I incorrectly predicted that there's no violation of human rights in WOMEN'S INITIATIVES SUPPORTING GROUP AND OTHERS v. GEORGIA.

Information

  • Judgment date: 2021-12-16
  • Communication date: 2015-08-24
  • Application number(s): 73204/13
  • Country:   GEO
  • Relevant ECHR article(s): 3, 8, 8-1, 10, 10-1, 11, 11-1, 14, 17
  • Conclusion:
    Violation of Article 6 - Right to a fair trial (Article 6 - Civil proceedings
    Article 6-1 - Reasonable time)
  • Result: Violation
  • SEE FINAL JUDGMENT

JURI Prediction

  • Probability: 0.612704
  • Prediction: No violation
  • Inconsistent


Legend

 In line with the court's judgment
 In opposition to the court's judgment
Darker color: higher probability
: In line with the court's judgment  
: In opposition to the court's judgment

Communication text used for prediction

1.
A list of the applicants is set out in the appendix.
The individual applicants are all Georgian nationals, live in Tbilisi and are represented before the Court by Ms T. Abazadze, Ms N. Bolkvadze and Mr L. Asatiani, lawyers practising in Tbilisi.
2.
The first applicant, Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group (WISG) is a Georgian non-governmental organisation (NGO) set up to promote and protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Georgia.
The remaining individual applicants are either staff members of the applicant organisation or otherwise members and supporters of the LGBT community.
3.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicants, may be summarised as follows.
A.
Peaceful demonstration of 17 May 2013 4.
On 24 April, 1 and 2 May 2013 the applicant organisation informed the Ministry of the Interior of its intention of holding, with NGO Identoba, a peaceful public assembly on 17 May 2013 in the centre of the capital city to mark the International Day Against Homophobia.
The planned event would represent a silent twenty minute long flash mob (“the IDAHO event”).
The organiser indicated that the event would take place at Rustaveli Avenue, on the grounds of the building formerly housing Georgian Parliament, and that some fifty people would take part in it.
In view of the violence committed by radical homophobic groups during the similar event of the preceding year, on 17 May 2012, the applicant organisation requested the Ministry to invest more time and energy in order to work out a truly efficient plan of protection of the procession from possible aggression.
5.
On 9 May 2013 the applicant organisation informed the Ministry of the Interior of serious threats disseminated on internet by various identifiable individuals.
Those threats, targeting lives and health of staff members of the applicant organisation, were aimed at dissuading the organisers from staging the IDAHO event.
6.
On 13 May 2013 reports were disseminated through various media sources that a number of ultra-conservative non-governmental organisations and clergymen were planning to hold a counter-demonstration on 17 May 2013 in order to demand prohibition of “popularisation and promotion of sexual minorities”.
The main organisers of the counter-demonstration were Mr G.G., a member of NGO Former Prisoners for Human Rights, Mr E. M., the President of NGO National Front, and a prominent clergyman of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Father J.
7.
On the same day, Mr G.G.
gave a formal notice to Tbilisi City Hall about the intention to hold “a prayer rally” at Rustaveli Avenue, on the grounds of the building formerly housing Georgian Parliament.
The notice contained information that priests and parish from various churches in Tbilisi were to participate in the rally.
8.
On 13 and 15 May 2013 senior officials from the Ministry of the Interior held meetings with the organisers of the IDAHO event, including representatives from the applicant organisation.
During those meeting, in reply to the organisers’ concerns that there existed a high risk of demonstrators’ being attacked by a large number of aggressive counter-demonstrators, the Ministry officials made formal assurances that no effort would be spared in order to guarantee the safety of the demonstrators.
The authority informed the organisers that at least 10,000 people were planning to take part in the counter-demonstration according to the latest information.
The Ministry proposed WISG, the applicant organisation, and Identoba to move the IDAHO event from the grounds of the former Parliament building a few hundred meters away, to Pushkin Square, in order to avoid direct confrontation with the opposing party at Rustaveli Avenue.
The authority assured that police manpower would be mobilised on the scene in sufficient numbers in order to have solid police cordons created between the two opposing parties.
The applicant organisation and other organisers of the IDAHO event approved the Ministry’s proposal.
B.
Assault on the applicants in Vachnadze Street on 17 May 2013 9.
Clergymen, their parish and other counter-demonstrators started assembling outside the former Parliament building already in the evening of 16 May 2013, staying overnight at Rustaveli Avenue.
