consolidated limits for a mediation process. so as to move beyond the current fragmentation. Priority should be given to mechanisms that facilitate access to justice, so that people can enforce their 1.6. ccess to justice in A rights throughout the Union. Cooperation between public professionals and their training should also EU policy be improved, and resources should be mobilised to At a policy level, the European Council has in its eliminate barriers to the recognition of legal acts in three justice and home affairs programmes outlined other Member States”.50 The programme also states priorities for five years at the time, most recently that the “European judicial area must also allow in the Stockholm Programme, adopted in 2009. citizens to assert their rights anywhere in the Union by significantly raising overall awareness of rights and by 1.6.1. Tampere facilitating their access to justice”.51 In this context, the importance of e-justice is mentioned (see below).52 The Tampere European Council (1999) stressed the need for better access to justice, in particular The European Commission was tasked by the through mutual recognition of judicial decisions European Council to produce an Action Plan and increased convergence of procedural laws. The Implementing the Stockholm Programme.53 The Council stressed the need to launch information Action Plan contains a number of relevant measures, campaigns, user guides, and easily accessible including a Green paper on minimum standards for information systems. Legal aid, extra-judicial civil procedures and necessary follow up (intended procedures, and minimum standards were given for publication in 2013); Legislative proposal aimed as further examples of areas where progress was at improving the consistency of existing Union desirable, not least in cross-border situations. legislation in the field of civil procedural law (2014); The Council also underscored that “minimum 49 European Commission (2005) Hague Programme: Ten priorities standards should be drawn up on the protection of for the next five years. The Partnership for European renewal in the victims of crime, in particular on crime victims the field of Freedom, Security and Justice, COM (2005) 0184 final, 10 May 2005, section 2.3. access to justice and on their rights to compensation 50 Council of the European Union, The Stockholm Programme – An for damages, including legal costs. In addition, national open and secure Europe serving the citizen, 2010/C 115/01, programmes should be set up to finance measures, 4 May 2010, section 1.1, available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/ LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:115:0001:0038:EN:PDF. public and non-governmental, for assistance to 51 Ibid., section 3 and 3.4. and protection of victims.”48 It should be noted 52 The Council adopted The European Council’s Multi-Annual European e-Justice Action Plan 2009-2013, 2009/C 75/01, that, while this initiative refers principally to the 31 March 2009, OJ C 75, section 1, available at: area of criminal law, it reflects concerns that are http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ. do?uri=OJ:C:2009:075:0001:0012:EN:PDF. 53 European Commission (2010) Delivering an area of freedom, security and justice for Europe’s citizens – Action Plan 48 Presidency Conclusions, section V, entitled “Better access to Implementing the Stockholm Programme, COM (2010) 171 final, justice in Europe”, paragraphs 29 et seq., available at: http:// 20 April 2010, pp. 23–24, available at: http://ec.europa.eu/ consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ commission_2010-2014/malmstrom/archive/COM%202010%20 ec/00200-r1.en9.htm. 171%20EN.pdf.20
  • Accesstojustice–SituatingtheconceptintheEU Report on the application of Directive 2003/8/EC on willbeautomatic.The judicialdecisionobtainedlegal aid(2011);Communication/Green Paper on the asaresultofthisprocedurecirculatesfreelyinpromotion of Alternative Dispute Resolution in the EU otherMemberStates;thecreditordoesnothaveto(2010);andCommunication on the implementation undertakeintermediatestepstoenforcethedecisionof the mediation directive(2013).TheActionPlan abroad.alsoincludesaEuropeane-justicePortal.54 Courtswillalsobeabletodealwithcross-borderthe European e-justice portal55 requestsonlineandcommunicatewiththeclaimants anddefendantsinaparticularcaseaswellaswithTheuseofinformationandcommunication courtsinotherMemberStates.Goodprogresstechnologiesenhancesaccess,timeliness, isalsoexpectedtobemadetotackleEU-widetransparency,andaccountability,helpingjudiciaries interoperabilityissuesfore-Signature,e-Identityandtoprovidemoreefficientservices.Suchinnovations e-Payment.TheEuropeane-Justiceinternetportalcanbringimprovementsinalltheseareas,and isexpectedtobecomefullyoperationalby2013.56ofparticularrelevancehere,intheareaofaccesstojustice.TheEuropeane-justicePortalisaimedatimprovingthewayjudicialsystemsoperateby e-justice exclusively is not the solutionfacilitatinglegalpractitioners’dailyworkandfosteringcooperationamonglegalauthorities. Itis,however,importanttonotethattheCJEU recentlyunderlinedthat“electronicmeans”may notbeofferedexclusively,duetothedangerthatOn16July2010,theEUlaunchedtheportal,aone-stop- thus“theexerciseofrights[…]mightberenderedshopforaccesstojusticethroughouttheUnion.With inpracticeimpossible[…]forcertainindividuals”.thisnewwebsite,theEUaimsataddressingthemain (CJEU,Rosalba Alassini and Filomena Califano v. Windquestionsrelatedtolegalissuesandhelpingcitizens SpA, Lucia Anna Giorgia Iacono v. Telecom Italia SpA,–andpeoplelivingintheUnion,companiesaswellas Multiservice Srl v. Telecom Italia SpA,JoinedCaseslegalpractitioners,bycontributingtothecreationof C-317/08toC-320/08,8March2010,paragraph58)asingleareaofjustice.Moreinformation,tools,andfunctionswillbeaddedtotheportalovertime.FutureversionswillalsomakeexistingEUjusticetoolsmoreeffective,forinstance,allowingacitizentopursuetheircross-bordersmallclaimsonline(Regulation(EC)No861/2007,11July2007),providingcitizensandbusinessesalloverEuropewithaspeedyandaffordablecivilprocedurewhichappliesincivilandcommercialmatterswherethevalueofaclaimdoesnotexceed€2,000.Thistypicallywrittenprocedureappliestopecuniaryaswellnon-pecuniaryclaims.ThejudicialdecisionobtainedasaresultofthisprocedurehastoberecognisedandenforcedinanotherMemberStateautomaticallyandwithoutanypossibilityofopposingitsrecognition,unlessthedefendantwasnotservedwiththepapers.AnotherexampleisthepossibilitytoapplyforaEuropeanorderforpaymentinordertorecoveruncontesteddebtsonline(Regulation(EC)No. 1896/2006,12December2006).ThisallowscreditorstorecovertheiruncontestedcivilandcommercialclaimsbeforethecourtsoftheMemberStatesaccordingtoauniformprocedurethatoperatesonthebasisofstandardformsprocedure.Itdoesnotrequireanindividualtoappearbeforethe courtandcanbeinitiatedandhandledina purely electronicway.Theclaimantonlyhastosubmitanapplication,afterwhichtheprocedure 56 Seealsosection4oftheSpecialEUROBAROMETER351concerning theEuropeanproceduresinwhichtheawarenessanduseof EU’s threecross-borderproceduresandthesourcesofawareness54 Ibid.,pp. 20and23. foreachprocedurearecovered,availableat:http://ec.europa.eu/55 Seehttp://e-justice.europa.eu/. public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_351_en.pdf. 21
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities Other examples of e-justice at national level Initaly,theprojectknownasProcesso Civile followindividualproceduralstepstakenintheir Telematico(on-lineCivilTrial)hasbeenintroduced case.Giventhelackoffinancialmeansnecessary incivilcourts.Thissystemaimstoincreasethe forproperimplementationoftheproject,the availabilityofon-lineservices,buildingatwo-way impactoftheinitiativeseemstohavebeen,thus dataanddocumentinterchangeandapplication faratleast,low.57 interoperabilitybetweenallexternalusers(such aslawyersandexpertwitnesses),allthecourts’ Theavailabilityofwebservices,includingthe internalusers(suchasclerksandjudges)andall possibilityofconsultingon-linelegislationand thepublicadministrationsinvolvedincivilcases. case-lawisanotherexampleofgoodpractice. Thesystemisintendedtoenablelawyers,expert Inthiscontext,inparticularisworthmentioning witnessesorotherindividualsconcernedto theAustrian“Rechtsinformationssystem”[Law create,digitallysignandtransmittheirownlegal InformationSystem]whichprovides–onacost- actstotherelevantcourt,receivenotifications freebasis–notonlycase-lawofallbranches fromthecourtattheircertifiede-mailaddresses, (constitutional,administrative,civilandcriminal) getfullaccesstotheinformationandthe andlevels(notonlycase-lawofthesupreme electronicacts,regardingtheirowncivilcases, courts,butalsoofcourtsandtribunalsofappeal withawiderangeofsearchcriteria,information andevenoffirstinstance)ofthejudiciary,but retrievalfunctionsandconceptualsearches.Given alsoarangeoflegalinstrumentsbothoffederal thesystem’scomplexity,however,theProcesso andregionallevel.Itispossibletoaccessnot Civile Telematicohassofarbeenusedonlybya onlythecurrentconsolidatedversion,butalso fewdistrictcourtsinNorthernItaly(e.g.Milano, theinitialversionandallamendments,aswellas Monza,andBrescia). theformaltextofofficialpublication;inaddition, alsoofficialdraftsandgovernmentalproposalsof Intheczech republic,thegovernmental federallegislationmaybefound.58 projecteJustice(asapartoftheoverallproject eGovernment)isaimedatintroducingelectronic Therearealsoofficiallegaldatabases,though andinternettoolsrelatedtothejudiciaryinorder seeminglyofasomewhatnarrowerscope,in toreducethetimeofjudicialandadministrative otherMemberStates,suchasBulgaria, Cyprus, proceedings.Itincludes,forinstance,online Denmark, France, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, databasesthatenablepartiestoadisputeto Malta,PolandandtheUnited Kingdom.59 1.7. summary PreviousFRAstudieshaveidentifiedaccesstojustice sameidea.AttheEuropeanandinternationallevels, asamajorconcernandhaveaddressedparticular thetermisnotfrequentlyused,butitdoesappearin aspectsofaccesstojustice.ThisisthefirstFRAreport theCFR(Article47(3)).Theareaofaccesstojustice devotedtothetopic.Theresearchatthenational hasbeendevelopedbyboththeECtHRandtheCJEU, levelintheMemberStateswasconstructedonthe andlegislation,aswellaspolicymeasuresatEUlevel basisofatypologyonaccesstojustice,inaneffort thatgiveprominencetofacilitatingaccesstojustice. tomakethefindingsascomparableaspossible. Accesstojusticeisaconceptwithmanynuances.Even thoughthetermitselfisnotusedinlegislationinthe MemberStates,othertermsorconceptscapturethe 57 Seewww.obcanskyzakonik.justice.cz/ejustice/. 58 Seewww.ris.bka.gv.at/. 59 Seewww.coe.int/T/E/Legal_Affairs/Legal_co-operation/ Operation_of_ justice/Information_technology/Links/.Seealso theEUN-Lex,withnationallawin23EUMemberStates,available at:http://eur-lex.europa.eu/n-lex/index_en.htm,aswellas informationoncaselawinvariousMemberStates,availableat: https://e-justice.europa.eu/contentPresentation.do?lang=en&i dTaxonomy=11&idCountry=eu&vmac=JYNot004GvR-tuU3d_GXj WMF4u6q6BWlWh7snlEPojYnekllwVFJT1ZRanfMZ30zh7U47TW eDq--g-xE7XIAvgAAEIsAAAON.22
  • 2 Available mechanisms at European and international levelOneofthemainpurposesofthisreportistopresentanoverviewofthemechanismsavailable 2.1. common features andforaccessingjusticeinEurope.60Whilesubsequent distinctionschapterswilldealexclusivelywithcourtsatthenationallevel,thischapterisdevotedtojudicial 2.1.1. the relationship between theandquasi-judicialmechanismsattheEuropeanand national and internationalinternationallevels.Simplyviewed,therearedispute mechanismssettlementproceduresopentoindividualsavailableatthreelevelsbeyondthenationalrealm:theEU(before TherelationshipbetweentheCJEUandthenationaltheCJEU),theCouncilofEurope(beforetheECtHRand jurisdictionsoftheMemberStatesisdistinctfromthetheECSR),andtheUN(beforethetreatymonitoring relationshipbetweentheECtHR,ECSRandUNtreatybodies).Thisfirstsectionwillexplaincertaingeneral bodiesandnationaljurisdictions.Thisisbecausefeaturesthatdistinguishthethreesystemsfromeach EUlawdiffersfundamentallyfromothertypesofother,aswellasfeaturesthattheyholdincommon. internationallaw,suchastheECHRorUNtreatiesin twoways.FirstlytheEUMemberStatesareobligedSincetheESCRdoesnotdealwithindividual(butonly togiveEUlaw‘directeffect’atthenationallevel.collective)complaintsitisnotincludedinthisfigure. Thatis,anindividualmustbeabletorelydirectly onEUlawbeforethenationalcourts(thedoctrineFigure 2: overview of selected mechanisms of‘directeffect’).61Secondly,theEUMemberStates mustensurethatEUlawalwaystakesprecedence overconflictingprovisionsofnationallaw(the UNTreaty doctrineof‘supremacy’).62InthissenseEUlawis,in Bodies away,automaticallyintegratedintothenationallaw oftheEUMemberStates.Theproceduresavailable foranindividualbeforetheEUreflectthisposition. National The‘preliminaryreference’procedureistheprincipal Claimant ECtHR courts channelthroughwhichanindividualcanaskforthe correctinterpretation,includingthevalidity,ofEUlaw. Hence,underthisprocedureanationalcourtmayrefer CJEU questionsofinterpretationofEUlawtotheCJEU,in ordertohelpitdecideontheoutcomeofacase.The autonomousjudgmentofthenationalcourtwillthenSource: FRA, 2010 bebasedontherespectiveinterpretationoftheCJEU andexecutedthroughproceduressetoutinnational 61 Certaincriteriamustfirstbesatisfied.See:CJEU,Van Gend en Loos, Case26/62,5February1963, ECR3;moreoverthedirecteffectis (generallyspeaking)nothorizontalinnatureandthereforeappliesin60 ForacomparativeoverviewoftheECtHRandtheUNhuman therelationshipbetweenindividualsandthestateandnotamongst rightsdisputesettlementproceduresseeButler,I.(2007) individuals(seeCJEU,Paola Faccini Dori v. Recreb Srl,Case91/92, Unravelling sovereignty: human rights actors and the structure of 14 July 1994,ECRI-3325). international law,Antwerpen:Intersentia,Chapter4. 62 CJEU,Costa v. ENEL,Case6/64,16July1964,ECR1194. 23
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities law.InthissenseEUlawisbothprocedurallyand obviouslynottheonlyfactordeterminativeofthe substantivelytightlyinterlinkedwithnationallawand impactofthesebodies.Howeveritmayindicatethe thenationalcourts. extenttowhichthesemechanismsareknown,the perceptionofclaimantsastowhichbodyismost Incontrast,undertheECHR,ESCandUNtreaties effective,howaccessiblesuchbodiesareinterms Statespartiescommittoguaranteetherightsthey ofcostoradmissibilitycriteria,andtheresources containintheirnationallegalframework.Although availabletothesebodies(forinstancetheUN astateremainsresponsibleininternationallawfor monitoringbodiesonlyoperateonapart-timebasis). failuretocomplywiththeseinstruments,unlike EUlawthereisnotanautomaticcorresponding Thesecondwayinwhichthethreelevelsinterrelateis obligationwithinnationallawtomakethemdirectly thatthejudicialandquasi-judicialbodiesthemselves applicableorsupremetonationallaw.Wherethe frequentlydrawoneachothers’caselawwhen statecommitsaviolationtheindividualcomplainant interpretingsimilarlywordedprovisions.Thisis mustengageintwoseparateprocesses.Firstly particularlycommoninrelationtotheinterpretation toattempttoresolvethecomplaintthroughthe ofhumanrightsprovisions.InthissensetheCJEU nationalcourts,whicharenotobligedtoapplythe developedhumanrightsstandardsinEUlawby relevanttreatydirectly,oraccorditpriorityover drawingonhumanrightstreatiestowhichthe nationallaw.Secondly,iftheyareunsuccessfulatthe MemberStatesareparty,particularlytheECHR,but nationallevel,theymaybeginproceedingsbefore alsoUNtreaties.66 theECtHR,ECSR,oraUNtreatybody. Finally,theLisbonTreatymandatestheEUto 2.1.2. the relationship between accedetotheECHR,whichwillallowanindividual international mechanisms infuturetosuetheEUdirectlybeforetheECtHR.67 Althoughindependentofoneanother,theabove 2.1.3. procedural issues describedthreesystemsinterrelated.Firstly,all MemberStatesoftheEUarealsopartiestotheECHR, Judicial versus quasi-judicial aswellasanumberofthe‘core’UNhumanrights ThenatureoftheproceduresbeforetheCJEU,ECtHR treatieswiththeirownquasi-judicialmechanisms. ontheonehand,andtheECSRandtheUNtreaty Assuchanindividualmaybeabletoexercisea bodiesontheotherareslightlydifferentinnature. choiceoverwhichofthethreesystemstouse. Theformerareclosertotraditionaljudicialdispute settlementmechanisms,whilethelatteraremore Thereareobviouscomparativeadvantagesand accuratelydescribedas‘quasi’judicial.‘Judicial’dispute disadvantagesbetweenthethreemechanisms.To settlementattheinternationallevelreferstodispute mentiononeaspect:theEUoffersaclearanddirect settlementbyabodyofformallyelectedjudges impactatthenationallevelwithitslegislationand onthebasisofevidencesubmittedbytheparties, judgments.Atthesametime,theCJEUisnotthe accordingtotheapplicablelaw,wherealegally mainavenuetoaccessjusticethatindividualswould bindingjudgmentisdelivered.Quasi-judicialdispute takeinordertohavetheirclaimregardingaviolation settlementisunderstoodtobedisputesettlement oftheirfundamentalrightsheardbeforecourt.In byabodyofindependentexpertswhoconsiderthe 2009,fortheCJEU,thetotalnumberoffiledcases evidenceandargumentsofthepartiesbyreference wascloseto1,00063withonlyaminorityofthese tolawanddeliversfindingswhichthepartieshave raisingfundamentalrightsissueswhiletheECtHR notexpresslyacceptedaslegallybinding.68 struggledwithalmost60,000newapplications concerningallegedviolationsoffundamentalrights lodgedinthesameyear.64TheUNHRC,totake 66 SeeforexampleOpinion 2/94 Accession of the European Community themostactiveofthefivetreatybodiespresently to the European Convention for the Safeguard of Human Rights receivingindividualcomplaints,hasreceivedless and Fundamental Freedoms(1996)ECRI-1759;CaseC-540/03, EuropeanParliament v. Council,ECRI-5769,27 June2006.Foran than2,000applicationsintotalsinceitstartedto exampleoftheECtHRdrawingontheUNtreatiessee:ECtHR, receivecasesin1977.65Thequantityofcasesis Opuz v. Turkey,No.33401/02,9June2009.SeealsoRosas,A. (2009)‘FundamentalRightsintheEU,withspecialemphasison theCase-lawoftheEuropeanCourtofJustice(Luxembourg)’in: 63 Thesearemadeupof561fortheCourtofJusticeand568for Alfredsson,G.etal.(eds.) International Human Rights Monitoring theGeneralCourt.See:CJEU,Annual Report 2009,pp. 81and165, Mechanisms,Leiden:MartinusNijhoff. availableat:http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/Jo2_7000/. 67 Article6(2)TreatyonEuropeanUnion. 64 ECtHR,Annual Report 2009,Strasbourg:RegistryoftheEuropean 68 Steinberger,H.(1981)‘JudicialSettlementofInternational CourtofHumanRights,p. 139,availableat:www.echr.coe.int/ Disputes’ in:Berhardt,R.(ed.)Encyclopaedia of Public International NR/rdonlyres/C25277F5-BCAE-4401-BC9B-F58D015E4D54/0/ Law,Holland:MaxPlanck,p. 120;Steiner,H.(2000)‘Individual Annual_Report_2009_Final.pdf. ClaimsinaWorldofMassViolations:WhatRolefortheHuman 65 TogiveanotherexampleofthecaseloadoftheUNtreatybodies, RightsCommittee?’in:Alston,P.andCrawford,J.(eds.)The Future theCommitteeonEliminationofRacialDiscriminationhasinall of UN Human Rights Treaty Monitoring,Cambridge:Cambridge received45cases. UniversityPress,pp. 29-30.24
