ECHR decision of March 03, 2020 in the case "Convertito and others V. Romania" (aplication N 30547/14).
In 2014, the applicants were assisted in preparing the aplication. The aplication was subsequently communicated to Romania.
The case successfully considered an aplication about the cancellation of the applicants 'state educational diplomas in connection with administrative violations committed in the applicants' first year of higher education. The case violated the requirements of article 8 of the Convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
In 2003 and 2004, the applicants, five Italian citizens, started University studies after they applied for admission to a dental training course. The decisions on the applicants ' admission, made on behalf of the University rector, indicated that the enrollment procedure was "not completed", since the relevant permission from the Romanian Ministry of education had not yet been received. In late 2008 or early 2009, the applicants passed the Romanian language proficiency exams.
In 2009, during a data exchange between the rector of the University and the Ministry of education of Romania, attention was drawn to the fact that the first applicant had not received a letter from this Ministry confirming admission to the University, and the letters to four other applicants concerned their second year of study, but not their first. However, the University Council agreed to the Dean's proposal to allow all applicants to take their final exams.
Thus, after six years of study, applicants were admitted to the final exams and passed them. They received state diplomas in the specialty "dentist". Subsequently, the applicants initiated a procedure for recognition of their diplomas by the Italian authorities in order to continue working in that country.
In 2011, the applicants ' documents were the subject of an administrative review, which found violations due to the late processing of letters of permission for applicants to study at the University of Romania. Thus, the applicants ' diplomas were revoked by the University Council at the request of the Romanian Ministry of education. The applicants ' complaints were unsuccessful.
POINT OF LAW
Regarding compliance with article 8 of the Convention. The cancellation of the applicants ' state diplomas for the specialty "dentist" entailed certain consequences not only for the applicants ' social self-identification in the form of relationships with other persons, but also for their professional life, since their qualifications as specialists were called into question, and their plans for professional growth were suddenly disrupted. In these circumstances, the measure taken by the authorities had consequences for the applicants ' exercise of their right to respect for "private life". The measure was an interference with the said right, which was provided for by law and was intended to prevent riots and protect the rights of others.
The student admission decisions were drawn up and signed by the Dean of the faculty of medicine and pharmacology before the letters of approval from the Ministry of education and the results of the Romanian language proficiency exam were received. Based on these decisions, the applicants were allowed to complete a full six-year course of training as a dentist and were allowed to take their final exams. The applicants would not have been able to do all this if the University had refused them admission from the very beginning for administrative reasons.
Based on the above, the University Council also confirmed the legality of the applicants ' administrative status and their participation in the final exams. However, special attention should be paid to the context in which decisions were made to admit applicants to the University, which was characterized, as it turned out, by certain differences in the position of the University administration and the Ministry of education of Romania regarding the late processing of letters of permission to admit applicants to the University. The resulting situation of uncertainty and inconsistency cannot, of course, be blamed on the applicants.
In conclusion, by cancelling the applicants 'diplomas, the Romanian authorities unexpectedly damaged the applicants' professional standing, and there were no negative assessments that could lead to the assumption that the applicants were not qualified to work in their specialty.
Thus, the measures complained of did not meet the criterion of urgent public necessity and were not proportionate to the legitimate aim pursued. Consequently, they were not necessary in a democratic society.
In the application of article 41 of the Convention. The European Court awarded each of the applicants EUR 100,00 in respect of non-pecuniary damage.