By early afternoon of 17 May 2013, some 20,000 counter-demonstrators were already gathered.
10.
On 17 May 2013, at around 12:00 p.m., participants of the IDAHO event started gathering at Pushkin Square.
Watching the enormous and aggressive crowd of counter-demonstrators only a few hundred meters away, from whom they were separated by a thin cordon of police patrol officers, who were neither armed nor equipped with any other anti-riot gear, and by removable metal fences, the arriving LGBT demonstrators started having serious doubts about their security.
The counter-demonstrators started chanting homophobic insults and threats to health and life.
No any anti-riot police squads were seen around.
11.
At around 12:30 p.m. on 17 May 2013, the applicants, who were trying to reach the site of the IDAHO event at Pushkin Square through a narrow Vachnadze street, were suddenly encircled by a group of counter-demonstrators.
The counter-demonstrators had identified them as LGBT people and were proffering homophobic insults and threats.
The unarmed and unequipped police manpower present at the scene was insignificant in comparison to the angry mob.
12.
The police officers eventually managed to remove the applicants, after an active intervention of a staff member of the local United Nations office in Tbilisi, from the attackers by sneaking them into a house situated on the street, and remaining at the guard of the doors of the house until the arrival of a special minibus.
However, once the entrapped activists got into the vehicle, the counter-demonstrators, yelling “stone them all!” and “kill them all!”, surrounded it, and broke almost all the windows and front windscreen of the minibus with iron batons and stones in an attempt to pull the sheltered people out.
Eventually, after a few minutes of turmoil, the driver of the minibus managed to get through the besieging mob.
13.
All fourteen individual applicants received severe stress as a result of the violent incident in Vachnadze Street, which medical condition was later documented by medical certificates, whilst the twelfth one, Ms S. Merkviladze, also received a physical injury from a stone thrown by the angry mob which had hit her in the head, causing brain concussion.
B.
Subsequent investigation 14.
On 17 May 2013 the Ministry of the Interior launched of its own motion a general probe into the acts of violence committed during the clash between the two demonstrations.
15.
On 25 July and 20 September 2013 the applicant organisation and fifteen individual applicants, requested the Ministry of the Interior to identify and criminally prosecute individuals responsible for the violence committed against them during the IDAHO event.
No response followed from the Ministry.
16.
Between October 2013 and January 2014 the applicant organisation and all of the individual applicants regularly enquired with the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office about any tangible progress in the investigation and whether victim status had been granted to them.
The prosecution authority answered on 27 December 2013, stating that there were no signs of illegality in the actions of the police during the demonstration, who, on the contrary, duly discharged their duties by preventing grave consequences which could have otherwise occurred given the disproportionately high number of the counter-demonstrators.
In addition, the prosecution authority updated the applicants on the developments of the general probe launched by the Ministry of the Interior on 17 May 2013.
17.
Thus, according to the prosecution authority’s notification and other materials available in the case file, following the initiation of the probe by the Ministry, four counter-demonstrators were sanctioned for transgression under Article 166 of the Code of Administrative Offences – minor breach of public order – and fined 100 Georgian laris (some 45 euros (EUR)) each.
Furthermore, criminal proceedings under Article 161 of the Criminal Code – illicit obstruction, perpetrated with recourse to violence, threat of violence or abuse of official capacity, of the exercise of the right to peaceful demonstration – were pending, by December 2013, before a trial court against four other counter-demonstrators, including a clergyman.
18.
The case file does not account for any other, more recent developments in the proceedings concerning the investigation of the Vachnadze incident.
COMPLAINTS 19.
Fifteen individual applicants complained under Article 3 of the Convention, taken separately and in conjunction with Article 14, that the relevant domestic authorities had failed to protect them from the violent attacks perpetrated by the counter-demonstrators on 17 May 2013 and to investigate effectively the incident by establishing, in particular, the discriminatory motive of the attackers.
20.
All applicants, including the applicant organisation, complained under Articles 10 and 11 of the Convention, taken separately and in conjunction with Article 14, that they had not been able to proceed with their peaceful march owing to the bias-motivated assaults on them and the inaction on the part of the police.

Judgment

SECOND SECTION
CASE OF BAJKIĆ AND ŽIVKOVIĆ v. SERBIA
(Applications nos.
30141/19 and 4419/20)

JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
16 December 2021

This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Bajkić and Živković v. Serbia,
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:
Pauliine Koskelo, President, Branko Lubarda, Marko Bošnjak, judges,and Viktoriya Maradudina, Acting Deputy Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 25 November 2021,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
PROCEDURE
1.
The case originated in applications against Serbia lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) on the various dates indicated in the appended table. 2. The applicants were represented by Mr G. Stamenić, a lawyer practising in Čačak. 3. The Serbian Government (“the Government”) were given notice of the applications. THE FACTS
4.
The list of applicants and the relevant details of the applications are set out in the appended table. 5. The applicants complained of the excessive length of civil proceedings. THE LAW
6.
Having regard to the similar subject matter of the applications, the Court finds it appropriate to examine them jointly in a single judgment. 7. The applicants complained that the length of their respective civil proceedings had been incompatible with the “reasonable time” requirement. They relied on Article 6 § 1 of the Convention, which reads as follows:
Article 6 § 1
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ... everyone is entitled to a ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal ...”
8.
The Court reiterates that the reasonableness of the length of proceedings must be assessed in the light of the circumstances of the case and with reference to the following criteria: the complexity of the case, the conduct of the applicants and the relevant authorities and what was at stake for the applicants in the dispute (see Frydlender v. France [GC], no. 30979/96, § 43, ECHR 2000-VII). 9. In the leading cases of Scordino v. Italy (no. 1) [GC], no. 36813/97, §§ 134-227, ECHR 2006-V, and Savić and Others v. Serbia [Committee], nos. 22080/09 and 7 others, 5 April 2016, the Court already found a violation in respect of issues similar to those in the present case. 10. Having examined all the material submitted to it, the Court has not found any fact or argument capable of justifying the overall length of the proceedings at the national level. Having regard to its case-law on the subject, the Court considers that in the instant case the length of the proceedings was excessive and failed to meet the “reasonable time” requirement. 11. These complaints are therefore admissible and disclose a breach of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention. 12. Article 41 of the Convention provides:
“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”
13.
Regard being had to the documents in its possession and to its case‐law (see, in particular, Scordino, cited above, §§ 260-73, and Savić and Others, cited above), the Court considers it reasonable to award the sums indicated in the appended table and dismisses the remainder of the applicants’ claims for just satisfaction. 14. The Court considers it appropriate that the default interest rate should be based on the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank, to which should be added three percentage points. FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT, UNANIMOUSLY,
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months, the amounts indicated in the appended table, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement;
(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points.
Done in English, and notified in writing on 16 December 2021, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court. Viktoriya Maradudina Pauliine Koskelo
Acting Deputy Registrar President

APPENDIX
List of applications raising complaints under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention
(excessive length of civil and/or administrative proceedings)
No.
Application no. Date of introduction
Applicant’s name
Year of birth

Start of proceedings
End of
proceedings
Total length
Levels of jurisdiction
Domestic award in respect of non-pecuniary damage (in euros)
Amount awarded for non-pecuniary damage per applicant
(in euros)[1] [2]
Amount awarded for costs and expenses per application
(in euros)[3]
30141/19
27/05/2019
Danijel BAJKIĆ
1990
31/12/2010

02/07/2020

9 years, 6 months and
3 days

2 levels of jurisdiction

Smederevo Court of First Instance
R4R.br.58/16
27 May 2016
(no violation)
2,100
250
4419/20
20/12/2019
Slobodan ŽIVKOVIĆ
1967
14/07/2011