  • AvailablemechanismsatEuropeanandinternationallevelLegal standing69 internallybeforeacaseisbroughtattheinternational level.75Secondly,thecomplaintinquestionmustOptionalProtocolOnetotheICCPRstipulatesthatonly relatetoarightprotectedbytherelevanttreaty76individualvictimsortheirappointedrepresentativemay andconcernaviolationbyapartytothattreaty.77bringacomplaint.70ThismeansthatwhileNGOsmayrepresentvictimswiththeirexpressconsent,thereisthereforenopublicinterestcomplaint(actio popularis).Inrelationtoviolationsoftherightsofpersons 2.2. the un treaty bodiesbelongingtominorities(Article27)theUNHRChas Thereis,asofyet,noglobaljudicialforumtowhichfoundthatacommunityleadermaysubmitacomplaint individualsmaysubmithumanrightscomplaints:relatingtothegroupasawholewithouttheseparate thereisnoglobalequivalentoftheECtHR.Instead,writtenauthorisationfromallconcerned.71Although theUnitedNationsoffersmechanismsthatcontributetherighttoself-determinationcontainedintheICCPR tomakingjusticeaccessibleworld-widethroughisalsoa‘group’right,theUNHRChasheldthatitis quasi-judicialtreatymonitoringbodiesthatalsoarenotjusticiableundertheOptionalProtocol.72Similarly, mandatedtodealwithindividualcomplaints.78undertheECHRtheapplicantmustbeavictimoftheallegedviolation,ortheirappointedrepresentative.73 AlltheMemberStatesoftheEUarepartytosixof the‘core’humanrightstreatieselaboratedundertheAdmissibility criteria aegisoftheUN:theConventionontheElimination ofAllFormsofRacialDiscrimination1965(ICERD),BeforetheCJEU,theECtHR,ortheUNtreatybodieswill theInternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticaltakejurisdictionoverthemeritsofaclaimtheclaimant Rights(ICCPR)1966,theInternationalCovenantonmustsatisfyarangeofadmissibilitycriteria.Thenature EconomicSocialandCulturalRights1966,(ICESCR),ofthesecriteriadiffersbetweentheCJEUontheone theConventionontheEliminationofDiscriminationhandandtheECtHRandUNtreatybodiesonthe AgainstWomen1979,theConventionAgainstother.Thisisprimarilybecauseoftheinterrelationship Torture1984,andtheConventionontheRightsofbetweennationaljurisdictionsandthesebodies, theChild1989.AllEUMemberStatesareexpecteddiscussedabove.Becausetheadmissibilitycriteriafor tobecomepartytotheUNConventionontheRightstheECtHRandUNtreatybodiesarealmostidentical ofPersonswithDisabilities(CRPD),17havealreadytheywillbediscussedhere,whilethoseconcerningthe doneso,asofJanuary2011.79TheEUalsoformallyCJEUwillbedealtwithbelow. ratifiedtheConventionon23December2010.80Firstly,theECtHRorUNtreatybodymustbesatisfiedthattheclaimanthasexhaustedallremediesatthe 75 IncasetheindividualraisesthesameissuebeforebothECtHRnationallevel.However,theremediesareunderstood andUNtreatybody,theECtHRwillrefusetodealwithitinasthosethatarereasonablyavailable.Inthissense accordancewithArticle35(2)(b)ECHR(seewww.echr.coe.int/boththeUNtreatybodiesandtheECtHRhavetaken NR/rdonlyres/53FEB066-3AB2-4382-A3D6-06AFB88B2491/0/ COURT_n1978459_v2_Key_caselaw_issues__Matter_already_avictim-friendlyapproachtothiscriterionbynot examined__Article_35__2b_ _trad_ _eng2p.pdf).TheECtHRrequiringtheclaimantstoexhaustthoseremedies willnot,furthermore,examinetheapplicationlodgedoutsidea periodofsixmonthsfromthedateonwhichthefinaldecisionwhichareineffectiveorexcessivelyprolonged.74The wastakeninaccordancewiththeso-calledsix-month-ruleruleitselfisbasedontheconsiderationthatastate (seewww.echr.coe.int/NR/rdonlyres/41EFF42A-FBE7-4E41-shouldhavetheopportunitytorectifyviolations 987C-0A141AAE294A/0/COURT_n1356862_v3_Key_caselaw_ issues_ __Sixmonth_rule_art__3513.pdf). 76 Seeforexample,UNHRC,Chadzjian v. The Netherlands, CommunicationNo.1494/2006,22July2008;ECtHR,69 ForadiscussiononlegalstandingofanindividualbeforetheCJEU, Skorobogatykh v Russia,No.37966/02,9June2006. see,inparticular,section2.4.1ontheactionofannulment. 77 UNHRC,H.v.d.P. v. The Netherlands,CommunicationNo.217/1986,70 OptionalProtocoltotheICCPR,Article1andUNHRCRulesof 8April1987;ECtHR,Loizidou v. Turkey (Preliminary Objections), ProcedureRule96(b),UNDoc.CCPR/C/3/Rev.8,22September2005. No. 15318/89,23March1995.71 UNHumanRightsCommittee(UNHRC)Chief Bernard Ominayak 78 Seegenerallywww.ohchr.org.Ontreatybodiessee,forexample, and the Lubicon Lake Band v. Canada,CCPR/C/38/D/167/1984, Kjaerum,M.(2009)‘StateReports’in:Alfredsson,G.etal.(eds.) 26March1990,availableat:www.unhcr.org/refworld/ International Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms,Leiden/ docid/4721c5b42.html. Boston:MartinusNijhoff.Individualsmayalsosubmitindividual72 Ibid. complaintsunderthe‘specialprocedures’operatingundertheUN73 Itshouldbenoted,however,thatincertaincases,inorderto HumanRightsCouncil.However,theseproceduresaregenerally giveeffectiveprotectiontohumanrights,theECtHRhadto moreakintodisputesettlementthroughdiplomaticchannels. interpretthenotionofvictimwidelytoincludepotentialor On the‘specialprocedures’seewww2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/ indirectvictimsaswell.See,forinstance:ECtHR,Klass v. Germany, chr/special/index.htm.Onthetreatybodiesseewww2.ohchr. No.5029/71,6September1978orECtHR,Norris v. Ireland, org/english/bodies/petitions/index.htm. No. 10581/83,26October1988.ThekeyECtHRcaselawonthe 79 Inaddition,someMemberStatesarealsopartytothe conceptofvictimingeneralisavailableat:www.echr.coe.int/ InternationalConventionfortheProtectionofAllPersonsfrom NR/rdonlyres/0F2B45AE-4F54-41AB-AA8B-1E12D285110C/0/ EnforcedDisappearance2006,thoughnoneareyetpartytothe COURT_n1976742_v4_Key_caselaw_issues_ _Article_34__ InternationalConventionontheProtectionoftheRightsofAll The_concept_of__the_victim_ _ _trad_eng.pdf. MigrantWorkersandMembersoftheirFamilies1990(ICRMW).74 UNHRC,Hugo Rodriguez v. Uruguay,CommunicationNo. 322/1988, 80 SeeCouncilDecision2010/48concerningtheconclusion,bythe 9August1994,paragraph 6.2;ECtHR,Akdivar et al. v. Turkey, EuropeanCommunity,oftheUnitedNationsConventionontheRights No. 21893/93,16September1996,paragraph 65. ofPersonswithDisabilities,OJL23,27January2010,p. 35. 25
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities table 1: Eu Member states as parties to the un conventions Number of ‘core’ UN human rights conventions (9 in ICRMW CEDAW ICESCR ICERD ICPED ICCPR CRPD total) accepted by CAT CRC EU Member State Austria a a a a a a x s a 7 Belgium a a a a a a x s a 7 Bulgaria a a a a a a x s s 6 Cyprus a a a a a a x s s 6 Czech Republic a a a a a a x x a 7 Denmark a a a a a a x s a 7 Estonia a a a a a a x x s 6 Finland a a a a a a x s s 6 France a a a a a a x a a 8 Germany a a a a a a x a a 8 Greece a a a a a a x s s 6 Hungary a a a a a a x x a 7 Ireland a a a a a a x s s 6 Italy a a a a a a x s a 7 Latvia a a a a a a x x a 7 Lithuania a a a a a a x s a 7 Luxembourg a a a a a a x s s 6 Malta a a a a a a x s s 6 Netherlands a a a a a a x s s 6 Poland a a a a a a x x s 6 Portugal a a a a a a x s a 7 Romania a a a a a a x s a 7 Slovakia a a a a a a x s a 7 Slovenia a a a a a a x s a 7 Spain a a a a a a x a a 8 Sweden a a a a a a x s a 7 United Kingdom a a a a a a x x a 7 a=Statepartys=signedx=notsigned Source: FRA, 201026
  • AvailablemechanismsatEuropeanandinternationalleveltable 2: number of state parties among the Eu-27 that have accepted individual complaints procedures under the respective treaty bodies Treaty Bodies Number of EU Member States CommitteeonEliminationofRacial 23 Discrimination(CERD) HumanRightsCommittee(UNHRC)(undertheICCPR) 26 CommitteeontheEliminationof 24 DiscriminationAgainstWomen(CEDAW) CommitteeAgainstTorture(CAT) 27 CommitteeontheRightsofPersonswithDisabilities 14 Source: FRA, 2010Fiveofthe‘core’UNhumanrightstreatiescurrently Tables2and3showthefivetreatybodiesmandatedmakeprovisionfortherelevanttreatymonitoring toprocessindividualcomplaintsandtheEUMemberbodytoreceiveandissueadecisiononthemeritsof Statesthathaveconsentedtotheindividualindividualcomplaints(alsoreferredtoas‘petitions’ complaintsprocedure.84or‘communications’),uponconsentofthestate.81AllEUMemberStates,apartfromtheUnitedKingdom, SincetheUNHRCisthetreatybodytohavereceivedhaveacceptedthejurisdictionoftheUNHRCto themostcomplaintsitwillconstitutethefocusofactuponindividualcomplaintsbyratifyingthefirst discussionontheUNtreatybodies.ItshouldalsobeOptionalProtocoltotheInternationalCovenanton notedthatforthemostpartthetreatybodiesadoptCivilandPoliticalRights(ICCPR).82Oftheremaining similarapproachesinrelationtoindividualcomplaints,fourtreatybodiesmandatedtoreceiveindividual andinthissensetheUNHRCservesasanexampleofcomplaints,theacceptanceamongtheEUMember thewaythetreatybodiesoperate.85However,givenStatesrangesbetween14and27,wherethelowest thefocusofthereportonnon-discriminationlaw,numberrelatestothemostrecentlyadopted, discussionoftheUNHRCiscomplementedbyabrieftheOptionalProtocoltotheCRPD(2008).83 overviewofCERD. 2.2.1. human rights committee Whenhandlingindividualcomplainantsitoperatesas aquasi-judicialbody.86Inparticularthismeansthat thestatepartyhasnotexpresslyacceptedthe‘views’81 WhentheOptionalProtocoltotheICESCR2008entersintoforce, deliveredbytheUNHRConcasesbroughtbeforeitas theCommitteeonEconomicSocialandCulturalRightswillalsobe abletodealwithindividualcomplaints.Atpresent,onlyoneEU legallybinding(incontrasttothejudgmentsdelivered MemberState(Spain)ispartyandanadditionaleighthavetodate bytheECtHR).NeverthelessviewsoftheUNHRC signedthisinstrument.Provisionforthisprocedureiseithermade representauthoritativeinterpretationsregardingthe withinthemainbodyofthetreaty(suchasICERD),orundera separateinstrument(suchastheOptionalProtocoltotheICCPR). substanceoflegallybindingtreatyobligations.The82 SeeforexampleUNHRC,Czerninet alv. the Czech Republic, reasoningoftheUNHRCinthisregardisthatunder CommunicationNo.823/1998,26June2003,onexecutionof judgment;UNHRC,Äärelä v. Finland,CommunicationNo. 779/1997, Article2oftheICCPR‘thestatepartyhasundertaken 24October2001,onawardingofcostsfornon-discrimination toensuretoallindividualswithinitsterritoryand hearings;UNHRC,Morael v. France,CommunicationNo.207/1986, 28July1989,onlengthofproceedings(noviolation),andUNHRC, Pezoldova v. the Czech Republic,CommunicationNo.757/1997, 84 Estonia,Greece,Latvia,Lithuania,andtheUnitedKingdomhave 5 October 2002,onaccesstoaneffectiveremedy.13oftheEU notacceptedindividualcomplaintsunderICERD;Estonia,Latvia, MemberStateshavemadeareservation(toArticle5(2))that andMaltahavenotacceptedindividualcomplaintsunderCEDAW; seekstoregulateconflictingcomplaintsbetweentheECtHRand andDenmark,Estonia,Greece,Ireland,Latvia,theNetherlands, theUNHRC–avoidingpotentiallyconflictingdecisionsfromthe andPolandhavetodatenotevensignedtheOptionalProtocol twoinstances. undertheCRPD.83 Informationonhowtofileacomplaint,submitanapplication, 85 Butler,I.(2007)Unravelling sovereignty: human rights actors and the isavailableat:www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/question.htm structure of international law,Antwerpen:Intersentia,pp. 123-131. andsomeofthetreatybodiesoffermodelformsforwhatan 86 SeealsoDeZayas,A.(2009)‘TheHumanRightsCommittee’s applicationshouldcontainandhowitshouldbestructured,see OptionalProtocolProcedure’in:Alfredsson,G.etal.(eds.) forexample:www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/protocol/ International Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms,Leiden/Boston: modelform-E.PDF. MartinusNijhoff. 27
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities table 3: Accepted individual complaints procedures, by Eu Member state ICERD ICCPR CEDAW CAT CRPD Austria a a a a a Belgium a a a a a Bulgaria a a a a s Cyprus a a a a s Czech Republic a a a a s Denmark a a a a x Estonia x a x a x Finland a a a a s France a a a a s Germany a a a a a Greece x a a a s Hungary a a a a a Ireland a a a a x Italy a a a a a Latvia x a x a a Lithuania x a a a a Luxembourg a a a a s Malta a a x a s Netherlands a a a a x Poland a a a a x Portugal a a a a a Romania a a a a s Slovakia a a a a a Slovenia a a a a a Spain a a a a a Sweden a a a a a United Kingdom x x a a a a =Stateparty/applicables=signedx=notsigned Source: FRA, 201028
  • AvailablemechanismsatEuropeanandinternationallevelsubjecttoitsjurisdictiontherightsrecognisedinthe Length of proceedingsCovenant,andtoprovideaneffectiveandenforceable TheUNHRCliketheothertreatybodies,isnotaremedyincaseaviolationhasbeenestablished’. permanentbodyandusuallymeetsthreetimeseachInthissensethestateistotakedueregardofthe yearforaperiodofthreeweeks,whichnecessarily‘views’oftheUNHRC,asthebodyappointedunder limitstheamountoftimeavailableforconsiderationtheOptionalProtocoltointerprettheICCPR,intaking ofindividualcomplaints,alongsideitsothertasks.actiontoremedyabreachwhichithasfound.87 Itisunclearwhattheaveragelengthoftimeis forafinaldecisiontobeadoptedonceaclaimhasprocedure before the un human rights beenregistered.However,itisclearthatabacklogcommittee and legal aid ofcasesexistsandisincreasing.ThenumberofProceedingsbeforethetreatybodiesaregenerally newcasesregisteredappearstobeover200perwritten,andeachpartyhastheabilitytorespond year,whilethenumberofcasesconcludedonantotheothers’argumentsduringtheprocess.One annualbasisseemstovarybetween50and100.96apparentshortcomingofthecomplaintsprocedurebeforetheUNtreatybodiesisthatthereisno Enforcement of decisionsprovisionforlegalaidforapplicants.Ofcourse, TheUNtreatybodieshaveprovisionwithintheirthismaybeoffsetwhereNGOsareabletoprovide rulesofproceduretofollow-upontheexecutionofassistance,whichsofarhasoccurredonlyonanad ‘views’adoptedonindividualcomplaints.97However,hocbasis.Atthesametimeitshouldbekeptinmind theincentiveforstatescreatedbythisislimitedthatthecostofproceedingsmaybekeptlowsince tothepressurethatthetreatybody’sdesignatedtheyarenormallywrittenandthereisnorequirement rapporteurcanexert,whichincludesthepublicationforthecomplainanttobeassistedbylegalcounsel.88 ofthedegreeofcomplianceinthebody’sannualItisalsoopenforthetreatybodytodirectthestate report.Whiletheannualreportsofthetreatybodiestopaylegalcostsuponconclusionofthecase.89 arepresentedtotheGeneralAssemblyoftheUN, compliancewithindividualdecisionsisnotaddressedremedies bytheGeneralAssemblyonastatebystatebasis.98TheUNtreatybodiesmayrequeststatestotakeinterimmeasurestoprevent‘irreparabledamageto 2.2.2. committee on the Eliminationthevictim.90Thisisparticularlyimportantincases of racial discriminationinvolvingathreattolife,ortorture.Theobjectofaninterimmeasureistomaintainthestatus quo TheICERDwasthefirstoftheUNhumanrightspendingafinaldecisiononthemerits.Wherethe treatiesthatprovidedforaspecificmonitoringbody–treatybodyfindsinfavouroftheclaimantitmay CERD–andservedastheprecursortothoseunderthesimplydeclaretheexistenceofaviolationofthe otherconventions,includingtheUNHRC.99Specialtreatywithoutfurtherrecommendationforaspecific featuresoftheICERDincludethefactthatinadditionremedy.However,itwillusuallyinvitethestateto toindividualcomplaints,theCERDisexpresslytakesomeformofaction,suchastheopeningof authorisedtoreceivecomplaintsfromgroupsproceduresatthenationallevel(aninvestigation of individuals.orprosecution),91reformoflegislation,92releaseorreinstatementinpostofavictim93andoccasionally AsnotedinTable2,23oftheEUMemberStateshavecompensation94orthepaymentoflegalcosts.95 consentedtotheindividualcomplaintsprocedure underICERD.Inordertoconsenttothisprocedure statesneednotbecomepartytoaseparate instrument,butmerelymakeadeclarationtothis87 SeeforexampleUNHRC,Sooklal v. Trinidad and Tobago, CommunicationNo.928/2000,8November2001,paragraph 7.88 DeZayas,A.(2001)‘PetitioningtheUnitedNations’in:American Society of International Law (ASIL), Proceedingsofthe95thAnnual 96 UNHRC,ReportoftheUNHRC,2008,UN.DocumentA/63/40, meeting,WashingtonD.C.,April2001. VolumeI,ChapterV.89 SeeforexampleUNHRC,Laptsevich v. Belarus, Communication 97 UNHRCRulesofProcedure,Rule101,UNDocumentCCPR/C/3 No. 780/1997,20March2000. Rev.8,22September2005;CEDAWRulesofProcedure,Rule73,90 SeeforexampleUNHRCRulesofProcedureRule92, UNDocumentA/56/38(Supplement)andA/62/38(Supplement) UN DocumentCCPR/C/3/Rev.8,22September2005. ChapterV;CATRulesofProcedure,Rule114UNDocument91 SeeforexampleUNHRC,Blazek et al. v. Czech Republic, CAT/C/3/Rev.4,9 August 2002;CERDRulesofProcedure, CommunicationNo.857/1999,12 July 2001. Rule95;ReportoftheCommitteeontheEliminationofRacial92 Ibid. Discrimination,UNDocumentA/60/18,SupplementNo.18,93 SeeforexampleUNHRC,Mansaraj et al. v. Sierra Leone, 19 August 2005,p. 170. CommunicationNo.839/1998,16 July2001;UNHCR, 98 SeeforexampleUNGAResolution64/152,International Chongwe v. Zambia, CommunicationNo.821/1998, CovenantsonHumanRights,26March2010. 20October2000. 99 VanBoven,T.(2009)‘ThePetitionSystemunderICERD:94 SeeforexampleUNHRC,Laptsevich v. Belarus, Communication AnUnfulfilledPromise’in:Alfredsson,G. et al. (eds.) No. 780/1997,2 March 2000. International Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms,95 Ibid. Leiden/Boston:MartinusNijhoff. 29
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities effect.Greece,Latvia,Lithuania,andtheUnited Asnotedabove,certainadmissibilitycriteria,including Kingdomhavenotdoneso. theexhaustionoflocalremedies,mustfirstbesatisfied byanindividualapplicant.Unlikecaseslodgedwiththe Further,Article14(2)oftheConventionallows UNHRC,applicationsmustbelodgedwithinsixmonths forthedesignationofanationalbodytoreceive followingthelastjudicialdecisioninthecase,which complaintsrelatingtoanyoftherightsguaranteed willusuallybeajudgmentbythehighestcourtinthe bytheICERD.OnlyfiveEUMemberStateshave countryconcerned.Timestartsrunningfromtheday madeuseofthisoption:Austria,Belgium,100 aftertheapplicantbecameawareoftheactordecision Luxembourg,101Portugal,102andRomania.103Austria ofwhichheorshecomplains–i.e.thedateonwhich has,however,onlyreservedtherighttodoso theindividualcanbeconsideredtohaveexhausted butnotexplicitlynamedanyinstitution.104 domesticremedies.107 Inall,some40caseshavebeenprocessedbythe procedure before the Ecthr and legal aid CERDinits25yearsofoperation,withaquarter TheECtHRhighcaseloadmeansthatinpracticecases endingintheadoptionof‘views’–findinga aredealtwiththroughawrittenprocedure.However, violation.105Ofthe27EUMemberStates,individual itdoesoccasionallyholdpublichearingsinspecific communicationsfromDenmarkhavebeennumerous, cases.Therearenofeesforproceedingsbefore providingforalmosthalfofthetotalnumberof theECtHR.Inaddition,inthefirststagesofthe cases.Onlyfourofthesehave,however,endedin proceedingsbeforetheECtHR,theapplicantsdonot viewsbeingadopted.InrelationtofiveotherEU needtoberepresentedbyalawyer.Nevertheless, MemberStates,individualcomplaintshavebeen alawyerisneededonceastatehasbeennotified submittedbutthenumbersrangefrombetween ofanapplication.Atthisstage,thePresidentofthe onetothreecomplaintsforeachofthesestates. Chambermay,eitherattherequestofanapplicantor ofitsownmotion,grantlegalaidtotheapplicantin connectionwiththepresentationofthecasebefore 2.3. the council of Europe theECtHR.Suchlegalaidmaybegrantedtocover mechanisms notonlyrepresentatives’feesbutalsotravelling andsubsistenceexpensesandothernecessary 2.3.1. European court of human rights expensesincurredbytheapplicantorappointed representative.Havingsaidthat,theamountsoffered TheECtHRisthejudicialmechanismforaccessing bytheECtHRareseenasacontributiontolegalcosts justiceattheCouncilofEuropelevel.Even anditisopentotheapplicanttorecouptheactual thoughitcoversmainlycivilandpoliticalrights,it legalcostsincurredunderArticle41ECHRifhe/she constitutesanimportantmechanismforobtaining winsthecase.108 accesstojusticeinindividualcasesaswellas morebroadlybydevelopingstandardsforthe Legalaidisnotgrantedautomatically:thePresident statespartytotheECHRthroughitscaselaw.106 oftheChambermustbesatisfiedthatitisnecessary fortheproperconductofthecasebeforethe WiththeaccessionoftheEUtotheECHRprovided ECtHRandthattheapplicanthasinsufficient forbytheTreatyofLisbon,theECtHRwillhavethe meanstomeetallorpartofthecostsentailed. jurisdictioninrelationtoanact,orafailuretoact,by ThePresidentoftheChambermay,ifsatisfiedthat anEUinstitutionoraMemberStateimplementing theseconditionsarenolongerfulfilled,revoke EUlawandfallingwithintheremitoftheECHR. orvaryagrantoflegalaidatanytime.109 100Centrepourl’EgalitédesChancesetlaLuttecontreleRacisme (CentreforEqualOpportunityandtheStruggleagainstRacism, nowofficiallyreferredtoasCentreforEqualOpportunityand OppositiontoRacism,seewww.diversiteit.be). 101 Commissionspécialepermanentecontreladiscrimination. 102HighCommissionerforImmigrationandEthnicMinorities. 103CouncilforCombatingDiscrimination. 104AustrianDeclarationof20February2002. 105StatusofcommunicationsdealtwithbyCERDunderArticle14 procedure(22July2010),www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cerd/ 107Wherethecomplaintconcernsacontinuingsituation,time docs/CERDSURVEYArt14.xls. runsfromtheendofthesituationbutaslongasthesituation 106AsfortheprotectionagainstdiscriminationundertheECHR, continues,thesixmonthrulecannotbite.See,forexample: Article14ECHRprohibitsdiscriminationintheenjoymentof ECtHR,Papamichalopoulos and Others v. Greece,No.14556/89, oneortheotherrightsguaranteedbytheECHR.Inaddition, 24June1993orECtHR,Ülke v. Turkey,No. 39437/98,1 June 2004. ProtocolNo.12totheECHRprovidesforageneralprohibitionof 108Harris,D.J.,O’Boyle,M.,Bates,E.P.andBuckley,C.M.(2009) discriminationbyguaranteeingthatno-oneshallbediscriminated Harris, O’Boyle and Warbrick: Law of the European Convention on againstonanygroundbyanypublicauthority.Sofar,however, Human Rights,Oxford:OUP,p. 841. ProtocolNo.12,havebeenonlyratifiedbyfiveEUMemberStates. 109RulesofCourt,1June2010,ChapterXI,LegalAid,Rule 100-105.30
  • AvailablemechanismsatEuropeanandinternationallevelremedies especiallyincaseswheretheapplicantisallegedto befacinganimminentthreatofphysicalharm.115AstheUNHRC,aftertheapplicationhasbeenlodged,theECtHRmay,attherequestofanapplicantunder Inanycase,theexplosivegrowthoflitigationinRule39ofitsRulesofCourt,indicateinterimmeasures thelasttenyearsposesathreattotheeffectivetothedefendingstate.Interimmeasuresareapplied functioningoftheECtHR.Asaresult,on1June2010onlyinlimitedsituationswherethereisanimminent ProtocolNo.14totheECHRenteredintoforce.116Itsriskofirreparabledamage.110Inpractice,mostof aimistoguaranteethelong-termefficiencyofthethecaseswhereaninterimmeasureisrequested ECtHR(thatisreduceitsworkloadandthelengthconcernexpulsionorextraditionfromastate.Inthese ofproceedings),byoptimisingthefilteringandcases,theCourtcanrequestthestateconcernedto processingofapplications.Inparticular,itprovidessuspendadeportationorderagainsttheapplicant. fornewjudicialformationstodealwithrepetitive (showingasystemicproblem)andclearlyinadmissibleTheECtHRroutinelyawardslegalcoststoasuccessful casesandforanewadmissibilitycriterion(thatofapplicant(includingcostsincurredatthenational “significantdisadvantage”).117level),111andsometimesalsoawardsthepaymentofcompensation.112TheECtHRwillnotusuallydirectthestatetotakespecificmeasurestoremedythe Reform of the European Court violation,oftenconsideringthatpaymentoflegal of Human Rightscostsandthedeclarationofafindingofviolationtobesufficientofthemselves.113Ratheritisleftto On18and19February2010,Switzerlandthestateitself,inconjunctionwiththeenforcement organisedaministerialconferenceinInterlaken inordertodecisivelyspurthereformoftheroleoftheCouncilofMinisters(notedbelow)to overburdenedECtHR.Accordingtothedeclarationdeterminewhetheranyotherspecificcourseof adoptedbytherepresentativesofthe47Memberaction,suchasreformoflegislation,isappropriate. StatesoftheCouncilofEuropeattheendof theConference,itisnecessaryinparticulartoLength of proceedings reachabalancebetweenincomingcasesand therateatwhichcasescanbesettledandtoAttheendof2009,theECtHRhad120,000pending reducethevolumeofapproximately120,000applications.114Inviewofthisbacklog,anapplicant outstandingcasesaswellastoguaranteethatmayhavetowaitayearbeforetheECtHRproceeds newappealsaredealtwithinreasonabletime.withitsinitialexaminationofanapplication.Itis Moreover,thenationalimplementationoftheimpossibletoindicatethelengthofproceedings ECtHRjudgmentsshouldbeimprovedandbeforetheECtHRinaprecisemanner.TheECtHR theCommitteeofMinistersshouldguaranteeendeavourstodealwithcaseswithinthreeyearsbut effectivesupervisionoftheimplementationtheexaminationofsomecasestakeslongerandsome process.Inordertoachievetheseobjectivesthe politicaldeclarationcontainsanactionplanwithcanbeprocessedmorerapidly. alistofshortandmedium-termmeasuresas wellasanagendafortheirimplementation.118ThelengthoftheproceedingsbeforetheECtHRobviouslyvariesdependingonthecase,theformationtowhichitisassigned,thediligenceofthepartiesin pilot judgmentsprovidingtheECtHRwithinformationandmanyotherfactors,suchastheholdingofahearingorreferral TheECtHRintroducedthemeasureofissuinga‘pilot’totheGrandChamber.Someapplicationsmaybe judgment119inordertoredressoneofthemainclassifiedasurgentandhandledonaprioritybasis, problemsofitshighcaseload:thatofrepetitive(clone) cases,i.e.largenumbersofcasesraisingessentially 115 Mostofsuchcasesconcernexpulsionorextraditionfromastate.110 SeeECtHR,Mamatkulov and Askarov v. Turkey,No.46827/99 116 CouncilofEurope,ProtocolNo.14totheConventionforthe andNo.46951/99,4February2005orECtHR,Paladi v. Moldova, ProtectionofHumanRightsandFundamentalFreedoms, No. 39806/05,10March2009. amendingthecontrolsystemoftheConvention,CETSNo.194,111 SeeforexampleECtHR,Zimmermann and Steiner v. Switzerland availableat:www.conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Reports/ (Merits and Just Satisfaction),No.8737/79,13July1983. Html/194.htm.112 ECtHR,Kingsley v. the United Kingdom(GC), No.35605/97, 117 SeeforexampleECtHR,Rinck v. France,No.18774/09, 28 May 2002. 17 November2010.113 ECtHR,Le Compte, Van Leuven and De Meyere v. Belgium 118 Seewww.eda.admin.ch/etc/medialib/downloads/edazen/ (Just Satisfaction),Nos.6878/75and7238/75,18October1982. topics/europa/euroc.Par.0133.File.tmp/final_en.pdf. Exceptionally,see:ECtHR,Assanidze v. Georgia,(GC),No. 71503/01, 119 Thepilotjudgmentprocedurewasappliedforthefirsttimeinthe 08April2004. caseofECtHR,Broniowski v. Poland,No.31443/96,22June2004.114 ECHR(2010)Annual Report 2009,Strasbourg:Registryofthe Foranelaboration,seeBjörgvinsson,D.T.(2009)‘The“pilot- EuropeanCourtofHumanRights,p. 139,availableat: judgment”procedureoftheEuropeanCourtofHumanRights’in: www.echr.coe.int/NR/rdonlyres/C25277F5-BCAE-4401-BC9B- Alfredsson,G.etal.(eds.) International Human Rights Monitoring F58D015E4D54/0/Annual_Report_2009_Final.pdf. Mechanisms,Leiden:MartinusNijhoff. 31
