The ECHR judgment of 13 October 2016 in the case of Kitanovska-Stanojkovic and Others v. Macedonia (application No. 2319/14).
In 2014, the applicants were assisted in preparing the application. Subsequently, the application was communicated to Macedonia.
In the case, the applicants' complaint on the untimely execution of the punishment imposed on the accused, convicted of a brutal attack on the applicants, was successfully considered. The case involved a violation of the requirements of Article 2 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
The first applicant suffered very serious injuries during the robbery of her home. Her husband, the father of the second and third applicants, was also attacked during the same incident and subsequently died of injuries. The attackers were convicted of robbery under aggravating circumstances and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment. However, one of the attackers continued to live next door to the applicants for 18 months before he started serving his sentence. In their application to the European Court, the applicants complained that the untimely execution of the sentence of deprivation of liberty caused a violation of Article 2 of the Convention.
ISSUES OF LAW
Concerning compliance with Article 2 of the Convention. The fact that the use of force by the attackers against the first applicant did not result in her death was purely accidental. She received life-threatening injuries, therefore Article 2 of the Convention is applicable to the circumstances of the case. The European Court considered that after the robbery the attackers were convicted and sentenced. The applicants did not criticize the conduct of the criminal proceedings or its outcome, and the Court considers that the authorities complied with the procedural obligations that arose in accordance with Article 2 of the Convention in respect of criminal proceedings. However, the requirement of the effectiveness of criminal proceedings in accordance with Article 2 of the Convention can also be interpreted as imposing an obligation on States to enforce the final judgments of the court without undue delay. This is due to the fact that the execution of the sentence rendered in the context of the right to life should be considered as an integral part of the procedural obligation of the State under this article of the Convention.
With regard to the facts of the case, the Court decided that the authorities of the respondent State did not show the required diligence in the execution of the sentence of deprivation of liberty, and the delays, the responsibility for which was entirely borne by the authorities, could not be considered reasonable. On this basis, the Court concluded that the system of the respondent State with regard to the enforcement of sentences of deprivation of liberty proved ineffective in the present case and, accordingly, there was a violation of Article 2 of the Convention.
The violation of the requirements of Article 2 of the Convention (unanimously) was committed in the case.
In the application of Article 41 of the Convention. The Court awarded each applicant 5,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage.