PACE names nine states with ‘worrying delays’ in implementing judgments of the European Court of Human Rights

Strasbourg, 26.01.2011 – The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has named nine states with “major systemic deficiencies” which are causing repeated violations of the European Convention on Human Rights.

In a resolution adopted today, based on a report by Christos Pourgourides (Cyprus, EPP/CD), the Assembly said structural problems in Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine were causing “extremely worrying delays” in implementing judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.

The main problems were deaths or ill-treatment caused by law-enforcement officials, unlawful or over-long detention, legal proceedings which take too long and court judgments which are not enforced. Resolving these issues at national level would reduce the number of cases coming to the Strasbourg Court, the parliamentarians pointed out.

Other states with outstanding problems include include Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzgovina , Georgia and Serbia.

In a separate resolution, based on a report by David Darchiashvili (Georgia, EPP/CD), the Assembly also denounced “blatant disregard” of the Court by some states which had ignored its clear instructions not to deport individuals who might be at risk of torture or ill-treatment. Such “interim measures”, usually involving failed asylum seekers or irregular migrants whose expulsion is imminent, are intended to give the Court time to consider their complaints. States should “fully comply with the letter and spirit” of these requests.

The Assembly also expressed concern at the rapid increase in the number of applications for interim measures, putting pressure on governments and the Court – especially given the Court’s recent ruling, in the case M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece, that not all EU states can be considered safe for returns. States should improve their asylum procedures to avoid the need for such requests, the parliamentarians said.