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities thesameissue.Thewayinwhichtheprocedure 2.3.2.European committee of social rights operatesisthatwhentheECtHRreceivesasignificant TheEuropeanCommitteeofSocialRights(ECSR), numberofapplicationsderivingfromthesameroot monitorsimplementationoftheEuropeanSocial cause,itmaydecidetoselectoneormoreofthemfor Charter(ESC),andsupplementstheECtHRbyproviding prioritytreatment.Indealingwiththeselectedcaseor supervisionofeconomicandsocialrights.Direct cases,itwillseektoachieveasolutionthatextends accesstotheECSRisavailablethroughacollective tocoverallsimilarcasesraisingthesameissue.The complaintsmechanismthatisopentoorganisations resultingjudgmentisdesignatedasa‘pilot’judgment. meetingcertaincriteria.123Bybecomingpartyto theAdditionalProtocoltotheESCstatesauthorise Animportantfeatureofthepilotjudgmentprocedure internationalandnationalorganisationsofemployers isthepossibilityofadjourningor‘freezing’the andtradeunionsandinternationalNGOstosubmit examinationofallotherrelatedcasesforacertain complaintsagainstthemforfailuretocomplywiththe periodoftime.Thisisanadditionalmeansof ESC.124StatesmayalsoopttoauthorisenationalNGOs encouragingnationalauthoritiestotakethenecessary tosubmitcomplaints.Duetothecollectivenatureof steps.Suchadjournment,whichwillusuallybefora themechanismthebreachescomplainedoftendto setperiodoftime,maybesubjecttothecondition beofasystematicratherthananindividualnature. thattherespondentstateactpromptlyandeffectively SincetheentryintoforceoftheAdditionalProtocol ontheconclusionsdrawninthepilotjudgment.120 in1999over60complaintshavebeenregistered. Theintroductionofthepilotjudgmentprocedure Todate12EUMemberStates,havebecomeparty cannotresolveallthedifficultiescausedbythe totheAdditionalProtocol.125Table4liststhese ECtHRexcessiveworkload.Butithasthepotential statesaswellasthosethathavesignedbutnot tomakesignificantinroadsintotheexistingbacklog yetratifiedtheProtocol(signallinganintention andeliminatesomeoftherootproblemswhichlie tobecomefullpartiesatsomelaterdate). behindrepetitiveapplicationsaswellasestablishing aremedyforthoseadverselyaffected.121 table 4: Eu Member states parties and signatories Execution of judgments to the Additional protocol under the Esc OncetheECtHRjudgmentbecomesfinal,itis State parties (12) transmittedtotheCommitteeofMinisters(comprised oftheForeignAffairsMinistersofalltheCouncilof Belgium,Bulgaria,Cyprus,Finland,France,Greece, Europe’sMemberStatesortheirpermanentdiplomatic Ireland,Italy,Netherlands,Portugal,Slovenia,Sweden representativesinStrasbourg).Thelattertheninvites therespondentstatetoinformitofthestepstaken Signatories (5) topayanycostsorcompensationawardedbythe ECtHR.Oftenthiswillrequiretheadoptionofgeneral Austria,CzechRepublic,Hungary,Denmark,Slovakia measures,especiallyamendmentstolegislation.122 Inordertopersuadethestateconcernedtocomply Source: FRA, 2010 withtheECtHRjudgments,theCommitteeofMinisters exercisesitsinfluenceanddiplomaticpressurenot leastbynotingitsfailuretocomplywiththeECHRand takingappropriateaction.Untilthestateinquestion hasadoptedsatisfactorymeasures,theCommitteeof Ministersdoesnotadoptafinalresolutionstrikingthe 123 ForanoverviewofwhichEUMemberStatesareStatePartiesto theEuropeanSocialCharterandwhichcountrieshaveaccepted judgmentoffitslistofcases,andthestatecontinues theprotocolallowingforcollectivecomplaintsaswellasfor toberequiredtoprovideexplanationsortotakethe detailsonacceptedrightsundertheEuropeanSocialCharter, see FRA(2010)Annual Report 2010,Vienna:FRA,pp. 167-170, necessaryaction. availableat:http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/attachments/ AR_2010-conf-edition_en.pdf.Foralistoforganisationseligible tolodgecomplaintssee:www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/ 120Inapilotjudgmentinthecase:ECtHR,Maria Atanasiu and Others socialcharter/OrganisationsEntitled/OrganisationsIndex_en.asp. v. Romania,Nos.30767/05and33800/06,12October2010,the 124AdditionalprotocoltotheEuropeanSocialCharter Providingfora ECtHRadjournedthecasesconcerningpropertiesnationalised SystemofCollectiveComplaints,1995,CETS No. 158. duringthecommunisterainRomaniapendinggeneralmeasures InternationalNGOsmaybegrantedthisrightby applying atnationallevel. totheGovernmentalCommittee(composed 121 Forfurtherinformation,seewww.echr.coe.int/NR/rdonlyres/ of representativesoftheStateParties)foreligibility. DF4E8456-77B3-4E67-8944-B908143A7E2C/0/Information_ 125 Forratificationsandsignaturesasof3March2010,see Note_on_the_PJP_for_Website.pdf. www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/socialcharter/Presentation/ 122 SeeArticles41and46ECHR.SeetheCouncilofEurope Overview_en.asp;thereisalsoapossibilityundertheRevised CommitteeofMinisters’AnnualReport(2009)onsupervision EuropeanSocialCharter(1996)tobeboundbytheCollective oftheexecutionofECtHRjudgmentsavailableat:www.coe. ComplaintsProtocolthroughnotificationuponratificationofthe int/t/DGHL/MONITORING/EXECUTION/Source/Publications/ Charter(PartIV,ArticleDofESC(revised)(resortedtobyBulgaria CM_annreport2009_en.pdf. andSlovenia).32
  • AvailablemechanismsatEuropeanandinternationallevelFigure 3: the two main routes to access to the cJEu Directaccesstochallenge thelegalityofacts (non-legislative),263TFEU CJEU orasback-up277TFEU Claimant Preliminaryrulings267TFEU Requestpreliminaryrulings Nationalcourts throughnationalcourtsSource: FRA, 2010OnlyFinlandhasgivenfurtherconsenttoallow law:theactionforannulment(whichisdealtwithbythenationalNGOstomakecomplaints. GCandcanbeappealedtotheCJ)andthepreliminary referenceprocedure(dealtwithdirectlybytheCJ).TheTheECSRismandatedtoadoptdecisionsonthese EUalsooffersnon-judicialmechanisms,suchasthecollectivecomplaints.AswiththeECtHR,oncea EuropeanOmbudsman,towhichonecanfilecomplaintsdecisionfindingaviolationhasbeenadoptedit aboutmaladministrationwithintheEUinstitutionsandfallstotheCommitteeofMinistersoftheCouncilof bodies.129Focushereis,however,placedonjudicialEuropetorecommendasolutiontotheStateParty proceduresavailablethroughtheCJEU.inquestion.TheCommitteeofMinistersadoptsaresolutionirrespectiveoftheoutcomeinthecase, 2.4.1. the action for annulmentwhichmaycontainRecommendationsiftherehas TheactionforannulmentunderArticle263Treatybeenaviolation.126Thestatemustthenexplainin ontheFunctioningoftheEuropeanUnion(TFEU),itsnextperiodicreporttotheECSR(dueeveryfour formerlyArticle230TreatyestablishingtheEuropeanyears)whatithasdonetoimplementthedecision.127 Communities(TEC),130allowsalegalorphysical persontorequesttheannulmentofanylegally bindingmeasuretakenbytheEUinstitutionsor2.4. court of Justice agencies.131Suchmeasuresarenotrestricted to those of the European union legallybindingmeasureslistedinArticle 288 TFEU (regulations,directivesanddecisions).132CompliancewithEUlawisguaranteedbytheCJEU The conditionsforlegalstandingare,however,whichmayhearcasesrelatingtotheinstitutionsofthe restrictive.AnindividualmaylodgeacomplaintEUaswellastheMemberStatesinareasfallinginthe againstanactthatisspecificallyaddressedtothem,scopeofEUlaw.TheCJEUisdividedintotwobodies: suchasadecisionagainstacommercialenterprisetheGeneralCourt(GC),andtheCourtofJustice(CJ).128 issuedbytheEuropeanCommissioninthecontextofForthepurposesofthecurrentreporttwoprincipal competitionlaw.Anapplicationmustbelodgedwithinmechanismsexistthroughwhichindividualsmay twomonthsofpublicationofthemeasurebeingchallengethevalidityofEUmeasuresormeasuresby contested.IftheactcomplainedofisnotaddressedMemberStatesrelevanttotheimplementationofEU tothecomplainant,thenhe/shemustshowthat theyhave‘individual’concern–thatisthattheyare126SeeArticle9oftheProtocol.TodateRecommendationshave onlybeenissuedinonecase,rather,theresolutioncontainsa affectedbythemeasureinquestionjustasiftheyhad numberofdetailedmeasuresthattherespondentgovernment willremedy.127 SeeArticle10oftheProtocol.Article21actuallystipulates 129Foranoverviewofthework,seehttp://ombudsman.europa.eu. reportingeverytwoyearsbutbyCommitteeofMinistersdecision 130Thereisasimilarprocedureallowingtheinstitutionstobesued in2006theperiodicitywaschangedtofouryears.SeeBrillat, forfailingtoactwheretheywereunderadutytodoso.See R.(2009)‘TheEuropeanSocialCharter’in:Alfredsson, Article265TFEU. G.etal.(eds.) International Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms, 131 TheLisbonTreatyamendedformerArticle230TECtoallowthe Leiden:MartinusNijhoff,p. 508. CJEUtoreviewnotjustthelegalityofactsoftheinstitutionsbut128ThisreportisreferringtoCJEUasthegeneralentityunlessa alsoof‘bodies,officesoragenciesoftheUnion’. distinctionbetweentheCJandtheGCisrequired. 132 See,forexample,Case216/83Les Verts,[1984]ECR3325. 33
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities table 5: overview of provisions providing for access to justice before the cJEu Treaty on the Functioning Article 263 TFEU Article 267 TFEU Article 277 TFEU of the EU Type Actionforannulment Preliminaryrulingprocedure ‘Indirect’(incidental)review Purpose Toreviewthelegalityof ToclarifyanissueofEUlaw Toreviewthelegalityof actsoftheEUinstitutions, actsoftheEUinstitutions, bodiesandagencies bodiesandagencies CJEU GeneralCourt(appealable CourtofJustice CourtofJustice toCourtofJustice) Type of access Direct Indirectthrough Indirectthrough nationalcourts nationalcourts Source: FRA, 2010 beentheexpressaddressee.Theinterpretationgiven theCourtofJusticetoreviewthelegalityofmeasures tothisprovisionhasmeantthatinpractice,133apart adoptedbytheinstitutions’.135 fromafewexceptionalcases,acomplainantcannot contestthevalidityofagenerallegislativemeasure, In2009atotalof302newreferencesforapreliminary suchasaregulationordirective.134Thisisbecauseby rulingweremadefromdomesticcourtsoftheEU theirnaturesuchinstrumentsaredesignedtocreate MemberStates.136Thenumberrangedfrom59 generalrulesratherthanbeingtargetedatspecific (Germany)tozero(IrelandandLuxembourg).Member individuals. Statesfromwhichmorethan20referenceswere madeincludeGermany,Belgium,France,Italy,the 2.4.2. the preliminary reference Netherlands,andtheUnitedKingdom.Inpractice, procedure however,issuesofEUlawarecommonlydecided bydomesticcourtswithoutmakingareferencefor Underthepreliminaryreferenceprocedurea apreliminaryrulingbytheCJEUunder267TFEU. nationalcourtmayrequesttheCJEUtoprovidean interpretationofaprovisionofEUlawthatisneeded 2.4.3. the ‘complete system of legal toresolveadisputependingconsiderationatthe remedies’ nationallevel(Article267TFEU).TheCJEUmayat thesametimeundertakejudicialreviewoftheEU However,theabilityofthepreliminaryreference measureinquestionitself(underArticle277TFEU).In proceduretoadequatelycomplementtheactionfor thissensethepreliminaryreferenceprocedureunder annulmentinallowingindividualstheopportunity Article263TFEUiscapableofmitigatingtherestrictive tochallengethevalidityofmeasuresadoptedby rulesonstandingundertheactionforannulment theinstitutionsneedstobeseeninthelightofthe (Table5below).Assuchthetwomechanismstaken followingconsiderations.Firstly,thedecisiontomake togetherhavebeenreferredtoasa‘completesystem thereferraltotheCJEUandtheparametersofthe oflegalremediesandproceduresdesignedtopermit enquiryrestnotwiththeindividualpartiestothe 135 Case294/83Les Verts,[1986]ECR1339,paragraph 23.Individualsmay alsoaccesstheUnioncourtsunder268TFEU(235TEC)bybringingan actionfordamagescausedbynon-contractualliabilityoftheUnion accordingtoparagraph2of340TFEU.However,thelatterdoesnot allowtheECJtoannulanyoffendinglegislationandtheindividualwill 133 SeeCase25/62Plaumann v. Commission,[1963]ECR95. onlysucceedwherethebreachoflawismanifest.Seeforexample 134Theexceptionalcaseswherestandinghasbeenallowedto Case175/84Krohn v. Commission,[1986]ECR753. contestagenerallegislativemeasurehavegenerallyrelated 136StatisticsconcerningthejudicialactivityoftheCourtofJusticeat toasituationwheretherewasonlyonepossibleindividual p. 82,availableat:http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/ whocouldbeparticularlynegativelyaffectedbythatmeasure. application/pdf/2010-05/ra09_stat_cour_final_en.pdf.As See for exampleCaseC-309/89Cordoniu v. Council,[1994] forurgentpreliminaryrulings,in2009,therewerethreesuch ECR I-1853;Case C-359/89Extramet v. Council,[1991]ECRI-2501. requested.34
  • AvailablemechanismsatEuropeanandinternationallevelcasebutwiththenationalcourtitself.137Secondly, 2.4.4. the range of the cJEu’s jurisdictionthefunctionofconductingareviewunderArticle TheCJEUonlyhasjurisdictiontoconsiderissues277viathepreliminaryreferenceprocedurerelies relatingtotheinterpretationorapplicationofEUlaw.ontheexistenceofanactuallegaldisputeinthe Assuch,ifameasureinquestionfallspurelywithinnationalcourts.Thismayrepresentachallengewhen thecompetenceoftheMemberStatestheCJEUwillthemeasurebeingcomplainedofdoesnotactually notbeabletodeliverajudgmentonthemerits.requireimplementationatthenationallevel,for Thiscanbeillustratedbyreferencetothecaseofinstancearegulation(whichbydefinitionisdirectly SPUC v Groganwhereapro-lifeorganisationobtainedapplicable)abolishinganagriculturalsubsidy.138 aninjunctionagainstagroupofuniversitystudentsTheabsenceofanationalimplementingmeasure inIrelandwhoweredistributingliteraturethatgavemeansthattherewouldbenonationalmeasurethat thecontactdetailsofabortionclinicsintheUnitedthepartiescouldactuallyinvokeinordertobegin Kingdom.BeforetheCJEUitwasarguedthatIrelandnationalcourtproceedingsthatcouldeventually hadbreachedEUlawbyinterferingwiththefreetriggerarequestforapreliminaryreferencebythe movementofservices(i.e.abortionsbeingofferednationalcourt. inanotherMemberState)andthattheinjunction amountedtoabreachoftherighttofreedomofThelatterissuehasbeenpartiallyaddressedbythe expression.TheCJEUfoundthatitwasabletoaddressTreatyofLisbon,amendingformerArticle230TEC thequestionrelatingtofreemovementofservices,(nowArticle263TFEU)andnowallowsindividuals sincethisrightissecuredunderEUlaw.However,standing‘againstaregulatoryactwhichisofdirect thelawrelatingtofreedomofexpressionwasfoundconcerntothemanddoesnotentailimplementing tolieoutsidethejurisdictionoftheCJEUsinceitmeasures’.Thismeansthatinasituationwhereno wasnotregulatedbyEUlaw.139Assuch,amorenationalimplementingmeasureexists(andthusno appropriateforumwouldhavebeentheECtHRsincenationalmeasurethatcouldbecontestedbeforethe freedomofexpressionisprotectedundertheECHR.nationalcourts)anindividualmayneverthelesshavestandingbeforetheCJEU.However,itdoesnotaddress PriortotheTreatyofLisbontheCJEUhadjurisdictiontheformerproblem,namelythatitisforthenational onlytohearmattersrelatingtotheimplementationcourtitselfratherthanthepartiestoinitiatethe ofCommunityLawandassuchwasnotcompetentrequestforapreliminaryreferenceandtodetermine todecideonclaimsrelatingtosomeissuesfallingtheparametersofthequestionputtotheCJEU. withintheso-calledsecondandthirdpillars.140 Articles263and267nowallowtheCJEUtoreviewTwofurtherchangesintroducedbytheTreatyof thebroaderrangeofmeasuresadoptedbytheLisbonshouldbenoted.Firstly,itconferslegally EU,excepttheCommonForeignandSecuritybindingstatusontheCFR,Article47ofwhich Policy (CFSP).ReviewinthecontextoftheCFSPisrecognisestheright“toaneffectiveremedyandtoa onlypermittedinrelationto“restrictivemeasuresfairtrial”withspecificreferencetoaccesstojustice. againstanaturalorlegalperson”(Article275(2)TFEU).Secondly,theEUismandatedtobecomepartytotheECHRwhich,underArticles6and13,requirearangeofguaranteestobeimplementedrelatingtoaccessto 2.4.5. Expedited proceduresjustice.Theextenttowhichthepreliminaryreference TheexpeditedprocedureenablestheCJEUtogiveprocedureandactionforannulmentguaranteeaccess rulingsquicklyinveryurgentcasesbyreducingthetojusticemayneedtobereconsideredinlightof timelimitsandomittingcertainproceduralsteps.Ontheseprovisions. applicationbyoneoftheparties,thePresidentof theCJEUmaydecide,whethertheparticularurgency ofthecaserequiresitsuse.Suchaprocedurecan137 SeeCase283/81CILFIT,[1982]ECR3415,paragraph 7:“Article177 alsobeusedinthepreliminaryrulingproceedings (laterArticle234andnowArticle267TFEU)doesnotconstitute ameansofredressavailabletothepartiestoacasepending beforetheCJEU.Inthatcase,theapplicationis beforeanationalcourtortribunal.Thereforethemerefact madebythenationalcourtseekingthepreliminary thatapartycontendsthatthedisputegivesrisetoaquestion concerningtheinterpretationofcommunitylawdoesnotmean ruling.Theprocedurecanbefurtheracceleratedand thatthecourtortribunalconcernediscompelledtoconsiderthat truncatedincaseofsensitiveissuesrelatingtothe aquestionhasbeenraisedwithinthemeaningofArticle177.”For therelevantnationalcaselawonthisquestion,see,forinstance, areaoffreedom,securityandjustice.141Article267(4) judgmentoftheFederalConstitutionalCourt,2BvR2661/06, 6 July2010(availableat:www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/ pressemitteilungen/bvg10-069.html),inwhichitwasheld 139CaseC-159/90SPUC v. Grogan,[1991]ECRI-4685. thatnon-referraltotheCourtofJustice(CJ)didnotconstitute 140ForanoverviewofthechangesoftheCJEUproceedings,see violationofrighttoeffectivelegalremedyincasesofestablished CJEU,Annual Report 2009,availableat:http://curia.europa.eu/ jurisprudence.TheFederalLabourCourthadnotbeenobligedto jcms/jcms/Jo2_7000/. referthecaseathandtotheCJaslongasitsdecisionnottodoso 141 RulesofProcedureoftheCourtofJustice,13April2010, didnotappeararbitrarybutisbasedongoodreasons. Chapter 3s,ExpeditedProcedures,Article62a;RulesofProcedure138AswasthesituationinCaseC-50/00P Unión de Pequeños oftheGeneralCourt,13April2010,Chapter3a,Expedited Agricultores v. Council,[2002]ECRI-6677. Procedures,Article76a. 35
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities specificallyprovidesforapreliminaryreferenceto Overallthebalancebetweenthecaseloadand begiven ‘withtheminimumofdelay’wherethe capacitytoissuedecisionsisasignificantproblemfor nationalcaserelatesto‘apersonincustody’. boththeECtHRandtheUNtreatybodies.As such, thisunderscorestheimportanceofadequate 2.4.6. Legal aid implementationofhumanrightsguaranteesatthe nationallevelinordertopre-emptan RegardinglitigationbeforetheCJEU,apartywho unsustainablecaseload. iswhollyorinpartunabletomeetthecostsofthe proceedingsmayatanytimeapplyforlegalaid.The TheCJEUiscrucialinprovidingaccesstojustice applicationhastobeaccompaniedbyevidenceofthe withintheEU.However,thesystemoflegalremedies applicant’sneedofassistance,andinparticularbya maynotalwaysbeseenaseffective,giventhatit documentfromthecompetentauthoritycertifying isrelativelydifficulttoobtainstandingbeforethe thislackofmeans.Theapplicationneednotbemade CJEUinthefirstplace.TheTreatyofLisbonhas throughalawyer.Theapplicationisreferredtoa gonesomewaytomitigatethisproblem.Withthe formationoftheCJEUwhichdecideswhetherlegalaid EU’sfutureaccessiontotheECHR,theinteraction shouldbegranted.ThisformationoftheCJEUmayat betweentheECtHRandtheCJEUisboundto anytime,eitherofitsownmotionoronapplication, intensify,providingfurtherdevelopmentsfora withdrawthelegalaidifthecircumstanceswhich rangeofissues,includingaccesstojustice,aswellas ledtothegrantalterduringtheproceedings.142 allowingindividualstobringcomplaintsagainstthe EUdirectlybeforetheECtHR. 2.5. summary Thischapterprovidesabriefoverviewofexisting avenuestoaccessjusticeavailabletoindividuals withinthejurisdictionoftheMemberStatesofthe EU.Thesearebothjudicialandquasi-judicialinnature. Keycomparativeadvantagesanddisadvantagesare highlighted.UptofiveEUMemberStateshavenot yetacceptedindividualcomplaintstobesubmitted toUNtreatybodies,eventhoughtheyhavebeenin operationformanyyears.Similarly,EUMemberStates havebeenslowtoacceptfutureindividualcomplaint mechanisms,undertheICESCR. TheECtHRrepresents,intermsofcaseloadaswellas influence,themainmechanismforaccessingjustice abovethenationallevelinEurope.Thenumberof applicationsshowstheneedtoimprovestructures atthenationallevelinordertopre-emptrepeat applicationsresultingfromsystematicproblems. Italsounderscorestheneedtosupportreform measuresintroducedbytheECtHRtodealwiththe pressure,suchasacceptingpilot-judgmentstodeal withsimilarcases.TheECSR,supplementingthe workoftheECtHRwithmonitoringofeconomicand socialrights,providesforacollectivecomplaints mechanism,throughwhichinternationalorganisations ofemployersandtradeunionsandinternational NGOscansubmitcomplaints.Itisnoteworthythat onlyFinlandhasacceptedthepossibilityfor national (in additiontointernational)NGOstosubmit complaints.InthiswaytheESCRisanunderused resourcewherecivilsocietycouldcontributeto improvingthesystembyhighlightingsystematic shortcomingsatthenationallevel. 142RulesofProcedureoftheCourtofJustice,13April2010,Chapter 6, LegalAid,Article 76;RulesofProcedureoftheGeneralCourt, 13 April2010,Chapter7,LegalAid,Articles 94-97.36
  • 3 Accessing justice at national levelItisdifficulttoprovideanoverviewofaccesstojustice Ratherthanprovidingallthenuancesoftheatthenationallevelinall27EUMemberStates.Even variouslegalandjudicialsystems,thisreportthoughalloftheserecognisethegeneralrightof proceedsonthebasisofthecomparativefindingsrecoursetoajudicialbodyinordertoresolvelegal basedontheabove-mentionedtypology.148Adisputesrelatingtobreachesofaright,thewaythis selectionofthemostindicativeareasisofferedisachieveddifferswidely.Thejudicialsystemsof below,stressingthelimitsonaccesstojustice.theMemberStates,forinstance,maybroadlybedistinguishedbytwokeyfactors:theexistenceofa Thischapteranalysestheidentifiedlimitstoaccesstoseparateconstitutionalcourtornot,andaunifiedcourt justiceunderthefollowingheadings:(i)timelimits;systemasopposedtoonewithseparatejudiciaries (ii)legalstanding;(iii)lengthofproceedings;(iv)legalfordifferentbranchesoflaw,suchasadministrative costs;(v)proceduralformalitiesandrequirements;law.143AgrowingnumberofStateshaveaseparate and(vi)complexityoflegislation.Itthenproceedsconstitutionalcourt,dealingwith,amongotherissues, brieflytoexaminealternativestoajudicialroute,complaintsbasedonallegedviolationsoffundamental namelynon-judicialproceduresandthepossibilityofrights.Currently,athirdoftheMemberStatesdonot waivingtherighttosettlingdisputesbeforeacourt.havesuchaninstitution.144Also,itispossibletomakeadistinctionbetweenstateswithaseparatejudiciaryfor(atleastsomemattersof)administrativelaw(the 3.1. LimitsFrenchModel)145fromthoseoptingforonesingle Itisnowwellestablishedthatthe“fundamentalrightjudiciary(theEnglishModel)146.However,alarge toeffectivejudicialprotectionconstitute[sa]generalmajorityofMemberStatesapplyaseparation.147 principle[…]ofCommunitylaw.”149Accordingly, EUlawrecognisesageneralrightofaccesstoa143Ifgoingintodetailsthepicturemightchangesomewhat:for judicialbodyfortheresolutionofdisputesrelatingto exampleontheonehandtheAustrianConstitutionalCourt(dating backto(atleast)1920andthusbeingthemostancientinEurope) rightsderivingfromEUlaw.TheECtHRhaslikewise isstillnotcompetenttodecideonappealsagainstrulingsofthe interpretedtherighttoinstituteproceedingsbefore ordinaryjudiciaryandoftheAdministrativeCourt,whereas,on courtsincivilmattersasconstitutingoneaspectof theotherhand,inFinlandthereisnoconstitutionalcourtbutthe constitutionalitycansince2000explicitlybechecked.Seealso therighttoafairtrialenshrinedinArticle6ECHR.150 CJEU(2009)Les juridictions des États Membres de l’Union Européenne, Luxembourg:CJEU,availableat:http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/ upload/docs/application/pdf/2008-11/qd7707226frc.pdf.144NamelyCyprus,Denmark,Estonia,Finland,Greece,Ireland, the Netherlands,Sweden,andtheUnitedKingdom.145SeeAguila,Y.,Kreins,Y.andWarren,A.(2007)La justice administrative en Europe. Observatoire des Mutations Institutionelles et Juridiques (OMIJ) de l’Université de Limoges,Paris:Presses universitairesdeFrance,p. 16.146Ibid,p. 16. 148Seesection1.2:Reportbackground.147TothepureEnglishmodelbelong,apartfromtheUnitedKingdom 149CJEU,Alliance for Natural Health and Others,C-154/04andC-155/04, itself,onlyHungary,Ireland,Rumania,andSlovakia.InSpain 12July2005,paragraph 126;CJEU,Unibet,C-432/05,13March2007, administrativejusticeisdeliveredbyseparatechambersintegrated paragraph 37;CJEU,Angelidaki et al.,CaseC-378/07,23April2009; incourtsofgeneralcompetence,amodelwhichisfollowedalso CJEU,Sahlstedt et al. v. Commission,C-362/06P23April2009; Estonia(whereseparateadministrativetribunalsdoonlyexiston CJEU,Angelidaki et al.,C-378/07,23 April 2009.‘Community’is theloweststage),LatviaandSlovenia(wherethesupremecourts maintainedinquotes,otherwiseUnionisconsistentlyused. havegeneralcompetence).InItalytheAdministrativeCourtisnow 150ECtHR,Golder v. the United Kingdom,No.4451/70, almostindependentfromthegeneralcassationcourt. 21February1975(n.25). 37
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities Figure 4: restrictions on access to justice in Eu Member states Statutorylimitations(timelimits) forbringingaclaim 22 5 Legalstanding(locus standi) 10 17 Lengthofproceedings 10 17 Legalcosts 8 19 Proceduralformalitiesandrequirements 6 21 Complexityoflegislation 5 22 NumberofMemberStateswithrestrictionsinthegivenarea NumberofMemberStateswithnorestrictionsinthegivenarea Source: FRA, 2010 Ithasneverthelessbeenacknowledgedthat theirlengthshouldbesetinsuchaway thisrightisnotabsoluteandmaybesubjectto asnottorendertherighttoproceed limitations.151AccordingtotheECtHRjurisprudence, beforeacourtimpossible.153 restrictionsonaccesstojusticewillbepermissible totheextentthattheyareproportionateto AmongtheEUMemberStateswithlegislationlimiting achievingalegitimateaimandsolongasthey therighttoinitiateproceedingsbeforeacourt,a donotrestrictorreducetheaccesslefttothe majorityprovidefortwotypesoflimitationperiods individualinsuchawayortosuchanextentthat applicableinthisareaoflaw–onethatisapplicable theveryessenceoftherightisimpaired.Thus,the tocivillawclaimsingeneralandoneusedinrespect proportionalityofparticularobstaclesverymuch ofspecificareasofthelawsuchasisthecasewith dependsonthespecificcircumstancesofthecase. employmentdiscrimination.Limitationperiodsfor generalcivillawclaimsrangeonaveragebetween Thefollowingsectionsanalysetheidentified threeandfiveyears,withtheexceptionofPoland, restrictionsandexaminethealternativeroutesfor BelgiumandtheNetherlands,wherethisperiodcan resolvingadisputeoutsideofacourt. extendto10,20and30yearsrespectively.Unlike limitationperiodsingeneralcivillawmatters,the Figure4providesthesixmainrestrictionsto specificperiodsofprescriptionapplicableincases accessingjusticemostcommonlyfoundintheEU ofemploymentdiscriminationareusuallymuch MemberStates,asidentifiedbytheresearch. shorter–insomecasesasshortaseightdays.154 Suchshorttimelimits,whichareundoubtedlymuch 3.1.1. time limits morerestrictivethanthoseappliedintheordinary civilclaims,arebalancedtoanextentbytheless Researchfindingsinasmanyas22EUMember formalisticproceduresthatareusedinemployment Statesshowedthatthespecificrulesonlimitations casesinsomeMemberStates.155 (prescriptiveperiods,specifyingthetimewithin whichaclaimhastobemade)tobeoneofthemajor obstaclestoaccessingjusticeindiscriminationcases (Figure4).Suchlimitationsareintheorydesignedto ensurelegalcertaintyandfinality.152Inorderforsuch limitationstobeacceptablefromthepointofviewof effectiveaccesstojustice,however, 151 ECtHR,Osman v. the United Kingdom, No.23452/94,28October1998. 152 ECtHR,Stubbings v. the United Kingdom,No.22083/93and 22095/93,paragraph 51.TheECJhasalsostatedthattime-bars 153 TheEstonianSupremeCourtheld,forexample,thateventhough servelegalcertainty.SeeCJEU,Slagterier v. Germany,C-445/06, thelegislatorhasawidediscretionindecidingoverthelength 24 March2009,paragraph 32;CJEU,Aprile v. Amministrazione delle oftimelimitationstocomplaints,theselimitationscouldnotbe Finanze dello Stato,C-228/96,17November1998,paragraph 19; disproportionatelyshort. CJEU,Marks & Spencer v. Commissioners of Customs & Excise, 154ForexampleinSlovenia. C-62/00,11July2002,paragraph 35. 155 ForexampleintheUnitedKingdom.38
  • Accessingjusticeatnationallevel  forassociationssuchasNGOsortradeunionsmay Time limits in annulment representavictimwiththeirpermission.Inother proceedings before the CJEU MemberStatesmorespecificrulesexist.Inmany BeforetheCJEUannulmentproceedingsunder MemberStatesNGOsareabletoprovidelegal Article263(6)TFEU(Article 230 (5)TEC)mustbe representationorinitiatecourtproceedingseitherin instituted“withintwomonthsofthepublicationof thenameofthevictimorontheirownbehalf.NGOs themeasure,orofitsnotificationtotheplaintiff, areabletobringcasestocourtwithouttheconsent or,intheabsencethereof,ofthedayonwhichit ofthevictimincertaincircumstances(suchasfor cametotheknowledgeofthelatter,asthecase ‘classactions’),forexampleinBulgaria,Hungary,Italy maybe.”Thefactthatthetime-limitstartswhen andtheSlovakRepublic.InotherMemberStates theplaintiffbecameawareofthemeasureallows theconsentofthevictimisrequired,forexamplein forabalancetobestruckbetweenlegalcertainty andtherighttopursueaclaimbeforethecourts. Latvia,Lithuania,andSpain(thoughinthelatteronly incasesoutsidethesphereofemployment).Inother MemberStatesitappearsthatthestandingofNGOs ismorelimited,eithertoappearingbeforeparticular3.1.2. Legal standing bodiesorarightofthirdpartyintervention.158Legalstanding(standingtosueorlocus standi)representsthegatewayforaccesstojustice.Rules InmorethanhalfoftheMemberStatesvictimsarerelatingtolegalstandingmaybedividedinto entitledtoberepresentedbytradeunionsinatleastthreeclasses.Narrowrulesforstandingrestrict somedisputesettlementfora:Austria,Belgium,theabilitytopursueaparticularclaimtothe Bulgaria,Cyprus,theCzechRepublic,Estonia,individualwhohassufferedtheharminquestion Germany,Ireland,Italy,Latvia,Luxembourg,theortheirdirectrepresentatives(forinstance,where Netherlands,Poland,Portugal,Slovenia,Spainandthetheindividualisdeceased).Attheotherextreme, UK.TradeunionsinsomeMemberStatesalsoprovidewiderulesofstandingmayallowanyindividualto financialassistancetocoverthelegalcostsofthosebringaclaimrelatingtoharmsufferedbyathird involvedindisputes.Theyarealsoabletoinitiatelegalparty,whichissometimesreferredtoasanactio proceedingsuponsatisfactionofcertaincriteriainthepopularisor‘publicinterest’claim.Oftenrulesof followingMemberStates:Belgium,Bulgaria,Denmark,standingofthissortarerestrictedtoparticular France,Italy,Malta,theNetherlands,Poland,Romania,areasoflawthatmayrelatetoageneralpublic SpainandSweden.InCyprus,HungaryandItalytradeinterest,suchastheenvironment.Betweenthese unionsareentitledtobringclaimsofa‘collective’twoextremesonemayfindrulesofstandingthat nature(thatis,wherealargegroupofindividualsareallowcertainthirdpartiesthatmayhaveaninterest affected,orthereisnoidentifiablevictim).159inparticularlegalissues,tobringclaimsrelatingtobreachesoflawswithintheirareaofexpertise, InasmallnumberofMemberStatesequalitybodiessuchasNGOs,tradeunionsorequalitybodies. mayensuretherepresentationofprivateindividuals pursuingremediesinthecourts,forexampleHungaryIntheareaofnon-discriminationlaw,theRacial andtheUnitedKingdom.InaroundonethirdofEqualityDirective(Article7),EmploymentEquality MemberStatesequalitybodiesmaythemselvesDirective(Article9),GenderEqualityDirective initiatecourtproceedingseitherinthevictim’sand/(recast)(Article12),andGenderEqualityDirective ortheirownname(thoughsometimestheconsentonGoodsandServices(Article8)obligeMember ofthevictimisrequired).InBelgium,HungaryStatestoensure,inaccordancewithnationallaw, andIrelandtheequalitybodiesmaybringclaimsthatassociations,organisationsorotherlegal addressingpotentiallywidespreaddiscriminationsuchentitiesmayengageinjudicialoradministrative aswherethereisnoidentifiablevictim,inrelationproceedingsonbehalfoforinsupportofvictims, topatternsofdiscrimination,orasapublicinterestwiththevictim’spermission.Suchassociationsmay action(actio popularis).160includeNGOs,tradeunionsorequalitybodies.156InDenmark,Finland,SwedenandtheUKnospecialrulesappeartoregulateassociationsindiscriminationprocedures.157However,individuallawyersworking156SeeFRA(2010)The Racial Equality Directive: application and challenges,Luxembourg:PublicationsOffice.157Chopin,I.andGounari,E.N.(2009)Developing anti-discrimination 158SeeFRA(2010)The Racial Equality Directive: application and law in Europe. The 27 EU Member States compared,report challenges,Luxembourg:PublicationsOffice. preparedfortheEuropeanNetworkofLegalExpertsinthenon- 159Idem. discriminationfield,Luxembourg:PublicationsOffice,p. 63. 160Idem. 39
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities onbehalfoftheirchild.Asaresult,thirdparties The role of NGOs before the Inter- havingonlyaremoteinterestorfightingmerely American and African court systems publicinterest havenoaccesstoacourt.162Apartfrom environmentalcases,themajorityofEUMember Theabilityofcivilsocietyorganisationstosupport Stateshaverefusedtoacceptageneralrighttofilea victimsortakecasesontheirbehalfcanreduce publicinterestcomplaint(actio popularis),whichwould thefinancialandpersonalburdenoflegalaction enableanindividualorotherentitytoobtainredress ontheindividualclaimant.Inthissensethe rolethatNGOsplaybeforetheInter-American inthenameofthegeneralpublic,withoutbeing CommissionandInter-AmericanCourtofHuman thevictimordirectlyauthorisedtorepresentthe RightsandtheAfricanCommissiononHuman victim.163AsaresultofimplementationoftheAarhus andPeoples’Rightsshouldbenoted.Under Convention,inenvironmentalcasestherequirement therulesofprocedureofthesesystemsNGOs ofhavingasufficientinterestinacaseorbeing maybringclaimsintheirownnames,andin directlyconcernedmaybewaivedwhenitcomesto relationtotheAfricansystem,thevastmajority environmentalprotectionmatters,whereakindof ofclaimsarebroughtbyNGOs.161Thisillustrates actio popularishasbecomeacceptedinmostoftheEU theimportantroleofcivilsocietyorganisations MemberStates.164 infacilitatingaccesstojustice,particularly whereclaimantsfacefinancialdifficulties. 3.1.3. Length of proceedings Theoveralllengthofproceedingsundoubtedlyhas Therearetwopracticallimitationsontheabilityofcivil implicationsforaccesstojustice.Accordingtothe societyorganisationstobringcases.Firstly,human ECtHR,accesstothecourtscanberenderedlargely andfinancialresourceswilldictatethenumberof theoreticalandillusorywheredisputesarenot casesthattheymayundertake.Secondly,thecriteria resolvedinatimelymanner,sincetheprinciplemotive imposedundernationallawthatsuchorganisations oftakingadisputeistoreceivearemedy.Delays needtosatisfyinordertobeeligibletoexercisethis inlegalproceedingshavetheeffectofkeepingan functionlimitsthenumberoforganisationsavailable individualinaprotractedstateofdoubtthatmaybe tovictims.Forinstance,inGermanyanassociation consideredsimilartoadenialofjustice.165 wishingtoactascounselforavictimmustoperate onanon-profitandnon-temporarybasis,haveat AccordingtoECtHRstatistics,averylargenumber least75members,orbecomprisedofatleastseven ofcasessubmittedtotheECtHRconcerntheright associationsactingtogether.InItalyassociationsmust guaranteedbyArticle6ECHRtoahearingwithin firstregisterwithpublicauthorities,butthisprocess canbealengthyprocess.InFranceandLuxembourg 162NotealsothatinsomeEUMemberStates,NGOsspecialisingin suchassociationsmusthavealreadybeeninexistence combatingdiscriminationareconsideredprivilegedapplicantsanddo nothavetoshowaninteresttostandbeforenationalcourts. foratleastfiveyears. 163Veryspecificrestrictionsregardinglocus standirulescan additionallybeidentifiedinCyprus.Casesinvolvingclaimants whoarepurportedtobelongtocertaincategoriesorareascribed Beyondtheareaofnon-discriminationlawresearch certaincharacteristicsseemtobeparticularlyvulnerabletohaving findingsshowthatintenoutof27MemberStates, theiraccessblocked;suchacategoryareTurkish-Cypriotsclaiming thedomesticrulesonlegalstandingareconsidered theirpropertieslocatedintheRepublic-controlledareasagainstthe institutionoftheCustodianofTurkishCypriotProperties,whichisthe overlyrestrictive(Figure4).Inthiswaylegalstanding InteriorMinister. isoneofthemajorrestrictionsregardingtherightof 164UNEconomicCommissionforEurope(UNECE),Convention onAccesstoInformation,PublicParticipationinDecision- accesstojustice.Legislationonstandingintheseten makingandAccesstoJusticeinEnvironmentalMatters(Aarhus statesdoesnotenableindividualstobringaclaim Convention),adoptedon25June1998.ForrelevantCJEUcaselaw toacourtunlesstheyhavefulllegalcapacity(for see,forinstance,areferenceforpreliminaryrulingslodgedin Lesoochranárske Zoskupenie VLK v. Ministerstvo životného prostredia instance,thattheydonothaveintellectualdisability) Slovenskej republiky,C-240/09,15July2010orinMarie-Noëlle andatthesametimearedirectlyconcernedinthe Solvay and others v. Walloon Region¸C-182/10,lodgedon09April 2010. matter.Althoughinlimitedinstances,aclaimforthe 165Edel,F.(2007)The Length of Civil and Criminal Proceedings in the protectionofapresumedrightorinterestofanother Case-Law of the European Court of Human Rights,Strasbourg: personorthepublicisallowedintheseEUMember CouncilofEuropePublishing.Despitethefactthatjusticedelayed isjusticedenied,however,veryrapidproceedingsdonotalways States,suchclaimshavebeenmostlyacceptedin translateintogoodjustice.Certainexpeditedprocedureswhere caseswherethishasbeenspecificallyprescribedby speedtakespriorityovertherightsofthedefencemaybe detrimentaltothequalityofjustice.TheECtHRhasalwaysheld domesticlaw–suchasparentsthatcanfileaclaim thattheprincipleofgoodadministrationofjusticegoeswell beyondthenotionofreasonabletimeandmayjustifyresortto lengthierbutfairerproceedings.SeeCalvez,F.(2006)Length of 161 Inter-AmericanCommissiononHumanRights,RulesofProcedure, court proceedings in the Member States of the Council of Europe OAS/Ser.L/V/I.4rev.13,30June2010,Rule23;AfricanCharterof based on the Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights, HumanandPeoples’Rights,1981,OAUDoc.CAB/LEG/67/3Rev. 5, ReportadoptedbyEuropeanCommissionfortheEfficiencyof Article 55;Seefurther:Butler,I.(2007)Unravelling sovereignty: Justice(CEPEJ)atits8thplenarymeeting,Strasbourg:CEPEJ, Human rights actors and the structure of international law, availableat:www.coe.int/t/dghl/cooperation/cepej/delais/ Antwerp: Intersentia,p. 104. Calvez_en.pdf.40
  • Accessingjusticeatnationallevel Figure 5: violations concerning length of proceedings as a percentage of all Ecthr’s judgments finding violations of the Echr, by Eu Member state plus Liechtenstein and norway (%), during the period 1959–2009 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Be tria Bu ium ec Cy ia Re us nm c Es rk Fin ia Fr d rm e Gr ny Hu ce Ire ry nd Lie L ly te ia hu n m ia Ne M rg er a No nds Po ay Po and m l Sl nia Sl akia ia Sw ain nd n m Ro ga De ubli th alt Ge c n Lit stei Ki e ar n ch atv xe an en Ita go a u a an ee pr rw a la la d ed rtu to a Sp ng bo s la l lg lg ov ov Au p n h Lu ite Cz UnSource: ECtHR, ‘50 Years of Activity: European Court of Human Rights. Some Facts and Figures’, 2010166Source: ECtHR, ‘50 Years of Activity: European Court of HumanRights. Some Facts and Figures’, 2010166areasonabletime.Indeed,unduedelaysinthe theirterritories.InCyprus,forinstance,courtusersproceedingsaccountformorejudgmentsofthe incivilcaseswill,duetothelengthofproceedingsECtHRthananyotherissuescoveredbyother inthevastmajorityofcases,ratherreachanout-ofECHRArticles.Intheperiod1959–2009,theECtHR courtsettlement.Asaresult,onlyveryfewcivilcaseshandeddownmorethan12,000judgmentsfinding aredecidedbytheCypriotcourts.Inthisrespect,itisviolations,ofwhichmorethanonequarterconcerned alsointerestingtonotethatinsomeMemberStates,theexcessivelengthofproceedings(acrossthe, therearestrongregionaldifferenceswhenitcomestobynow,47StateParties).167Figure5indicatesthe theaveragelengthofcivilproceedings.IntheCzechtotalnumberofECtHR’sjudgmentsfindingviolation Republic,forexample,whereaconsiderablelengthoftherighttoahearingwithinareasonabletime ofproceedingsissuggestedtobede-motivatingforasapercentageofallECtHR’sviolationjudgments victimsofdiscrimination,theaveragedurationofcivilagainsttherespectivepresent27EUMember proceedingscantakeseveralyearsinoneregion,yetStatesintheperiod1959-2009.168Accordingto onlyafewmonthsinanother.170Figure5,morethan95%ofalljudgmentsagainstSloveniaconcernedviolationofArticle6ECHRdue AcrosstheEU-27,theproceduresinnon-discriminationtounduedelaysinproceedings,inHungaryitwas cases,asforcivilcasesingeneral,arelengthyformorethan80%andinSlovakiamorethan75%. variousreasons.Themostcommonlyidentifiedin theresearchstudiesincludeexcessiveworkloadandAsshownpreviouslyinFigure4,intenofthe insufficientnumberofjudges;inefficientorganisation27 MemberStates,findingssuggestthatproblems ofcourtwork;excessivedelaysbetweenthewithdelaysinjudicialproceedingswereofasystemic handingdownofajudgmentanditsnotificationtonature.169Structuralproblemsrelatingtoexcessive thepartiesaswellasdelaysbetweenindividuallengthofjudicialproceedingshaveresultedinahigh hearings;lackofcommunicationbetweenjudgesnumberofviolationsofArticle6ECHRandtheyoftenrepresentthemostsignificantobstaclesindividualsfacefromthepointofviewofaccesstojusticein 170On1May2009thePolishPresidentsignedalawamendingthe Lawof17June2004oncomplaintsaboutabreachoftherightto atrialwithinareasonabletime.Theamendmentprovidesthatin166Availableat:www.echr.coe.int/NR/rdonlyres/ACD46A0F-615A- theeventofexcessivelengthofdetention,thecourtisrequired 48B9-89D6-8480AFCC29FD/0/FactsAndFiguresENAvril2010.pdf. toawardanappropriatesumofmoney(“odpowiedniasuma167SeeECtHR(2010)50 Years of Activity: European Court of Human pieniężna”)rangingfromPLN2,000(approximately€500)toPLN Rights. Some Facts and Figures,Strasbourg:ECtHR,availableat: 20,000(approximately€5,000).TheFinnishParliamentlikewise www.echr.coe.int/NR/rdonlyres/ACD46A0F-615A-48B9-89D6- adoptedabillforanActintheCompensationforExcessively 8480AFCC29FD/0/FactsAndFiguresENAvril2010.pdf. LongTrialProceedings.TheActenteredintoforce1January2010.168Notethatthatdatausedconcernsbothcivilandcriminal Itawardsdamagesforpartiestotheexcessivelylongtrials.The proceedings. lawisapplicabletocivilandcriminalproceedingsandpetitionsin169Thefindingsarehoweveronlyveryindicativeasagreatmajority ordinarycourtsbutnottoextendedadministrativeproceedings ofnationalresearchteamsexplicitlyacknowledgedthelackof orproceedingsinspecialcourts.Thebillisbeingmotivatedbya empiricaldataduetonon-existenceofrelevantdatabases seriesofECtHRrulingsagainstFinlandforlengthofproceedings and statistics. (violationofArticle6(1)oftheECHR). 41
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities andpartiestotheproceedings;andtherigidityof 3.1.4. Legal costs proceduralrules,includingrulesofevidence. AsindicatedinFigure4,ineightEUMemberStates thefindingssuggestthatthehighamountoflegal InLatvia,thefindingsspecificallyunderscoredthe costs,whichmainlyincludesattorneyandcourtfees, impactofeconomiccrisesontheaveragelengthof oftenpreventsaccesstojustice.171Theanalysisof proceedings.Thedelaysinproceedingshavebeen relevantcaselawofthesestateshasindeedshown causedbytheincreaseofnumberofcasesdueto thatthefearofincurringcostscanturnouttobea socioeconomicreasonsandinsufficientcapacityof significantfactordeterminingwhether(ortowhat thecourtstoprocesscasesduetobudgetcuts. extent)avictimdecidestopursuejustice,especially giventheprevalenceofthelooser-paysruleinthe EU,whichimpliesthatthelosingpartywillpaythe winningparty’scosts.172Forthisreason,somenational Expedited types of procedures courtsareleftwithacertainleewayindeciding whetherornottoorderthepaymentoflegalcosts. Inordertomakeproceedingsinequalpayclaims Dependingontheindividual’sfinancialsituationas speedier,theUnited Kingdomintroducedtwo wellasthemeritsofthedispute,theymaydecideto specificprocedures:theequalvaluedispute procedureandthequestionnaireprocedure.In completelyorpartiallyrelieveapartyfromlegalcosts. the‘averagestraightforwardcase’,thetimetable Inaddition,thepersonmayreceiveothertypesof envisagesthatclaimsnotinvolvinganindependent legalaidfromthestate,suchastheappointmentof expertshouldtakenomorethan25weeksfrom a lawyerforrepresentationinthejudicialproceedings. presentationoftheclaimtofullhearing.Cases involvinganindependentexpertareexpected IntheNetherlands,theso-calledLiquidation totake37weeks.Anothertypeofexpedited RatearrangementexistsbetweentheDutchBar discriminationprocedureintheUnitedKingdomis Associationandthejudiciarybasedonfixedrates theso-calledquestionnaireprocedure.Thistypeof subjectto,ontheonehand,theinterestinvolved procedureisaimedathelpingclaimantsdiscover thereasonsforthetreatmentofwhichtheyseekto inthecaseand,ontheotherhand,thenumber complainandassisttheminestablishingwhether andnatureofactivities.Thismeansthatthecosts theyhavebeendiscriminatedagainst.Thistype cannotrisetoohighincaseofapartyemployingan ofprocedureisdesignedtohelpaclaimantdecide excessivelyexpensivelawyeroraninexperienced whethertomakeacomplaintandhowtoformulate lawyerwhochargesfortoomanyhours.According andpresentacasemosteffectively. totheDutchnationalteam,withouttheLiquidation In Belgium,thenon-discriminationlegislation Rateinstrument,thecaselawoflowercourtswould providesforinjunctionproceduresinurgentcases. probablydivergesubstantially.Inthisrespect,this Thedurationoftheseprocedures,inwhichthe instrumentofthejudiciarymayprevent(toacertain presidentofacourtcanestablishandorderthe extent)inequalitiesandprovideforlegalcertainty. cessationofaviolationwhenaggrievedparties lodgeaninjunctionaction(action en cessation), InCyprus,ifaclientisnotsatisfiedwiththebill allegingdiscriminationandordercoercivefines renderedbyhisorherlawyer,sheorhemayapply incasetheviolationisnotterminated,hasoften onlybeenamatterofdays. totheCourtsRegistrartohavethebillreduced.The Registrarwillexercisehis/herdiscretiononwhether In Hungary,non-discriminationlegislationsets toreducethebillornotbytakingintoconsideration outthatshallbereachedinafasttrackprocedure, andatmostwithin45daysfromsubmittingthe applicationorfrominitiatingtheprocedure,where 171 IntheUnitedKingdom,forinstance,LordJusticeJacksonwas (i)theclientisaminor;(ii)theprocedurewas appointedtoleadafundamentalreviewoftherulesand initiatedbyaParliamentaryCommissioner;or(iii) principlesgoverningthecostsofcivillitigationandtomake theprocedurewasinitiatedbythepublicprosecutor. recommendationsinordertopromoteaccesstojusticeat proportionatecostinNovember2008.Inhisfindings,which InAustria,theCivilProcedureCodeprovidesfor werepublishedinJanuary2010,hestatedthat“insomeareasof civillitigationcostsaredisproportionateandimpedeaccessto anexpeditedprocedureforcivilsuitsregarding justice”,moreinformationavailableat:www.judiciary.gov.uk/ pecuniaryclaimsnotexceeding€75,000.The NR/rdonlyres/8EB9F3F3-9C4A-4139-8A93-56F09672EB6A/0/ courtwillordertherespondenttopaywithin14 jacksonfinalreport140110.pdf.SeealsoECtHR,Marina v. Lativa, dayswithoutconductinganoralhearing.The No.46040/07,26October2010,inwhichitwasheldthatthe requirementtopayfeestocivilcourtsatthetimeofbringinga respondentcanobjecttotheorderwithinfour claimcouldnotberegardedasarestrictionontherightofaccess weeks.Incaseofobjection,thecourtmustcallfor tocourtincompatiblepersewithArticle6ECHR,providedthat ahearing.Thislong-establishednationalsystem theveryessenceoftherightofaccesstocourtwasnotimpaired. Inthisrespect,restrictionsofapurelyfinancialnaturewhichhad operatessimilarlytotheEuropeanorderfor beencompletelyunrelatedtotheprospectsofsuccessofthe paymentprocedurecreatedbyRegulation(EC)No claimhadtobesubjectedtoaparticularlyrigorousscrutinyfrom 1896/2006of12December2006. thepointofviewoftheinterestsofjustice. 172 Forfurtheranalysisofloser-paysrule,seesection5.3onrules relatingtothepaymentoflegalcosts.42
  • Accessingjusticeatnationallevel allrelevantcircumstancesandespeciallythe InBulgaria,forinstance,anapplicationincivilcomplexity,difficultyornoveltyofthecase,the caseshastobelodgedinwritingandcontainthespecialisedknowledgeandresponsibilityrequiredas followinginformation:specificationofthecourt,wellastimeconsumedbythelawyer,thevolumeof thenameandotherdetailsoftheapplicant,thedocumentsdrafted,theurgencyandimportanceof fullnameandaddressoftherespondent,thethemattertotheclientandthevalueofthemoney essenceoftheviolation,subjectofthedisputeandorpropertyatstake. signatureofthepersonwholodgestheapplication. Intheapplication,furthermore,theapplicantis obligedtospecifytheevidencewhichheorshe Effective remedy – legal costs wantstohavecollectedandtopresentthewritten Theapplicanthadinstitutedproceedings evidencethatheorshepossesses.Iftheapplication againstthestatefordamagescausedby doesnotcontaintherequiredinformationorisnot unjustifiedpre-trialdetention.Thedomestic presentedinarequiredform,itmaygetrejected courtsawardedthedamagesbutthecourt withoutacourtexaminingthemeritsofthecase. feesamountedtoapproximately90%ofthe compensation.TheECtHRheldthattheimposition IntheNetherlands,therelevantstatutorylaw ofaconsiderablefinancialburdendueafter distinguishesbetweenthepetitionprocedure theconclusionoftheproceedingsactedasa restrictionontherightofaccesstocourt. (verzoekschriftprocedure)andthesummonsprocedure (dagvaardingsprocedure).Inprinciple,claimsrelating Asaresultofthisjudgmentandothersimilar topropertyrightsaredealtwithinthepetition cases,anewlowfixedfeewasintroduced procedurewhilealltheotherclaimsareaddressed asopposedtothepreviousformulabased inthesummonsprocedure.Asforpetitions,they onapercentageofthedamages. needtocontainobligatoryinformation,suchas (ECtHR, Stankov v. Bulgaria, nameanddomicileofbothclaimantanddefendant, No. 68490/01,12October2007) claimandmotivationthereof,designatedcourt ortribunal,and,ifacourtsessiontakesplace, furtherdetailssuchasthedateandtimeofthat session,meansofevidence.Petitionsshouldbe Effective remedy – legal costs issuedbyabailiff(deurwaarder)inaspecificway asprescribedbylaw.Summonsesareformalisedto TheapplicantsuedthemunicipalityofPłockfor alesserextent.Flawsinthesedocumentsmaybe failuretoissueanadministrativedecision,which sanctioned.Inaddition,insomecases,theDutch resultedinhiseconomicloss.Heappliedforan exemptionfromcourtfees.Thecourtrefused lawprovidesforobligatorypreliminaryprocedures. toaccepttheapplicant’sargumentthathewas Thismayincludeobligationsfordeliberationwith unabletopaythecourtfees,butreducedthe thedefendant.Suchprovisionsaimtoenhance amounttotheaverageannualsalaryinthe friendlysettlementofdisputes.Estonianjudgeswill country.Fortheapplicantthesumwasstill likewiserefuseacomplaintifapersonhasnotmet substantialandhedidnotpaythefees.The themandatorypre-trialprocedurerequirements. proceedingswereforthisreasondiscontinued andhiscasewasnotheard.TheECtHRfound 3.1.6. complexity of legislation aviolationofArticle6ECHRandtherulinglead tochangesintheCourtFeesActtomakethe InAustria,thecomplexityofalegalframework feesystemmoreefficientandtransparent. scatteredinseverallawsseemstoposeundue (ECtHR, Kreuz v. Poland, difficultiestothosewhowishtoaccessnon- No. 28249/95,19June2001) discriminationprocedures. InPoland,thereisequallynosinglelawonnon- discriminationcomprisingageneralbanon3.1.5. procedural formalities discriminationonallgroundsandprovisionsareInsixoftheEUMemberStatestheresearch scatteredacrossmanydifferentpiecesoflegislation.suggeststhatsomespecificproceduralformalities Whencombinedwiththelackoflegalawarenessandrequirementsintheirnationallegislation andexistinggapsinlegislation,theycreateaseriouslimitaccesstojustice.Theserequirements obstacletoaccesstojustice.relatetotheformorcontentofintroductorydocumentswithwhichanindividualinitiates IntheCzechRepublic,thepositionofthecourtsproceedingsand/ortospecificpre-trial AntidiscriminationActinrelationtootherlawsthatproceduralstepswhicheachindividualisobliged alsoincludesprovisionsondiscriminationappearstoundertakebeforeapproachingthecourt. tobeunclear.EventhoughtheAntidiscrimination 43
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities Figure 6: possibility of waiving the right of access to a judicial body in Eu Member states N  orelevantdata/very MemberStatesinwhichtherightof specificregimes accesstoajudicialbodycanbewaived 7 7 13 MemberStatesinwhichtherightofaccess toajudicialbodycannotbewaived Source: FRA, 2010 Actissupposedtoconstitutetheoverarching 3.2.1. waiving access legislation(lex generalis),itamendsonlysome AccordingtoECtHRcaselawitwouldappearthat ofthelawscontainingspecialprovisionson itispossibleinprincipletowaive,atleastinpart, discriminationwhileotherrelevantlawsremaining therightofaccesstoajudicialbodythrough,for unchanged.Thustherecontinuestobelackof instance,anarbitrationclauseinacontract.174 clarityonprovisionsofthevariouslaws,which Italsoappearspermissibleinprincipletowaive produceslegaluncertainty,potentiallyhampering therightofaccesstoacourtthroughagreement theaccesstocourtsindiscriminationcases. ofafriendlysettlementatthenationallevel,so longastherearenoelementsofcoercion.175 3.2. Alternatives OnthebasisoftheanalysisoftheFRA(Figure6),it Havinganalysedrulesandpracticessurrounding wouldappearthatitispossibletowaive,although accesstocourts,thefollowingtwosectionsexamine notcompletely,therightofaccesstoajudicialbody alternativestojudicialroutes.Althoughtherightto insevenEUMemberStates.176IntheseMember initiateproceedingsbeforeacivilcourtisconsidered Statesitappearspermissibleinprincipletowaive instrumentaltoeffectiveaccesstojustice,there therightofaccesstoacourtthrough,forinstance, maybecaseswhenanindividualmaywanttoavoid agreementofafriendlysettlementoranarbitration judicialproceedingswhichareoftenoverlyformal, ormediationclauseinacontract.Eveninthesecases, expensiveortoolengthy.Victimsofdiscrimination however,cautionisexercisedbynationalcourtsin maydosobywaivingtheirrighttobringacasebefore assessingtheacceptabilityofwaiverofrightsand acivilcourt.Ratherthanseekingredressbefore suchwaiverwillberegardedaslegallyvalidonlyso thecourt,furthermore,victimsofdiscrimination longastherearenoelementsofcoercioninvolved. maydecidetoinitiateproceedingsbeforeanon- judicialbody.TheRacialEqualityDirective(Article7), Thenationaldiscriminationlawsof13EUMember EmploymentEqualityDirective(Article9),Gender States,ontheotherhand,donotprovideavictim EqualityDirective(recast)(Article17)andGender ofdiscriminationwithapossibilitytowaivehis/ GoodsandServicesDirective(Article8)allowMember herrighttoaccesstoajudicialbody.Therelevant Statestoprovideforconciliationormediationasa legislativeprovisionsratherstatethatacontractual meansforindividualstoobtainredressforabreach oftheirrights.Itshouldberecalled,however,that theseinstrumentsalsorequireanyremedyto 174ECtHR,Stran Greek Refineries and Stratis Andreadis v. Greece, No. 13427/78,9December1994,paragraphs 44-45;ECtHR,Regent beeffective,proportionateanddissuasive.173 Company v. Ukraine,No.773/03,3April2008,paragraphs 51-61. 175 ECtHR,Popov v. Moldova,No.74153/01,18January2005, paragraph 48. 176ItshouldbenotedthatspecificexceptionsexistinvariousEU MemberStates(especiallywithrespecttoemploymentdisputes) and,asaresult,generalisationwasrequiredtodetermineinwhich 173 RacialEqualityDirective,Article15;GenderEqualityDirective categorytoplaceaMemberState.Furthermore,in7EUMember (recast),Article25;GenderGoodsandServicesDirective, Stateseitherparticularlyspecificregimesexistornosufficientdata Article 14;EmploymentEqualityDirective,Article17. isavailabletobeabletoclassifyagivenMemberState.44
  • Accessingjusticeatnationallevel Figure 7: possibility of accessing non-judicial procedures in Eu Member statesMemberStateswhichprovide MemberStateswhichprovideforforaccesstojudicialaswell 13 14 accesstojudicialauthoritiesonlyasnon-judicialauthoritiesSource: FRA, 2010termthatpurportstoexcludeorlimitanindividual’s tovictimsofdiscriminationthancourts.Non-judicialrighttoaccessacourtshallbeunenforceable. proceduresareusuallyseenascomplementaryto otherlegalremediesandaregenerallysubjectto3.2.2. Access to non-judicial procedures judicialsupervision.BoththeCJEUandtheECtHRacceptthevalidity Mediationofnon-judicialdisputemechanismssolongasthedecisionsofsuchbodiesmayultimatelybe Asnotedabove,theRacialEqualityDirective,Gendersupervisedbyajudicialbody(whichitselfconforms GoodsandServicesDirective,GenderEqualitytotherequirementsofArticle6ECHR),andsolong DirectiveandEmploymentEqualityDirectiveallowasthealternativemechanismsthemselvesconform theMemberStatestoprovidearemedyforbreachoftogeneralrequirementsoffairness.177Thesecriteria non-discriminationlawnotonlythroughthecourts,offairnessarenotasrigorousasthoseapplyingto butalsothroughconciliationormediation.MediationjudicialproceedingsunderArticle6ECHR.Thecase- hastheadvantageofavoidingthelegalcostsandlawincludesthefollowingstipulationsconcerning delaysassociatedwithjudicialproceedingsaswellnon-judicialproceedings:theindependenceandlack astheconflictandpolarisationthatmayariseduringofbiasofthebodyorofficialinquestion,theabilityof disputesettlementmechanismsingeneral.However,theapplicanttopresentandcontestevidence,andthe itisalsoessentialthatthesettlementsachievedabilityofthatbodytotakealegallybindingdecision.178 reflecttheoutcomesavailablethroughregular disputesettlementchannelsandthattheinterestsAsreflectedinFigure7,in14EUMemberStates, ofthevictimareadequatelyprotected.Insomevictimsofdiscriminationhaveapossibilitytoaccess MemberStatesitisobligatorytoattemptmediationnon-judicialproceduresinordertoobtainredress.179 beforeproceedingtothetrialphaseofadispute.ForTheadvantagesoftheseproceduresarethattheyare exampleinFrance,PortugalandSpainmediationisusuallyfreeofcharge,simplerandmoreaccessible mandatorypartofcourtproceedings,whileinHungary andSlovakiatheyaremandatorybutseparatefrom177ECtHR,Peck v. the United Kingdom,No.44647/98,28 January 2003, courtproceedings.180Theinvolvementofequality paragraph 109.178SeeforexampleCJEU,Evans,C-63/01,4December2003, bodiesmayrangefromdirectlyofferingmediation paragraphs 48-58;ECtHR,Silver v. the United Kingdom, services,tosimplyreferringcasestoathirdparty No. 5947/72,25March1983,paragraph 116;ECtHR,Campbell and mediator.Whereequalitybodiesaredirectlyinvolved Fell v. United Kingdom,Nos.7819/77and7878/77,28June1984, paragraph 126. inmediation,orwheresettlementsreachedmust179Itshouldbenotedthatthisfigurecoversonlythoseequality beapprovedbytheequalitybody,thismayserve orothernon-judicialbodieswhichhavepowertoinvestigate suspectedactsofunlawfuldiscriminationand,atthesame toensurethatthevictims’interestsareadequately time,arecompetenttoresolvecomplaintsbetweenprivate protected,soastoensurethattheyreceivean individual,havepowertodeliverlegallybindingdecisionsand imposesanctions.InthisrespectseealsoFRA(2010)National Human Rights Institutions in the EU Member States,Luxembourg: PublicationsOffice,Thereportaddressestheissueofdata 180Chopin,I.andGounari,E.N.(2009)Developing anti-discrimination protectionauthorities,equalitybodies,andnationalhumanrights law in Europe. The 27 EU Member States compared,report institutions,whichconstituteacornerstoneinthefundamental preparedfortheEuropeanNetworkofLegalExpertsinthenon- rightsarchitectureintheEU. discriminationfield,Luxembourg:PublicationsOffice,p. 58. 45
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities effective,andproportionateremedywhichisalsohas ThedecisionoftherespectiveEqualTreatment adissuasiveeffectontheperpetrator.181 Commissionisalegalexpertopinionfocusingonthe questionofwhetherdiscriminationoccurred.The Quasi-judicial mechanisms decisionthencanbeusedinasubsequentcourtcase toobtaincompensation,eventhoughthecourtisnot Inthecontextofnon-discriminationlawtheprinciple obligedtofollowit.Itappearsthatinpracticeitisnot alternativedisputesettlementmechanismsoperate commonforcourtcasestobebroughtsubsequently throughtheequalitybodiesdesignatedbythe totheissuingofadecisionbytheEqualTreatment MemberStatesundertheGenderEqualityand Commission.Aconsequenceofthisphenomenon RacialEqualityDirectives.WhileMemberStatesare inboththeseMemberStatesisthatcompensation notobligedtoendowthesebodieswithaquasi- awardsconcerningdiscriminationarerelativelyrare. judicialrole,someofthemhavechosentodoso. Thepowersoftheseinstitutionsarenotidentical inallcountries.DecisionsoftheBulgarianequality 3.3. summary body(PADC),theHungarianEqualityAuthorityorthe Section3.1providedacomparativeanalysisofthe Romanianequalitybody(NCCD)arelegallybinding mainlimitsthathavethepotentialtoundermine andwheretheymakeafindingofdiscrimination, victims’rightofaccesstoacourt.Thelimits theycanorderthatdiscriminatoryactionbeceased wereexaminedunderthefollowingheadings: aswellasimposeafine.Inallthesecountries, (i)timelimits;(ii)legalstanding;(iii)length finesoftheequalitybodyareinpracticethemost ofproceedings;(iv)legalcosts;(v)procedural likelysanctionsincasesofdiscrimination. formalitiesandrequirements;and(vi)complexity oflegislation.Asregardstheissueoftimelimits InRomania,furthermore,thevictimofdiscrimination (i.e.statutorylimitationsforbringingaclaim)it canchoosebetweenlodgingacomplaintwiththe ismostcommonlyreferredtoin22EUMember NCCDwhichcanissueadministrativesanctions: States,andcomplexityoflegislationisregarded administrativewarningsandfines,or/andfilingacivil asarestrictiononlyinfiveEUMemberStates. complaintbeforethecourtwhichcanawardmoraland pecuniarydamages,orre-establishthestatusquoante Section3.2examinedpossiblealternativesto or,nullifythesituationestablishedasaresultofthe courtproceedingsthatareavailabletovictimsof discrimination,accordingtocivillaw.Thecourtscan discrimination.Fromwhathasbeenstatedabove, alsodecidethatthepublicauthoritieswillwithdrawor itfollowsthatvictimsofdiscriminationmaydecide suspendtheofficialrecognitionoflegalpersonsthat towaive,firstofall,theirrightofaccesstoajudicial causedsignificantdamageasaresultofdiscriminatory bodythrough,forinstance,anarbitrationclauseina actionorthatrepeatedlyinfringedtheprovisionsof contractoranagreementofafriendlysettlement,so anti-discriminationlegislation.Thetwoavenuesarenot longastherearenoelementsofcoercion(inseven mutuallyexclusiveandtheplaintiffcanchoosetouse EUMemberStates).Secondly,inmanyEUMember themsimultaneouslyoronlyoneofthem. States(13),itislikewiseopentothevictimstoinitiate proceedingsbeforeanon-judicial(equality)body. InAustriaandtheNetherlands,thedecisionsofthe Thepowersofequalitybodiestoissuelegallybinding respectiveEqualTreatmentCommissionsarenot decisionsimposefinesorinitiatecourtproceedings legallybindingandcannotincludeafineorother arenotidenticalinallMemberStates.Ingeneral, sanction.IntheNetherlands,althoughclaimants non-judicialremediesmaybeconsideredtoform mayaskforacourtorderforcompensationorother partoftherightofaccesstojusticeinsofarasthese formsofsanctionsafteranopinionoftheDutch contributetotheexistenceofaneffectiveremedy. EqualTreatmentCommission(CGB),mostofthem Nonetheless,theirroleisseenascomplementary donotdoso.182InAustria,thesituationissimilar. inthattherighttoafairtrialwillnotbedeemed satisfiedunlessthenon-judicialmechanism canbesubjecttoreviewbyajudicialbody. 181 SeeFRA(2010)The Racial Equality Directive: application and challenges,Luxembourg:PublicationsOffice. 182TheCGBappliesanactivefollow-uppolicy.Inrelevant caseswherediscriminationhasbeenestablished,theCGB communicateswiththepetitionerandthereferringparty (employer,serviceprovider).Theobjectiveistoascertainthat thereferringpartyappliestheopinionbytakingindividualor structuralmeasurestoredressthediscrimination.Asdescribed aboveinparagraph[24],the‘successrate’ishigh:inaround 70 %ofall(relevant)cases,thereferringpartyappliesmeasures. Incasesrelatingtoracethepercentageisevenhigher:86%. SeeCommissiegelijkebehandeling(2005)Het verschil gemaakt: evaluatie AWGB en werkzaamheden CGB 1999-2004,Utrecht:CGB, pp. 77-84.46
  • 4 Legal aid at national levelArticle47CFRstatesthat“legalaidshallbemade Itbaseditsreasoningonthefactthattheapplicantavailabletothosewholacksufficientresourcesin wasdestitute(therebyqualifyingforawaiverofcourtsofarassuchaidisnecessarytoensureeffective fees)andthatthenationalcourthadnotjustifiedaccesstojustice.”Thus,denialoflegalaidmay itsrefusal.185Asimilarlyexceptionalcasecanbeconstituteaviolationofthefundamentalrightof noted,wheretheapplicantsweredefendingalong,accessingjusticeifthelackoflegalaidmaylead, complicatedcaseandthepossibilityofasubstantialforexample,toaninequalityofarms,whichwould orderofdamagesagainstthemmeantthatlegalcreateasubstantialdisadvantagefortheindividual. aidshouldbeavailable.186Thusitseemsthatwhile thereisnorighttolegalaidincivilproceedings,Initscaselaw,theECtHRnotedthatthestatemust therewillbecircumstanceswheretheinterests“displaydiligencesoastosecuretothosepersons ofaccesstojusticerequirethatitbegranted.187thegenuineandeffectiveenjoymentoftherightsguaranteedunderArticle6”.183Inthecaseof Council of Europe agreement on legal aidMiroslaw Orzechowski v. PolandtheECtHRfoundthatthedecisiontorefuselegalaid“infringedthevery FortheCouncilofEurope,theEuropeanessence”oftheapplicants’righttoaccessthecourts. AgreementontheTransmissionofApplications forLegalAidwasadoptedin1977188underthe aegisoftheCouncilofEurope.AllEUMember Legal Aid Directive States,withtheexceptionofGermany,are partytoit.TheAgreementintroducesa TheLegalAidDirectiveaimstoimprovecross- procedurewhereby,ifanindividualhashisor borderaccesstojusticewithintheEU.184The herhabitualresidenceintheterritoryofoneof directiveestablishestheprinciplethatpersons theContractingPartiesandwishestoapplyfor whodonothavesufficientresourcestodefend legalaidintheterritoryofanotherContracting theirrightsinlawareentitledtoreceive Party,heorshemaysubmitanapplicationin appropriatelegalaid.Itlaysdowntheservices thestatewhereheorsheishabituallyresident. thatmustbeprovidedforthelegalaidtobe Thatstatewilltransmittheapplicationtothe consideredappropriate:accesstopre-litigation otherstateunlesssuchapplicationappears advice,legalassistanceandrepresentationin tobemanifestlynotmadeingoodfaith. courtandexemptionfrom,orassistancewith,the costofproceedings,includingthecostsconnected withthecross-bordernatureofthecase. 185Ibid.,paragraphs21-22. 186ECtHR,Steel & Morris v. the United Kingdom,No.68416/01, 15 February2005. 187However,theStrasbourgjurisprudencehasacceptedcertain183ECtHR,Miroslaw Orzechowski v. Poland,No.13526/07, limitationstothedistributionoflegalaidasproportionatein 13 January 2009,paragraph20. pursuingthelegitimateaimofensuringthatpublicfundsareused184EuropeanUnion,theCouncilDirective2002/8/ECwasadopted appropriately.First,thatitisreasonabletoimposeconditionson inordertoestablishminimumstandardsensuringanadequate theavailabilityoflegalaiddependingonthefinancialsituationof leveloflegalaidincross-bordercaseson27January2003 thelitigant.Secondly,itwasacknowledgedthattheprospectsof (see n. 45above).Forfurtherinformation,see:http://ec.europa. successofthelitigationcanbetakenintoaccountwhenthecase eu/civiljustice/legal_aid/legal_aid_ec_en.htmandalsothe isbroughtbeforeacourt.See,forinstance,ECtHR,Airey v. Ireland e-Justiceportal,availableat:https://e-justice.europa.eu/home. (n.16),orECtHR,Munro v. the United Kingdom,No.10594/83, do?action.Althoughnotcomprehensivefromacomparativepoint 14July1987. ofview,thiswebsitesareavaluablesourceofinformationon 188Forfurtherinformationseewww.conventions.coe.int/Treaty/ legalaidsystemsthatexistinindividualEUMemberStates. EN/Treaties/Html/092.htm. 47
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities AllEUMemberStateshaveestablishedsomekind Legal aid – mental health problems oflegalaidsystemsinordertoensureeffective Theapplicant,whoexperiencedmentalhealth accesstojusticeforindividualsregardlessofincome problems,wasinvolvedincivilproceedings.Even andwealth.Theresearchforthisreportdealtwitha thoughtheapplicantrepeatedlyreferredtolow seriesofissuesrelatingtothenatureandscopeof incomeandlackoflegalexpertiseandrequested legalaidavailableandtheconditionsforentitlement. legalassistancebeforetwocourtinstances, Theoverviewofthefindingsisprovidedintwo thiswasrejectedsincethelawatthistimedid separatesectionsbelow.Inaddition,researchfrom notprovidefreelegalaidincivilproceedings. someMemberStatesshowedvariousschemes Theapplicantlostthecaseinnationalcourts thatcomplementthestateaidsystems;thisissue andlodgedanapplicationwiththeECtHR. willbetoucheduponinsection4.3below. Giventheimportanceoftheoutcomeofthecase, aswellasthecomplexityoftheprocedures, theprincipleoftheequalityofarms,andthe Legal aid initiatives at international level mentalhealthproblemsoftheapplicant,the ECtHRconcludedthatlegalaidwasrequiredand Attheinternationallevel,theConventionon consequentlyfoundaviolationofArticle6(1). InternationalAccesstoJusticeof1980alsomakes provisionsforthetransmissionofapplications (ECtHR,Nenov v. Bulgaria,No.33738/02, forlegalaidbetweentheContractingParties 16 July 2009) intheformofacommonlyagreedmodel.189 ThisConventionrequiresthatnationalsand residentsoftheContractingPartiesbegranted legalaidinotherContractingStatesunderthe Legal aid – effective representation sameconditionsasiftheyresidedthere.The Conventionlikewiseestablishestheentitlement Theapplicantsintwocasesclaimedthatthe ofallsuchpersons,whenpursuingtheir lawyersappointedunderthelegalaidscheme proceedingsinanyotherContractingStates,to failedtotakethenecessarystepstorepresent freeserviceofdocuments,lettersofrequest theirinterestseffectively.Accordingtothe andsocialenquiryreports,andtolegalaidto CodeofCivilProcedurelegalrepresentation securetherecognitionandenforcementofthe wasmandatoryincaseofacassationappealto decisionobtained.190Thepresentscopeofthe theSupremeCourtagainstajudgmentofthe Conventionremainsratherlimitedasithasso appellatecourt.Theappointedlawyersrefusedto farbeenratifiedonlyby19EUMemberStates191 lodgeacassationappealarguingthattherewas and,assuch,doesnotguaranteereal‘universal’ noprospectofsuccess.However,theapplicants accesstojusticeattheinternationallevel.192 wereinformedabouttherefusalleaving insufficienttimebeforethedeadlineforlodging theappeal,makinganalternativeimpossible. Themererefusalofalegal-aidlawyertoprepare acassationappealdoesnotconstituteasufficient groundforanewlawyertobeautomatically assignedtothecaseunderthelegal-aidscheme. However,refusalofalegal-aidlawyertoprepare andlodgeacassationappealshouldmeetcertain qualityrequirements,includingawrittenformat andwithinareasonabletime. TheECtHRfoundaviolationofArticle6ECHR.As aresultofthejudgment,PolishBarAssociation andtheNationalBarofLegalAdvisorsintroduced newethicalrequirementsforlawyerspreparing cassationappeals. 189Forfurtherinformation,seewww.hcch.net/index_ (ECtHR,Staroszczyk v. Poland,No.59519/00, en.php?act=conventions.text&cid=91. 190Forfurtherdetailsontheseandotherprovisions,see Siałkowska v. Poland,No.8932/05and59519/00, www.hcch.net/upload/outline29e.pdf. 22March2007) 191 ThefollowingEUMemberStatesratifiedthisConvention:Bulgaria, Cyprus,theCzechRepublic,Estonia,Finland,France,Germany, Greece,Italy,Latvia,Lithuania,Luxembourg,theNetherlands, Poland,Romania,Slovakia,Slovenia,SpainandSweden.Forthe officialchartofsignaturesandratifications,see:www.hcch.net/ index_en.php?act=conventions.status&cid=91. 192In2008,thePermanentBureauoftheHagueConferenceon PrivateInternationalLawdrewupaQuestionnaireaimedat evaluatingthepracticaloperationoftheHagueConventionof 25October1980onInternationalAccesstoJustice;acomparative synthesisandanalysisoftheresponsesreceivedisavailableat: www.hcch.e-vision.nl/upload/wop/2008pd15e.pdf.48
  • Legalaidatnationallevel Figure 8: Availability of legal aid in Eu Member states Assistancewithlegalcostsonly 1 26 Legalrepresentationonly 6 21 Bothlegalrepresentationand assistancewithlegalcosts 20 7 MemberStatesinwhichtherelevantformofaidexists MemberStatesinwhichtherelevantformofaiddoesnotexistSource: FRA, 2010 theformer,applicantsarerequiredtocontribute4.1. nature and scope towardscostsandtheamountofsuchcontribution of legal aid usuallydependsontheindividual’sincome.Insome countries,suchasIreland,thelawprovidesforanEssentially,therearetwocomplementaryformsof obligatoryminimumwhichanindividualalwayshaslegalaid:193(i)exemptionfromorassistancewith topayinordertobeprovidedwithlegaladvice.198allorpartofthecourtfees;and/or(ii)assistanceofalawyerwhoprovidespre-litigationadvice194 Finally,inmostMemberStates,thefactthatlegalaidandrepresentsanindividualincourteitherfree hasbeenprovideddoesnotremovetheconsiderableorforasubsidisedfee.Figure8summarisesthe riskofbeingobligedtopaythelitigationcostsofstudies’findingswithrespecttothequestion theopposingpartyincaseoflosingthecase.199whetherthereislegalaidavailabletoindividualswholacksufficientfundsinMemberStates ThelegalaidsystemsofEUMemberStatesworkinandwhatformssuchlegalaidmaytake.195 avarietyofways.InLithuania,legalaidisdivided into‘primary’and‘secondary’legalaid.PrimaryAsshowninFigure8,themajorityofMember legalaidreferstotheprovisionoflegalinformation,States(20)provideindividualswithbothformsof legaladviceanddraftingofthedocumentstobelegalaid:legalrepresentationandassistancewith submittedtostateandmunicipalauthorities,withcourtcosts(fees).196InsixMemberStates,legal theexceptionofproceduraldocuments.Thislegalaidtakestheformoffreelegalrepresentation.197 aidalsocoversadviceontheout-of-courtsettlement ofadispute,actionsfortheamicablesettlementofRegardingtheextenttowhichlegalaidcanbe adisputeanddraftingofasettlementagreement.madeavailable,thelegalaidsystemsofmost Secondarylegalaidincludesdraftingofdocuments,MemberStatesarebasedonstate‘contributions’ defenceandrepresentationincourt,includingtheasopposedto‘statepaysall’funding.Incaseof processofexecution,representationintheeventof preliminaryextrajudicialconsiderationofadispute,193Thetermlegalaidisusedtoencompassboththeconceptoffree wheresuchaprocedurehasbeenlaiddownbylaws legalrepresentationaswellasassistancewithcourtcosts(fees).194NotethatnotallMemberStateshavethesystemenablingthe orbyacourtdecision.Thislegalaidshallalsocover legalassistancetobeprovidedalreadyatpre-trialstage(suchas thelitigationcostsincurredincivilproceedings,the apre-litigationadvice). costsincurredinadministrativeproceedingsandthe195Thecasesinwhichfinancialassistancewasprovidedonlyin ordertocoverthecostsoflegalrepresentationwereclassified costsrelatedtothehearingofacivilactionbrought undertheheading“legalrepresentationonly”.Thecasesinwhich inacriminalcase.Thestateguaranteesandcovers financialassistancewasprovidedinordertocoverthecostsof legalrepresentationaswellasassistwithcourtcosts(fees), 100%ofthecostsofprimarylegalaid.Thecosts wereclassifiedundertheheading“bothlegalrepresentationand ofsecondarylegalaidprovidedtothepersonsby assistancewithcourtcosts(fees)”. takingaccountofaperson’spropertyandincome.200196InDenmark,forinstance,apracticalproblemseemstobethatit isofteneasiertogetfreelegalaidinthelargercitiesthaninthe smallerones.197ItshouldbenotedthatintheUnitedKingdomlegalrepresentation isavailableonlyinalimitednumberofcasesintheCounty 198Inthisrespect,itisalsointerestingtonotethataccordingtothe Courts(first-instancecourtswithciviljurisdiction),butnotin provisionsinAustriaifthepersonconcernedacquiressufficient smallclaims(upto€5,814(thatis£5,000–exchangerate financialmeansduringthefirstthreeyearsafterbeingprovided asofSeptember2010)).Inaddition,legalrepresentation withthelegalaid,heorshehastopaybackthelegalaidgranted. isnotprovidedintheEmploymentTribunals,whichare 199Formoredetailonhowthiscanbemitigatedthroughjudicial independentjudicialbodieswhichdeterminedisputes discretionarypowers,seesection5.3onrulesrelatingtothe betweenemployersandemployeesoveremployment paymentoflegalcosts. issuesincludingunfairdismissal,redundancypaymentsand 200Theso-called“meanstest”asexplainedinsection4.2Eligibility discrimination(butherelabourunionsarelikelytoassist). oflegalaid. 49
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities Asforthepre-trialaid,theexampleofBelgiumcanbe taken,whereineveryjudicialdistrict(arrondissement) thereisaspecialCommissionforLegalAid(Commissie voor Juridische Bijstand – Commission d’Aide Juridique). Itiscomposedofrepresentativesofthelocalbar andofthepubliccentresforsocialwelfare.Its maintasksaretoprovidepracticalinformation (e.g.admissionrequirementsforlegalaid)and judicialinformationorpreliminarylegaladvice. Specific national legal aid mechanisms InordertoensureaccessofRomatofreelegal IntheNetherlands,anti-discriminationagencies aidinHungary,theMinistryofJusticeandLaw (ADAs)werelocallyfundedbymunicipalities EnforcementhasbeenoperatingtheRoma foractivitiesrelatedtosupportofvictimsand Anti-diszkriminációsÜgyfélszolgálatiHálózat awarenessraising.Theywerefirstestablished (IRM-RAÜH)[RomaAntidiscriminationNetwork inthe1980sanddevelopedovertheyearsinto Service]since2001.Thelawyersparticipating professionalorganisationstrainedincounselling intheNetworkprovidefreelegalaid(providing victimsofdiscriminationonallgrounds.In legaladvice,draftinglegaldocuments, additiontotheirlocalpresenceadedicated initiatinglawsuitsandrepresentationincourt) hotlineassistsvictimstolodgecomplaints, specificallyincaseswhereclients’rightswere whichareregisteredinanationaldatabase. infringedbecauseoftheirRomaorigin.The Experienceshowedovertheyearsthatmany Ministryensuresthefinancialresourcesofthe caseswereresolvedlocallythroughADAs operationoftheNetwork(lawyers’fees)and withoutrecoursetolegalproceedings.After thepotentialcostsofinitiatinglawsuits.The theadoptionoftheActonthemunicipalanti- Networkiscontinuouslyexpanding:theinitial discriminationfacilitiesin2009,allcitizensin numberofattorneyswas23in2001,27in2003 theNetherlandshaveaccesstoalocallypresent and30in2005.Currentlyclientsmayreceive professionallyrunanti-discriminationagency legalassistancein44offices,andthereare wheretheycanreceivesupportandassistance moreattorneysinthoseregionswhereRoma incasesrelatingtodiscrimination.Compared areoverrepresented.Availableinformation tothepastsystemthereisnownationwide relatingtotheoutputoftheNetwork’sactivities coverageofthesefacilities.Thetypeofparalegal howeverindicatethatonlyafractionofthecases aidofferedtovictimsofdiscriminationmeans relatetodiscrimination.201Moreover,anasyet thatpeoplereceiveinformationabouttheir unpublishedresearchpapercommissionedbythe position,receiveadviceabouthowtoaddress MinistryofJusticeandLawEnforcementargues theirspecificsituationandreceiveassistance thatnotonlyarethelawyermembersofthe incaseswhereajudicialprocedureisthebest Networkinneedofclearguidelines,methodology solution.TheroleoftheADAsissuchthat andtraining,butthattheNetworkitselfisin theDutchEqualTreatmentCommissionand needofbeingconnectedtootherbranchesof courtswillreceivecasesthatarerelevant.203 rightsprotection,notablytheEqualTreatment Authority(i.e.theHungarianequalitybody).202 201Between15October2001and31July2005networklawyers providedassistancein4908cases,outofwhich328revealed discrimination(mainlyinrelationtohousing,education,execution ofsentencesandpersonalcivilrightsclaims),availableat: www.irm.gov.hu/index.php?mi=2&katid=2&id=103&cik kid=2839(09.03.2009). 202LászlóPap,A.(2008)ARomaanti-diszkriminációsügyfélszolgálati hálózatszerepeajogvédelemben[TheRoleoftheRoma AntidiscriminationNetworkServiceinRightsProtection], 203Seewww.binnenlandsbestuur.nl/nieuws/2009/01/sukkelende- unpublishedresearchpaper. aanpak-discriminatie.106816.lynkx.50
  • Legalaidatnationallevel  Whileapplyingoneofthesetests,somenational4.2. Eligibility for legal aid courtstakeintoaccountadditionalcriteria,suchOnthebasisoftheanalysisofresearchfindingsfrom asthe importanceofthecase,theamountofthe27EUMemberStates,itcanbeconcludedthat compensationatissue,ortheavailabilityofhometherearetwomajorapproachestothequestionofan insurancecoverage.individual’seligibilityforlegalaidacrosstheUnion.Inordertodecidewhetherornottoawardlegalaid, AsFigure9shows,somejurisdictionsonlyapplyStatestypicallyapplyoneofthefollowingtests: incometests,excludingmerits,namelythefollowing 18countries:Belgium,Cyprus,theCzechRepublic,• ‘meanstest’(includingproperty Estonia,Finland,France,Greece,Germany,Hungary, andfamilysituation); Italy,Latvia,Lithuania,Luxembourg,Poland,Portugal,• ‘meansandmeritstest’. Romania,SpainandSlovakia.AspecificformofFigure 9: Eligibility tests for legal aid in Eu Member states Means test Means and merits test Either of the tests plus additional criteriaSource: FRA, 2010 51
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities incomequestionnairewasintroducedasafirststep Equality of arms and legal aid tomakingtheprocessofreceivingafeeswaiver andexofficiolawyermoreobjectiveinPoland,for TheapplicantswereassociatedwithLondon example.Apartfromlookingattheperson’sincome, Greenpeace.Theyproducedanddistributeda themajorityofthesecountriesexamineproperty leafletcalled‘What’swrongwithMcDonald’s?’. statusandfamilysituation(suchasthenumberof McDonaldsissuedawritagainstthemforlibeland dependantfamilymembers)oftheindividual. theapplicantscontestedtheclaim.Theapplicants wererefusedlegalaid,whichwasnotavailable fordefamationproceedings.Damageswere Conditionsgettougherwhena‘meanstest’isapplied awardedagainstthem,and,althoughthesewere inconjunctionwitha‘meritstest’,whichassessesthe reducedonappeal,theyremainedsubstantial legalmerits204ofthecaseanditslikelyoutcome.205 whencomparedtotheirincomesandresources. Figure9indicatesthatthecountriesthattake Itwascentraltotheconceptofafairtrialthata bothincomeandmeritsissuesintoaccountwhen litigantshouldnotbedeniedtheopportunityto determininglegalaideligibilityincludeAustria,Ireland, presenthisorhercaseeffectivelyandshould Malta,206andtheUnitedKingdom. enjoyequalityofarmswiththeopposing side.Itwasfoundthatthedisparitybetween Finally,asshowninFigure9,whileusingoneofthe thelevelsoflegalassistanceenjoyedbythe twotests,someMemberStateslookatadditional applicantsandMcDonaldshadbeensogreat criteriawhendecidingwhetherornottoawardlegal thatitmusthavegivenrisetounfairness.In aid.IntheNetherlandsandSlovenia,forinstance,the thesecircumstances,thelackofavailabilityof importanceofthecaseandtheamountindisputeplay legalaidforindigentlitigantswasaviolationof therighttoeffectiveaccesstoacourtandthe aroleinassessingwhetheranindividualisentitled ECtHRfoundaviolationofArticle6(1)ECHR. tolegalaid.InBulgaria,theindividual’seligibilityis assessednotonlyinlightofincomelevel,butalso, (ECtHR,Steel and Morris v. the United forexample,healthcarecoverage,employment Kingdom,No.68416/01,15February2005) status,andage.AnotherexampleisDenmark,where applyingforfreelegalaidissecondarytolegal expensesinsurance.Ifanindividualhassuchinsurance anditcoverstheconcretecaseitisnotpossibleto grantanexemptionfromcourtfeesorappointa lawyertorepresenttheindividualintheproceedings. AsimilarmechanismexistsinSweden. NotwithstandingthewayinwhichindividualMember Statesapproacheligibilityforlegalaid,itseemsthat mostcountriestargetlegalaidtowardsthepoorer sectionofthepopulation. 204Inordertoassesslegalmeritsofthecase,onemustexamine whethertheapplicanthasreasonablegroundsfortakingor defendingproceedingsbeforethecourts. 205Thereasoningbehindthisapproachis,ofcourse,tokeepa balancebetweenareasonableextenttowhichanindividualcan accessthecourtsandcourts’workload. 206Inaddition,inMalta,theapplicantseekinglegalaidmusttakeanoath confirminghis/hermeans.52
  • Legalaidatnationallevel Access to justice – irregular immigrantABraziliancitizenlivinginPortugalaskedthe SpainwithoutsufficientfinancialmeansinordertoPublicBodyofSolidarityandWelfare(Instituto takelegalactions.”Português de Solidariedade e Segurança Social)forlegalaidinacaseinvolvingalabourdispute. TheOmbudsmanarguedthatthenotion“aliensTheBodyrefusedtherequestduetotheperson legallyresiding”violatestherighttoeffectivebeinganirregularimmigrant.TheLisbonLabour judicialprotectionofthealienssincealienspossessLawCourtruledthatregardlessofimmigration therighttoeffectivejudicialprotectionwhichstatus,aslongasthepersonwasregisteredfor comprehendstherighttofreeofcharge–legalsocialwelfareandpaidtaxes,legalaidshould assistance.beprovided.TheConstitutionalCourtupheldthe TheConstitutionalCourtheldthateverypersondecision. regardlessofnationalityisholderoftheright(PortugueseConstitutionalCourt,17/04,24 toeffectivejudicialprotectionsincethisrightMarch2007,availableat: emanatesfromtherighttohumandignity.www.tribunalconstitucional.pt/tc/ TheConstitutionalCourtdeclaredthenotionofacordaos/20040208.html) “aliensresidinglegally”tobeunconstitutional.AsAccess to legal aid for all, irrespective of nationality aresult,evenaliensnotlegallyresidinginSpainand immigration status areentitledtoreceivelegalaid(orrepresentation byanassignedcounsel)inallproceedingsofTheSpanishOmbudsmanlodgedanappeal alljurisdictionswheretheyareapartyandnotwiththeConstitutionalCourtinvokingthe onlywithinpenalorcontentious-administrativeunconstitutionalityofArticle2a)ofAct1/1996on proceedingsregardingtheirexpulsionfromtheLegalAid. Spanishterritoryorrelatingtoasylum.Article2a)read:“Personalscopeofapplication: (Spain, Pleno del Tribunal Constitucional[Plenary[…]Thefollowingpersonsareentitledtofreeof oftheConstitutionalCourt],STC95/2003,appealcharge-legalassistance: number1555/96,22May2003,availableat: www.tribunalconstitucional.es/es/jurisprudencia/a)TheSpanishcitizens,thecitizensofotherEU Paginas/Sentencia.aspx?cod=8064)memberstatesandthealienslegallyresidinginLegal aid, the Inter-American human 4.3. complementary schemesrights system, and vulnerable groups Overtime,usuallybecauseofgapsinstate-fundedTheInter-Americansystemfortheprotectionof legalaidsystemsandlimitedpublicresources,humanrightshascriticisedcasesofsystematic complementingschemeshavebeguntoemerge.exclusionofparticularlyvulnerablesectorsof Theseincludelegalexpensesinsurance,legaladvicesocietyfromaccesstojustice.Inparticular,ithas centres,probonowork(free-of-chargeservicesby,stressedtheobligationofthestatetoprovide forexample,lawfirms)andself-helpservices.freelegalservicesandtostrengthencommunitymechanismsforthispurpose,inordertoenable InSwedenandDenmark,legalclaimsareprimarilythesegroupstoaccessjudicialbodies.Itheldalso financedbytheprivatesectorthroughthethatthosesectorsmayneedmoreinformation mediumoflegalexpensesinsurance.Infact,itabouttheresourcesavailabletothemwithinthejusticesystemandabouttheirrights. seemsthatakindof‘subsidiarity’principleexists betweensuchinsuranceandlegalaid.Therule isthatwhereindividualshavelegalexpenses insurance,theywillnotnormallybeentitledtofree legalaidandwillhavetousetheirinsurance. InmanyMemberStates,avarietyofNGOsand ‘legalaidclinics’arefoundtobedeliveringlegal aidsolutions,supplementingthestatesystem. Theseclinicsoftenspecialiseinadvisingvictimsof discrimination.Therearealsovariousspecialised centres/bodiesestablishedtoaddresstheabsenceof adequatelegalservicesavailabletodisadvantaged communities(e.g.theTravellerCommunityin 53
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities Ireland).207Inaddition,nationallawyersinmany jurisdictionsofferservicesonapro bono basis.208 4.4. summary Accordingtotheresearchfindingspresentedin Finally,theUnitedKingdomoffersanexampleof thisChapter,somekindoflegalaidsystemcanbe aself-helpservicesystemwheretheabsenceof saidtoexistinallEUMemberStatesinthecontext legalaidforrepresentationinsmallclaimsbefore ofproceedingsforcasesofdiscrimination. nationalcourtsseemstobeoverweighedbyless restrictiveproceduralrules.209Pursuanttothese Section4.1,whichdealtwithaseriesofissues rules,aggrievedindividualsarenotonlyentitled relatingtothenatureandscopeoflegalaidavailable, torepresentthemselvesbeforethecourtbutthey showsthatthemajorityofMemberStates(20) are,infact,implicitlyencouragedtodoso.210 provideindividualswithbothtypesoflegalaid:legal representationandassistancewithcourtfees. Legal aid centres and NGOs Inthelightofresearchfindingsfromthe27EU MemberStatesincludedinsection4.2,itcanbe InIreland,theIrishTravellerMovement,which concludedthattherearetwomajorapproachesto isaspecialistlawcentreaimingtoprotect thequestionofanindividual’seligibilityforlegalaid Travellers’humanandlegalrightsbyproviding acrosstheEU:a‘meanstest’approach(including accesstoexpertlegaladvice,toadvancetheir propertyandfamilysituation)anda‘meansand humanrightsthroughthecourts,toachieve positivechangeintheperceptionoftheTraveller meritstest’approach.Additionalcriteriasuchas community,andtoeducateTravellerorganisations theimportanceofthecase,theamountatdispute, todealwiththelegalissuesfacingthem. ortheavailabilityofinsurancecoverage,mayalso playacertainroleinsomeEUMemberStates. Variousnon-discriminationNGOsorquasiNGOs offeringlegalandotheradvicetodiscrimination victimsfreeofchargeexistinotherEUMember Finally,section4.3examinedcomplementaryschemes States,includingAustria, the Czech Republic, thatexistinsomeEUMemberStatesandsuccessfully Spain, France, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, fillgapsinthenationallegalaidprovisions.These SwedenandtheUnited Kingdom.Insomeof includelegalexpensesinsurance,legaladvice thesecountries(namelytheCzechRepublic, centres,probonowork,andself-helpservices. Romania,PolandandSlovakia),theseorganisations can,inaddition,representtheirclients(victims ofdiscrimination)incourtproceedings.Inother MemberStates,suchastheNetherlands,thestate hasmandatedtheestablishmentofindependent andaccessiblelocalanti-discriminationbureaux acrossthecountry.Theirtaskistoprovide independentlegalassistanceandsupporton casesconcerningdiscriminationandtoregisterall discriminationcomplaints. 207SeeIrishTravellerMovement,availableat:www.itmtrav.com. 208InBulgaria,forexample,mostoftherevieweddiscrimination caseswereinitiatedandleadbyattorneys-at-lawwhoworkfor humanrightsNGOsandprovideinprinciplepro bonolegalaid totheapplicants.SeealsoFRA(2009)EU-MIDIS Data in Focus Report 1: The Roma,Luxembourg:PublicationsOffice,availableat: http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/eu-midis/index_en.htm. 209Evenlessrigidproceduralrulesexistwithrespecttothe proceedingsbeforeemploymenttribunalswherenolegalaid (assistance)isavailableeither. 210Notwithstandingtheinformalityinsuchproceedings,thiscanin factraiseanissueofequality.Indeed,accordingtotheUnited Kingdomresearchfindingsthelackoffree,detailedguidance ontheprocedureandthepreparationrequiredinsuchclaims underminesclaimants’abilitytorepresentthemselves.54
  • 5 redress at national levelEffectiveaccesstojusticepresupposesthe breach[…]andmakereparationforitsconsequencespossibilityforavictimnotonlytobringperpetrators insuchawayastorestoreasfaraspossiblethetocourtbutalsotoobtainadequateandprompt situationexistingbeforethebreach(restitutio inreparationforharmsuffered.Providingeffective integrum).”214Thus,althoughprovisionforfinancialrecoursetoanyonewhoallegesthathis/herrights compensationshouldnotnecessarilybeconsideredhavebeenviolatedisessentialaswithoutsuch aninherentandpermanentelementoftherighttorecourse,thesubstantiverightatissuebecomes aremedyaccordingtotheECtHR,inmanycasesitempty.Inthecontextofnon-discriminationlaw maybedifficulttoimaginehowrestitutioncanbeMemberStatesarerequiredtoprovideeffective, madewithoutit.215Incasesofseriousviolationstheproportionateanddissuasiveremedies.211 ECtHRseemstoassumeimplicitlythattheavailability ofcompensationatnationallevelisrequiredasaTheUNHRChasstatedthatwhereastatefails minimum,andthatthisshouldbesupplementedtoguaranteearightundertheICCPR,reparation withothermeasuressuchastheconductofan“generallyentailsappropriatecompensation”. investigationoracriminalprosecution.216Indeed,theUNHRCseemstoindicatethattherewillbeapresumptionthatcompensationshould TheCJEUhasgenerallynotstipulatedthatbetreatedastheprimarymeansofaffording compensationmustbeavailableaspartofanaremedy.212Howeverreparationmayalsotake individual’srighttoeffectivejudicialprotection.otherformssuchas“restitution,rehabilitationand InthissenseitcanbenotedthatsecondaryEUmeasuresofsatisfaction,suchaspublicapologies, legislation,suchasArticle15oftheRacialEqualitypublicmemorials,guaranteesofnon-repetition Directive,statesthatsanctionsforbreachesofandchangesinrelevantlawandpractices”.213 theprohibitionondiscrimination‘mayinclude’the paymentofcompensation.Nevertheless,theCJEUTheECtHRhasbeenlessexplicitinthisrespectsince doesseemtohaveestablishedastrongpresumptionitsapproachtoremedieshasgenerallybeentofocus thatcompensationshouldbeavailableforvindicatedonthoseremediesthatitmayofferitselfincases individualsinordertorestore“asituationofequality”beforeit,ratherthanassessingtheadequacyof unlesstherewassomeothermeansavailabletodoremediesofferedatthenationallevel.Atageneral so,suchasreappointinganindividualinthecaseofleveltheECtHRhasstatedthatwhereastatebreachesitsobligationsitmust“putanendtosuch 214ECtHR,Mentes v. Turkeyi,No.23186/94,25July1998,paragraph 24.211 RacialEqualityDirective,Article15;GenderEqualityDirective 215 InapplyingthisapproachtheUNHRChasstatedthatincasesof (recast),Article25;GenderGoodsandServicesDirective, deprivationofpropertyrestitutionwouldrequirethereturnof Article 14;EmploymentEqualityDirective,Article17. thisproperty,andifthiswerenotpossiblethencompensation212 SeeforexampleUNHRC,Lnenicka v. Czech Republic, shouldbeoffered.SeeUNHRC,Persa v. Czech Republic, CommunicationNo.1484/2006,9February2009,paragraph 8; CommunicationNo. 1479/2006,24March2009,paragraph 9; UNHRC,Howell v. Jamaica, CommunicationNo.798/1998, UN HRC,De Fours v. Czech Republic, CommunicationNo.747/1997, 20 January 1998,paragraph 8;UNHRC,Zheludkov v. Ukraine, 21November 1996,paragraph 9.2;UNHRC,Brok v. Czech Republic, CommunicationNo. 726/1996,20October2002, CommunicationNo. 774/1997,23December1996,paragraph 9. paragraph 10;UN HRC,Boodoo v. Trinidad and Tobago, 216ECtHR,Zubayrayev v. Russia,No.67796/01,10January2008, Communication No. 721/1996,13June1994,paragraph 8. paragraph 105;ECtHR,Khashiyv and Akayeva v. Russia,213 UNHRC,GeneralComment31(abovenote47),paragraph 16. No. 57942/00,24February2005,paragraph 183. 55
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities unlawfuldismissal.217Atthesametimetheprinciple Thecomparativeanalysissuggeststhatsuch of‘equivalence’developedbytheCJEUrequiresthat compensationisavailableforpecuniaryaswellas remediesavailableatthenationallevelforindividuals non-pecuniarydamagesinthemajorityofEUMember tosecuretheirrightsunderEUlawshouldnotbeless States.Theformerisrelatedtotheeconomiclosses favourablethanthoseavailableforsimilaractionsin whereasthelatterisawardedinrespectofdistress nationallaw.218Thus,wherecompensationisnormally andinconveniencecausedbybreachesofrights.It availableundersimilarnationalprocedures,itshould appearsthatwherecompensationisavailableforboth alsobeavailableinthecontextofnon-discrimination pecuniaryandnon-pecuniarydamage,theemphasisin law.AtthesametimetheCJEUalsorequiresthat discriminationcasesisonnon-pecuniarydamages.220 remediesshouldbe‘effective’,andithastakenthisto includearequirementthatadequatecompensation In19EUMemberStates,thefinancialcompensation beavailablewherethisisnecessarytorepairthe issupplementedbyothernon-financialformsof damagecausedtoindividualasaresultofbreaches reparation(Figure10).221Themostcommonlynon- oftheirrightsunderEUlaw.InthissensetheCJEUhas financialformsofreparationreferredtobytheEU foundthatceilingsontheamountofcompensation MemberStatesare: payablemayrendersucharemedyineffective.219 • requestsforreinstatementtoapreviousposition; Thereareseveralissuesthatareexaminedin • requestfornullificationofadiscriminatory thesubsequentsectionsinthecontextofthe contractualclause; righttoaneffectiveremedy,namely(i)nature ofredress;(ii)leveloffinancialcompensation; • orderforequaltreatmentoranorderthatspecific (iii)rulesrelatingtothepaymentoflegalcosts; actionbetakentorelievetheinjuredparty. (iv)rulesrelatingtoevidence;and(v)execution Insomecases,courtscanevenissueordersofamore offinaljudgmentsawardingvictimsfinancial generalnature,goingbeyondthepartiestothecase. compensationorothertypesofsatisfaction. Forinstance,inIreland,in58 Named Complainants vs Goode Concrete Ltd,222decidedunderthe EmploymentEqualityActsinIreland,therespondent 5.1. nature of redress wasorderedtopaycompensationtotheclaimants Incasesconcerningdiscrimination,redress and,inaddition,toputinplaceclearproceduresfor generallyincludesfinancialcompensation. ensuringnon-nationalemployeesareclearasto Researchfindingsfromthenationalteamssuggest thetermsandconditionsoftheiremploymentand thatinall27EUMemberStates,anawardof understandallsafetydocumentation,toprovide financialcompensationistheprincipalmeansof trainingtomanagementontheprovisionsofthe compensatinganindividualwheretheirrightsare EmploymentEqualityActsandtomaintainbetter breachedasaresultofdiscrimination(Figure10). recordsofdisciplinaryproceedings.Thislatterpart oftheordergoesbeyondtheindividualsinthe case.Thepowerforcourtstoorderperpetrators 217 CJEU,Marshall v. Southampton and South West Hampshire Area Health Authority II,C-271/91,2August1993,paragraph25.It appearstobeacceptedbyboththeCJEUandtheECtHRthatthe abilitytorequestaninterim,emergencyorpreventivemeasure shouldlikewisebeavailabletoindividualswhereanalleged breachoftheirrightswillotherwiseresultinirreversibledamage: CJEU,Factortame,C-213/89,19June1990,paragraph 20.CJEU, Köbler v. Austria, C-224/01,30September 2003,paragraph 61; ECtHR,Salah Sheekh v. the Netherlands, No 1948/04, 11 January 2007,paragraph153.ComparethecaseofECtHR, Soering v. the United Kingdom,No.14038/88,7July1989, paragraph123wheretheECHRheldthattheexistenceornotof theabilitytograntinterimreliefwouldnothaveabearingon theeffectivenessoftheremedyinquestionbecausethecourts inthe UnitedKingdomwouldnotpermittheextraditionofan 220Thereare,however,countries,suchasMalta,where individualwhiletheirclaimwasstillpending. compensationisonlyavailableforactualdamagessuffered 218CaseC-78/98Preston,[2000]ECRI-3201,paragraph 31. andthereisnoevidencethatmoraldamagesareconsidered 219CaseC-271/91Marshall v. Southampton and South West Hampshire orcompensatedfor.Itshouldbelikewisenotedthatalthough Area Health Authority II, [1993]ECRI-4367,paragraphs 0-31;Case compensationfornon-pecuniarydamagesexistinPoland,itis C-180/95Draemphael v. Urania,[1997]ECRI-2195.Thesecases rarelyawardedbycourtsinpractice. suggestthataprioriceilingsontheamountofdamagespayable 221 Interestingly,inItaly,non-financialformsofsatisfactionaremore willnotbepermittedwherethesedonotallowthelevelof oftenusedbythecourtsasaformofredressforthelosssufferedbya compensationtoreflectthatactualdamagedsuffered.However, victimofdiscriminationthanthefinancialcompensation. ceilingsmaybepermittedforthoseclaimswhereitcanbeproved 222EqualityOfficer’sdecisionNo.DEC-E2008–020, 30 thattheindividualwouldreceivethesametreatment,eveninthe April 2008,availableat:www.equalitytribunal.ie/index. absenceofdiscrimination. asp?locID=139&docID=1770.56
  • RedressatnationallevelFigure 10: nature of redress in Eu Member states Financialcompensationonly 8 Financialcompensation andnon-financialforms ofsatisfaction 19Source: FRA, 2010totakeactiongoingbeyondtheindividualcase Different types of redressofthevictimhasnowbeenexpresslyincludedinlegislation.UnderthenewEqualityAct2010, In Belgium,theAnti-DiscriminationandEmploymentTribunalscanmakerecommendations Anti-RacismActsprovidefortwotypesofthatbenefitthewholeworkforce,ratherthanjust compensation.Firstofall,thevictimcanclaimapplyingaremedytotheindividualthatbroughtthe anamountfixedbylaw.Thisamountisintheclaim.Forexampleitcanorderthatanorganisation orderof€650to€1,300.Secondly,hecanclaim compensationfortheactualdamage.Inthiscase,introducesorrevisesitsequalopportunities however,thevictimneedstoprovetheextentofpolicy,orprovidestrainingforitsmanagers. thedamage.InsomeMemberStates,administrativesanctions InPoland,itisquitecommontoclaim–asaarepossibleindiscriminationcases.Onepossible wayofcompensation–paymentofasumtobe dedicatedtoaparticularindicatedsocialpurpose,formofadministrativesanctionconcernspublic suchasadonationtoanNGO.Thismechanismprocurement:somebodywhodiscriminatescan hasmanypositivefunctions.First,itprovidesbeexcludedfrompublicprocurementand,thus, someNGOswithadditionalfunds.Second,iffromapossiblesourceofbusinessandrevenue judgmentisgiveninhigh-profilecase,itpromotes(forexample,inFrance,223Italy224andPortugal225). activityoftheNGOstowhichthemoneyisAnotherformofadministrativesanctionconcernsthe paid.Third,itmaypromotethevalue-orientedcancellationsoflicensesandpermits(forexample, approachoftheclaimant,whomayshowthatinAustria226andPortugal227).Anotherexampleisthe he/sheisnotinterestedinbenefitinghimself/officialrecognitionoflegalpersonality:thiscanbe herselfbutissuingforthesakeofpublicinterest orhonour.withdrawnorsuspendedinsomeMemberStatesincaseofdiscrimination(forexample,inRomania).228 Aspecificarrangementfordealingwithfinancial compensationincaseswheretheproceedings havebeeninitiatedbyinterestgroupswas createdbytheActontheCollectiveSettlement ofMassLosses2005(Wet collectieve afwikkeling223Article225-4oftheFrenchPenalCode. massaschade)inthe Netherlands.Thisactallows224Article44(11)oftheImmigrationAct,availableat: forcompensationfortheindividualmembersofa www.migpolgroup.com/public/docs/169.2008_ givengroupwiththepossibilitytooptoutofthe Countryreportonmeasurestocombatdiscrimination_ collectivesettlement. Italy_EN.pdf.225PortugueseDecree-law111/2000226Article87(1)oftheAustrianBusinessRegulation [“Gewerbeordnung”].227PortugueseDecree-law111/2000.228Article21.5,Romania/OrdonanţaGuvernuluiNo.137/2000privind prevenireaşicombatereatuturorformelordediscriminare, republishedinFebruary2007[GovernmentOrdinanceNo 137/200 regardingthepreventionandcombatingofallformsof discrimination]. 57
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities Figure 11: Availability of punitive damages in Eu Member states MemberStateswherepunitivedamagesareavailable 2 MemberStateswhere nopunitivedamages 25 areavailable Source: FRA, 2010 Thereare,finally,twoEUMemberStates,whose applicablenationalrules”.231Furthermore,theCJEU nationalordersallowforpunitivedamages–ineffect, underlinedthatcompensationshouldnotbelimited damagesthatgobeyondcompensationforactual a prioribyaceilinginnationallawandthepayment lossorharmsuffered–tobeawarded(Figure 11).229 ofinterestshouldbeaddedtofinancialawardsto Punitivedamages(‘exemplary’damagesinthe reflectchangesinthevalueofanawardfromthe UnitedKingdom)aredamagesintendedtodeter dateofthebreachtothedateofpayment.232Byway thedefendantandothersfromengaginginconduct ofexceptiontothis,certainfinancialawardswillnot similartothatwhichformedthebasisofthelawsuit. incurinterestwheretheawardcannotberightly IntheUnitedKingdom,courtsandtribunalsmay seenaspaymentofcompensation(suchasaclaim awardpunitivedamagesifthecompensationthat forarrearsofbenefits).233Furthermore,aceilingon wouldotherwisebeawardedwouldbeinadequate thepaymentofcompensationwillbepermissible topunishtheguiltyparty.Thesameisthecase ifitcanbeshownthatthedamagesufferedbythe forCyprus,althoughthenationalcourtstendto applicantislimitedbyobjectivefactors(forinstance, awardpunitivedamagesonlyoccasionally. iftheindividualhasbeendiscriminatedagainst inanapplicationforemployment,butitcanbe shownthattheywouldnothavebeenofferedthe 5.2. Level of financial posteveniftherehadbeennodiscrimination).234 compensation TheFRAresearchshowsthatthequestionofthe TheCJEUandECtHRhavesetoutcertainprinciples amountoffinancialcompensationcommonly relativetothecalculationofcompensation,in awardedbydomesticcourtsdependsheavilyon thatitshouldbeproportionatetothedamage thenationalcontext.Suchamountswilltosome suffered.230InthissensetheCJEUhasspecifiedthat extentberelativetothenationalstandardofliving forcompensationtobeconsidered“adequate”it andalsoforthisreasonitdiffersfromstatetostate. “mustenablethelossanddamageactuallysustained Figure12indicatesthehighestrecordedamounts [...]tobemadegoodinfullaccordingwiththe awardedindiscriminationcasesindifferentEU MemberStates.235Furthermore,therelevantnational rulesinFinland,GermanyandIrelandprovidefora 229Hungarianlawdoesnotprovidefortheawardofpunitive damages;yet,aso-called“finetobeusedforpublicpurposes” specificceilingonthepaymentofcompensation. maybeimposedbythecourtiftheamountofthedamages (pecuniaryornon-pecuniary)thatcanbeimposedisinsufficient tomitigatethegravityoftheactionableconduct.Thisfineis 231 CJEU,MarshallII, C-271/91,2August1993, paragraph25. howeverrarelyappliedandispayabletothestateandnot 232Idem.,paragraphs 30-31.Thishasalsobeentheapproachofthe the victim. ECSR.SeeECSR,‘Conclusions2006(Albania)’,at: 230CJEU,Von Colson and Kamman v. Land Nordrhein-Westfalen, www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/socialcharter/Conclusions/ Case 14/83,10April1984,paragraph28;ECtHR,Tolstoy State/Albania2006_en.pdf. Miloslavsky v. the United Kingdom, No.18139/91, 13 July 1995, 233CJEU,R v. Secretary of State for Social Security, ex parte Eunice Sutton, paragraph50;ECtHR,Independent News and Media and Independent C-66/95,22April1997. Newspapers Ireland Limited v. Ireland,No.55120/00,16June2005, 234CJEU,Draemphael v. Urania, C-180/95,22April1997. paragraph 112;ECtHR,Steel and Morris v. the United Kingdom, 235ItshouldbenotedthatsevenEUMemberStatesdidnotprovide No. 68416/01,15February2005,paragraph92;ECtHR, Shilyayev v. relevantdataontheamountofcompensationawardedinnon- Russia, No. 9647/02,6October2005,paragraphs20-21. discriminationcases.58
  • RedressatnationallevelFigure 12: Level of compensation: the highest recorded amounts in Eu Member states (€) morethan90,000 1 upto43,000 2 upto22,000 1 upto17,000 2 upto12,000 1 upto7,500 1 upto5,500 3 upto3,000 3 upto2,000 4 upto1,000 1 upto600 1 Nodataavailable 7 NumberofMemberStatesSource: FRA, 2010 5.3. payment of legal costs Average compensation in employment Nationalrulesplacinganexcessivefinancialburdenon discrimination cases in the United individualswhowishtoobtainredressforaviolation Kingdom in 2007-2008, by ground (€) oftheirrightsunderEUlaw,andmaydeterthem Race 17,000 frompursuingtheirrights,mightbeconsideredto interferewiththerighttoaneffectiveremedy.The Sex 13,000 UNHRChasstatedthat“theimpositionoffeesonthe Disability 23,000 partiestoproceedingsthatwouldde factoprevent Religionorbelief 4,000 theiraccesstojusticemightgiverisetoissuesunder Article14,paragraph1.Inparticular,arigidduty Sexualorientation 9,000 underlawtoawardcoststoawinningpartywithout Age 4,000 considerationoftheimplicationsthereoforwithout Average 12,000 providinglegalaidmayhaveadeterrenteffectonthe abilityofpersonstopursuethevindicationoftheir (UK/TribunalsService(2008)Employment rightsundertheCovenantinproceedingsavailable TribunalandEATStatistics(GB)1April2007to tothem.”236Similarly,theECtHRhasnotedthat 31 March 2008(in€,exchangerate courtfeesthatarepayableinadvanceofinstituting asofSeptember2010). Seewww.employmenttribunals.gov.uk) proceedingsshouldnotprovesuchafinancialburden astopreventordeterapplicantsfromexercising theirrighttoaremedy.237However,theimposition ofhighfeesorhighlegalcostswillnotalways resultinafindingofaviolationoftherighttoafair 236UNHumanRightsCommittee,GeneralCommentNo.32 (n. 7), paragraph11;UNHRC,Äärelä and Näkkäläjärvi v. Finland, CommunicationNo.779/1997,4November1997,paragraph7.2. 237ECtHR,Scordino v. Italy,No.36813/97,29March2006, paragraph 201.Inthiscontext,seealsoECtHR,Perdigão v. Portugal, No. 24768/06,16November2010,inwhichitwasheldbythe ECtHRGrandChamberthatforcingtheapplicanttopaycourt feesthatwerehigherthanthecompensationawardedbreached Article1ofProtocolNo.1totheECHR. 59
  • AccesstojusticeinEurope:anoverviewofchallengesandopportunities Figure 13: rules regarding payment of legal costs, by Eu Member state Loser pays legal costs Each party pays their own costs Source: FRA, 2010 trial(Article6ECHR)astheoverallassessmentwill applya‘loserpays’rule.239Thisrule,whichimplies dependonthespecificcircumstancesofthecase.238 thatthelosingpartywillpaythewinningparty’s costs,isbelievedtoplayanimportantfunctionin Figure13showsthatinthenon-discrimination filteringoutunfoundedcases.Therulethateach proceedings,nationalcourtsof22EUMemberStates partybearshisorhercourtfeesindependentlyfrom 239Notwithstandingthisgeneralrule,intheUnitedKingdom,the 238ThusinthecaseofECtHRTolstoy Miloslavsky v. the United situationinsmallclaims(withavalueofupto€5,814(thatis Kingdom,No.18139/91,13 July 1995,forexample,therequirement £5,000–exchangerateasofSeptember2010)casesismodified bytheCourtofAppealfortheappellanttopayasubstantial andthecoststhatalosingpartywillpayhavebeendeliberately securitydepositinrespectofthelegalcostsoftheopposing restrictedtolimitthefinancialriskfortheparties.Thereisno partywasnotseenasunreasonableinlightofthefactthatthe presumptionthatthelosingpartywillpaythevictor’scostsin nationalcourtsdidnotconsidertheappealtobemeritorious.In theemploymenttribunaleither.InGermany,ageneralrulethata thissituationtheopposingpartyriskedincurringhighlegalcosts loserpaysequallydoesnotapplytotheemploymentproceedings andtherewasariskthatthesecouldnotthenbepaidbythe inwhicheachpartypayshisorherowncosts.Suchapproach appellant.Itwasthusconsideredthattherightsofthetwoparties aimstoencouragevulnerableemployeestoinitiateproceedings hadbeenproperlybalanced. withouttheriskofpayingtheiremployer’scosts.60
  • RedressatnationalleveltheoutcomeofthelitigationisappliedinfiveEUMemberStates.However,sincearigiddutytoapply 5.4. Evidencesuchruleswithoutconsiderationoftheimplications Inorderforvictimsofdiscriminationtoobtainthereofwouldeffectivelylimitaccesstoredressin adequateredressforharmsufferedfromthecourts,thesejurisdictions,specificexemptionshavebeen theyhavetobringsufficientevidencetoproveestablishedintheseStates.Thus,inordernotto discriminatorytreatment.Iftheobstaclestobringingdiscouragevictimsofdiscriminationwithmeritorious evidencearesogreatthatanactionbeforecourtsisclaims,nationalcourtsinmostoftheEUMember doomedtofailure,individuallegalrightsarenotreallyStatesareempoweredtoderogatefromthedefault enforceableinpractice.Toaddressthedifficultyofrulesandgrantanexemptionfromtherelevantrule provingdiscrimination,Europeannon-discriminationonthebasisoftheprincipleofequityandjustice lawallowstheburdenofprooftobeshared.241Ininthelightoftheindividual’sfinancialorpersonal addition,aclaimantmayneedtorelyonstatisticalsituation.InDenmark,apartywhohasrecklessly datathatprovesgeneralpatternsofdifferentialfrustratedjudicialhearings,causedunnecessary treatment.Somenationaljurisdictions,furthermore,delays,askedforirrelevantproductionofevidenceor acceptevidencegeneratedthrough‘situationtesting’.otherunnecessaryproceduralstepscanbechargedforthecosts,eventhoughheorshewinsthecase. 5.4.1. the burden of proof Inthecontextofnon-discriminationlaw,proving Payment of legal costs discriminationisoftendifficult,sincetheperpetrator willnotnecessarilyexpresslyindicatethatthey Notwithstandingthegeneralrulethattheloser aretreatingthevictimlessfavourablythanothers payslegalcosts,intheunited Kingdom,the becausetheypossessaparticularprotected situationin‘smallclaims’cases(withavalueof characteristic,suchasageorsex.Suchamotiveoften upto€5,814240)ismodifiedandthecoststhat alosingpartywillpayhavebeendeliberately onlyexistsinthemindoftheperpetrator.Inorder restrictedtolimitthefinancialriskfortheparties. toaddressthisdifficultytheRacialEqualityDirective Thereisnopresumptionthatthelosingparty (Article8),GenderGoodsandServicesDirective willpaythevictor’scostsintheemployment (Article9),GenderEqualityDirective(recast)(Article tribunaleither. 18)andEmploymentEqualityDirective(Article10) InGermany,ageneralrulethataloserpays expresslyallowtheburdenofprooftobe‘shared’ equallydoesnotapplytotheemployment betweentheparties.Accordinglywheretheclaimant proceedingsinwhicheachpartypayshisorher isabletoestablishfactsfromwhichitmaybe owncosts.Suchanapproachaimstoencourage presumedthattherehasbeendiscrimination,itthen vulnerableemployeestoinitiateproceedings fallstotherespondenttoprovethattherehasbeenno withouttheriskofpayingtheiremployer’scosts. breach.242Thisprovisionarticulatesaprinciplealready establishedinthecaselawoftheCJEUconcerningProceduresinspecialnon-judicialcomplaints discriminationonthegroundofsex.243Nevertheless,mechanismsarenormallyfree,forexampleinAustria itappearsthatthisrulewasnotinoperationin(EqualTreatmentCommission),Denmark(Boardof manyMemberStatespriortotheintroductionEqualTreatment),theNetherlands(EqualTreatment ofthesedirectives.AsmallnumberofMemberCommission(CGB)),inBulgaria(PADC)andinRomania Statesappearnottohaveexplicitlyincorporated(NCCD).However,whencourtactionisinvolved thisprincipleintotheirrulesofcivilprocedure,orthecostoflegalproceedingscanbeabarrierto havenotapplieditduringcourtproceedings.244effectiveredress.ThisisparticularlythecaseinthoseMemberStates,wherelosingacourtcaseleadstopayingtheotherparty’slegalcosts(seeFigure13). 241SeeArticle10ofDirective2000/78,theEmploymentFramework Directive,OJL303,2 December2000,p. 16.SeealsoECtHR, Gurgurov v. Moldova, No.7045/08,16June2009,paragraph 56. 242ThoughMemberStatesinwhichthecourthasaninvestigatory rolearenotobligedtoapplytherule.Forin-depthdiscussionof Europeanstandardsonevidenceinnon-discriminationlawsee ECHRandFRA(2011) Handbook on European non-discrimination law, Luxembourg:PublicationsOffice,Chapter5. 243SeeEnderby v. Frenchay Health Authority and Secretary of State for Health,[1993]ECRI - 5535,paragraph 14. 244Chopin,I.andGounari,E.N.(2009)Developing anti-discrimination law in Europe. The 27 EU Member States compared,report preparedfortheEuropeanNetworkofLegalExpertsinthenon-240Thatis£5,000(exchangerateasofSeptember2010). discriminationfield,Luxembourg:PublicationsOffice,pp. 66-67. 61
  • Access to justice in Europe: an overview of challenges and opportunities 5.4.2. Statistics identical qualifications and employment histories but with names identified both with the majority In order to be able to substantiate a claim of population and ethnic minorities. Where evidence discrimination the claimant must prove that they is collected that members of the minority group have received less favourable treatment than other are systematically treated less favourably without individuals in a comparable situation. However, this objective justification this has been accepted as information may sometimes be difficult to obtain.245 proof of discriminatory treatment by the courts. For instance in order to prove a claim of direct discrimination in the context of pay a claimant will need access to evidence that they are receiving less pay than colleagues in similar posts with similar 5.5. Execution of judgments levels of experience or qualifications. However, this Failure to execute or enforce judgments – that is, information is not always readily available. In order to the carrying out of a final judgment in order to prove indirect discrimination it is necessary to show ensure that obligations actually are imposed or that a uniform (that is, apparently ‘neutral’) rule or fulfilled in practice – constitutes a further obstacle practice has a disproportionately negative impact to access to justice. Non-execution or delayed on a particular group of persons characterised by, execution of final judicial decisions which grant for instance, their racial or ethnic origin. In certain financial or other forms of compensation to an situations this requires the production of statistical individual, may thus restrict rights protected in data. For instance, it may be shown that a service such decisions and hence undermine the right to provider, who refuses to offer a service in a particular adequate redress and effective judicial protection.248 neighbourhood, is in fact committing indirect discrimination on production of evidence that this The ECtHR and the UN HRC have made clear in area is populated predominantly by members of an their jurisprudence that failure to execute a final ethnic minority. Statistical data has been accepted judgment249 in itself will amount to the breach of as evidence capable of giving rise to a presumption a right to an effective remedy. Clearly, the right to of discrimination by the CJEU and the ECtHR and its an effective remedy relies not only on removing use is well established in the United Kingdom and barriers to access justice, but also on the execution the Netherlands.246 However, this practice remains of any findings and orders of the national authorities uncommon in many Member States, since data in order to put the ruling into practice.250 which might be of assistance is not actually collected – the reasons for which are discussed below. More than a third of Member States appear to allow ‘situation testing’ to be used in order to prove 248 The lack of execution of a court decision is also of relevance the existence of discrimination, subject to certain in determining whether proceedings have been reasonable in criteria (Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, length, see Section 3.1.3. 249 The judgment becomes final only after the appeals process Finland, France, Hungary, Latvia, the Netherlands, is exhausted or waived. Where a possibility of appeal does Sweden and the United Kingdom).247 ‘Situation exist (note that there is no a general right of appeal in civil testing’ has been conducted by some equality cases: ECtHR, Ekbatani v. Sweden, No. 10563/83, 26 May 1988, paragraphs 23-33 or Protocol No. 7 to the ECHR (ETS 117) only bodies and NGOs and involves using both members guarantees a right of appeal in criminal trials), it is not necessary of the majority population and minority groups for each stage of the proceedings to conform to the requirements of Article 6 ECHR. Rather the assessment of whether Article 6 who may try to access a particular service, such as requirements have been complied with should be based on the entry to a restaurant or bar. Similarly, it may involve totality of proceedings. Once the judgment becomes final, the sending out job applications from candidates with principle of res judicata begins to apply. Res judicata is the principle of the finality of legal proceedings, which requires that a particular decision be regarded as final and irrevocable once all available proceedings or remedies have been exhausted or the time limits 245 On statistical evidence see also: FRA (2010) The Racial Equality for these have been allowed to expire. While it is possible for Directive: application and challenges, Luxembourg: Publications higher courts to conduct a review of final proceedings this should Office. be limited in purpose to correcting judicial errors or miscarriages 246 See, for example, CJEU, Joined Cases C-4/02 and C-5/02 of justice, but not to obtain a rehearing or a fresh determination Hilde Schönheit v. Stadt Frankfurt am Main and Silvia Becker v. of the case Thus where courts are permitted to re-hear a Land Hessen, [2003] ECR I-12575; ECtHR, D.H. and Others v. particular dispute on its merits once a judgment is finalised The Czech Republic (GC) No. 57325/00, 13 November 2007. this will conflict with the right to an effective remedy, since a In the United Kingdom, the use of statistics is a well- vindicated party will not dispose of the certainty and security of established means of proof in racial and ethnic discrimination a final decision. See, for instance, ECtHR, Brumarescu v Romania, cases: see, for example, West Midlands Passenger Transport No. 28342/95, 28 October 1999, paragraph 61, or ECtHR, Executive v. Singh (1988) IRLR 186. In the Netherlands, Driza v. Albania, No. 33771/02, 13 November 2007, paragraph 64. the Commission for Equal Treatment uses statistical evidence 250 ECtHR, Iatridis v. Greece, No. 31107/96, 25 March 1999, in individual cases, often in order to establish indirect discrimination: paragraph 66; ECtHR, Karahalios v. Greece, No. 62503/00, the Netherlands/CGB, Case No. 2004-15, 1 March 2004. 11 December 2003, paragraph 23; ECtHR, Scordino v. Italy, 247 Rorive, I. (2009) Proving discrimination cases – the role of situation No. 36813/97, 29 March 2006, paragraph 198. See as well testing, Sweden/Brussels: Centre for Equal Rights, Migration Policy UN HRC, Czernin v. Czech Republic, Communication No. 823/1998, Group, p. 56. 4 December 1996, paragraph 7.5.62
  • RedressatnationallevelFigure 14: Execution of final awards in Eu Member states MemberStatesinwhichfinaljudgments oftenremainunexecuted 3 Norelevantdataavailable 9 15 MemberStatesinwhichfinal judgmentsareexecutedSource: FRA, 2010 Accordingtotheresearchfindingsin15EU Enforcement of judgments MemberStates,therewasnoevidenceto suggestthatfinaljudgmentsremainunexecuted Agovernmententitydelayedpaymentofdebts determinedbyacourttoanemployeeforperiods whereasnineotherdidnothaverelevantdata ofuptotwentymonths.TheECtHRconsidered toproperlyevaluatethesituation(Figure14). thedelaysdisproportionate.Theexecutionofa courtdecisionororderofanyjurisdictionmustbe Problemswithnon-executionoffinaljudgments consideredasanintegralpartoftheprocedure underthisprovision. werefoundinthreeEUMemberStates(Figure14). Non-executionoffinaljudgmentsappearstobea Apublicauthoritycannotinvokethelackof systemicprobleminparticularinRomania.251Inthe resourcesfornotpayingadebtorderedbyacourt UnitedKingdom,theMinistryofJusticehasproduced decisionandfailuretorespectafinaldecisionofa statisticsindicatingthatemploymenttribunal courtwithinareasonabletimemightviolate theECHR. decisionsonclaimsstemmingfromnon-discrimination inemploymentandunequalpayregularlyremain (ECtHR,Săcăleanu v. Romania,No.73970/01, unexecuted.Accordingtotherelevantfindings, 6 September2005) amendmentstonationallawhaverecentlybeen madetosimplifyenforcementproceduresevent thoughitisdifficulttopredictthesignificanceof ‘Anticipatory’ enforcement theirimpact.Someproblemsinrelationtonon- of judgements executionoffinaljudgmentsalsoexistinGreece.252 InBulgaria,thenationallawprovidesforso-called ‘anticipatory’enforcement.TheBulgariancourts allowanticipatoryenforcementofthejudgment incasetheyawardmaintenance,remuneration andcompensationforwork.Bulgariancourts mayfurthermoreallowanticipatoryenforcement wheretheyawardamountsofmoneydueor owedonthebasisofanofficialdocumentor wheresuchamountshavebeenadmittedbythe respondent,wherethedelayofenforcement mayresultinmaterialandirreparabledamages totheplaintiffortheenforcementitselfwould 251 See,forexample,Săcăleanu v. Romania,No.73970/01, becomeimpossibleorbeconsiderablyimpeded. 6 September2005. 252Inthisrespect,itshouldalsobenotedthatalthoughthereisno evidencetosuggestthatfinaljudgmentsremainunexecuted intheareaofnon-discriminationinHungary,theexecutionof decisionsgrantingsatisfactionotherthanfinancialcompensation maybeproblematic,asthedomesticlawdoesnotcontainany relevantrulesonhowtoexecutedecisionsorderingspecific performance. 63
  • Access to justice in Europe: an overview of challenges and opportunities 5.6. Summary The preceding sections of Chapter 5 analysed, in standard of living in particular. It can be concluded that a comparative way, several aspects of the right in the majority of EU Member States that provided to an effective remedy, namely nature of redress relevant statistical data, the average amount of (section 5.1), level of financial compensation financial compensation ranges from €2,000 to €5,000. (section 5.2), rules relating to the payment of legal costs (section 5.3), and finally, execution of final In the non-discrimination proceedings, national judgments awarding victims financial compensation courts of 22 EU Member States apply a ‘loser pays’ or other types of satisfaction (section 5.4). rule (section 5.3). Yet, in order not to discourage victims of discrimination with well-founded claims, According to the relevant research findings domestic judges in most of the EU Member States (section 5.1), in all 27 EU Member States, financial can derogate from this rule, granting an exemption compensation is the primary means of compensating on the basis of the principle of equity and justice. victims of discrimination. Such financial compensation is supplemented by other non-financial forms of The ‘sharing’ of the burden of proof between reparation (e.g. requests for reinstatement to a the parties in the context of non-discrimination previous position or an order that specific action be law is of particular importance in this area of law taken to relieve the injured party or a discriminatory given the difficulties involved in proving a case of contractual clause be nullified) in the majority of discrimination. Experience in various Member States EU Member States (19). The award of punitive damages likewise shows that statistics and discrimination is only provided for in two EU Member States. testing may be very useful tools in providing evidence of discriminatory practice (section 5.4). As for the amount of financial compensation commonly awarded by domestic courts, the relevant But for two EU Member States, there are no major research findings (section 5.2) showed that this problems with execution of final judgments depends heavily on the national context, national (section 5.5).64
  • RedressatnationallevelconclusionsAccesstojusticeisessentialinensuringthatrights complaintsrelatingtoEUlaw.Individualsmayaccessaremadeeffectiveandimplemented.Thisreport toCJEUdirectly(throughtheactionforannulment)providesanEU-widecomparativeoverviewand orindirectly(throughthepreliminaryrulinganalysisofchallengesandgoodpracticesrelating procedure).Whileremainingrelativelyrestricted,toaccesstojustice.Attheinternationallevel,it legalstandingbeforetheCJEUinthecontextofprovidedacomparativeoverviewofmechanisms annulmentproceedingshasbeenbroadenedbyavailableintheEUthroughEuropeanandinternational reformsintroducedbytheTreatyofLisbon.mechanisms,andtheirrelationshipwithnationaljurisdictions.Atthenationallevel,itdiscussed Atnationallevel,thereportfocussedonanalysinglimitationsonaccessingdisputesettlement existingpracticesinlightofatypologyofaccessprocedures,suchastimelimitsforlodgingcomplaints, tojusticeinordertoidentifychallengesandgoodrulesonlegalstandingandlegalfees,aswell practices.Proceduralrules,caselawandpracticesinastheabilitytousenon-judicialproceduresin theareaofnon-discriminationlaw,asrepresentedordertoobtainredress.Itwentontoexaminethe bytheRacialEqualityDirective,GenderEqualityavailabilityoflegalaid,existingalternatives,and DirectivesandEmploymentEqualityDirective,thetypesofredressavailableatnationallevel. formedthefocusoftheenquiry.MemberStates areobligedtoimplementtheseinstrumentsandAttheEuropeanlevel,thereportexaminedthe ensurethatredressforbreachesoftherightstheyUNtreatymonitoringbodies,theECtHR,ECSR guaranteearebotheffectiveandequivalenttothatandCJEU.TheUNoffersmechanismsthatcontribute availableatnationallevelforsimilarprocedures.Ittomakingjusticewidelyaccessiblethroughquasi- wasfoundthatwhileaccesstojusticeisavailablejudicialmonitoringbodies.However,Stateparties toasubstantialdegree,thereisstillroomforhavenotexpresslyundertakentobelegally improvementamongtheEUMemberStates.boundbytheirdecisionsonindividualcomplaints.Further,notallEUMemberStateshaveconsented ThisrepresentsFRA’sfirststudyspecificallyontotheindividualcomplaintsprocedure.TheECtHR theissueofaccesstojustice,andhasservedtomayhearcomplaintsrelatingtobreachesofthe identifyareaswherefurtherresearchmaybeECHR,whiletheECSRmonitorsimplementationof needed.WhilethereporthasfocussedonaccesstheEuropeanSocialCharter.Thelattermayonly tocourtsasameansofobtainingredress,itshouldhearcomplaintsofacollectivenaturelodgedby bereadtogetherwithforthcomingFRAresearchcertainbodiessuchasNGOsandtradeunions. ontheroleandexperiencesofnon-judicialTheECtHRunsustainablyhighcaseloadhasledto mechanisms,inparticularequalitybodies,asantheintroductionofa‘pilot’proceduredesigned alternativeavenuetoobtainingaccesstojustice.todealwithrepeatviolations.TheCJEUmayhear 65
  • European Union Agency for Fundamental Rightsaccess to Justice in europe: an overview of challenges and opportunities2011 – 65 p. – 21 x 29.7 cmISBN 978-92-9192-676-3doi: 10.2811/171A great deal of information on the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights is available on the Internet.It can be accessed through the FRA website at fra.europa.eu. hoW to oBtAin Eu puBlicAtions free publications: • via EU Bookshop (www.bookshop.europa.eu); • at the European Union’s representations or delegations. You can obtain their contact details on the Internet (www.ec.europa.eu) or by sending a fax to +352 2929-42758. priced publications: • via EU Bookshop (www.bookshop.europa.eu). priced subscriptions (e.g. annual series of the Official Journal of the European Union and reports of cases before the court of Justice of the european union): • via one of the sales agents of the Publications Office of the European Union (www.publications.europa.eu/others/agents/index_en.htm).
  • TK-31-11-085-EN-C doi: 10.2811/1711Helping to make fundamental rigHts a reality for everyone in tHe european union The ability to enforce a right is central to transforming fundamental rights from theory into concrete reality. Access to justice is not only a right in itself but also an enabling and empowering right since it allows individuals to enforce their rights and obtain redress. This report, the first study of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights to focus on this issue, provides an overview of challenges to and opportunities for the realisation of access to justice. It provides a comparative analysis of procedures available at the European and international levels and their relationship with national judicial systems. Its main focus, however, is on national judicial systems, and the procedures and practices through which access to justice is delivered. It identifies concrete obstacles such as strict time limits for lodging complaints, restrictive rules on legal standing, excessive legal costs and the complexity of legal procedures. FRA - EuRopEAn union AgEncy FoR FundAmEntAl Rights Schwarzenbergplatz 11 - 1040 Vienna - Austria Tel: +43 (1) 580 30 – 60 - Fax: +43 (1) 580 30 – 693 fra.europa.eu - info@fra.europa.eu