Pending

more than 10 years, 3 months and
14 days

2 levels of jurisdiction

Smederevo Court of First Instance
R4R.br.9/2017
14 July 2017
(no violation)
2,100
250

[1] Plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants.
[2] Less any amounts which may have already been paid in that regard at the domestic level. [3] Plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants. SECOND SECTION
CASE OF BAJKIĆ AND ŽIVKOVIĆ v. SERBIA
(Applications nos.
30141/19 and 4419/20)

JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
16 December 2021

This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Bajkić and Živković v. Serbia,
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:
Pauliine Koskelo, President, Branko Lubarda, Marko Bošnjak, judges,and Viktoriya Maradudina, Acting Deputy Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 25 November 2021,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
PROCEDURE
1.
The case originated in applications against Serbia lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) on the various dates indicated in the appended table. 2. The applicants were represented by Mr G. Stamenić, a lawyer practising in Čačak. 3. The Serbian Government (“the Government”) were given notice of the applications. THE FACTS
4.
The list of applicants and the relevant details of the applications are set out in the appended table. 5. The applicants complained of the excessive length of civil proceedings. THE LAW
6.
Having regard to the similar subject matter of the applications, the Court finds it appropriate to examine them jointly in a single judgment. 7. The applicants complained that the length of their respective civil proceedings had been incompatible with the “reasonable time” requirement. They relied on Article 6 § 1 of the Convention, which reads as follows:
Article 6 § 1
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ... everyone is entitled to a ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal ...”
8.
The Court reiterates that the reasonableness of the length of proceedings must be assessed in the light of the circumstances of the case and with reference to the following criteria: the complexity of the case, the conduct of the applicants and the relevant authorities and what was at stake for the applicants in the dispute (see Frydlender v. France [GC], no. 30979/96, § 43, ECHR 2000-VII). 9. In the leading cases of Scordino v. Italy (no. 1) [GC], no. 36813/97, §§ 134-227, ECHR 2006-V, and Savić and Others v. Serbia [Committee], nos. 22080/09 and 7 others, 5 April 2016, the Court already found a violation in respect of issues similar to those in the present case. 10. Having examined all the material submitted to it, the Court has not found any fact or argument capable of justifying the overall length of the proceedings at the national level. Having regard to its case-law on the subject, the Court considers that in the instant case the length of the proceedings was excessive and failed to meet the “reasonable time” requirement. 11. These complaints are therefore admissible and disclose a breach of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention. 12. Article 41 of the Convention provides:
“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”
13.
Regard being had to the documents in its possession and to its case‐law (see, in particular, Scordino, cited above, §§ 260-73, and Savić and Others, cited above), the Court considers it reasonable to award the sums indicated in the appended table and dismisses the remainder of the applicants’ claims for just satisfaction. 14. The Court considers it appropriate that the default interest rate should be based on the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank, to which should be added three percentage points. FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT, UNANIMOUSLY,
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months, the amounts indicated in the appended table, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement;
(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points.
Done in English, and notified in writing on 16 December 2021, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court. Viktoriya Maradudina Pauliine Koskelo
Acting Deputy Registrar President

APPENDIX
List of applications raising complaints under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention
(excessive length of civil and/or administrative proceedings)
No.
Application no. Date of introduction
Applicant’s name
Year of birth

Start of proceedings
End of
proceedings
Total length
Levels of jurisdiction
Domestic award in respect of non-pecuniary damage (in euros)
Amount awarded for non-pecuniary damage per applicant
(in euros)[1] [2]
Amount awarded for costs and expenses per application
(in euros)[3]
30141/19
27/05/2019
Danijel BAJKIĆ
1990
31/12/2010

02/07/2020

9 years, 6 months and
3 days

2 levels of jurisdiction

Smederevo Court of First Instance
R4R.br.58/16
27 May 2016
(no violation)
2,100
250
4419/20
20/12/2019
Slobodan ŽIVKOVIĆ
1967
14/07/2011

Pending

more than 10 years, 3 months and
14 days

2 levels of jurisdiction

Smederevo Court of First Instance
R4R.br.9/2017
14 July 2017
(no violation)
2,100
250

No.
Application no. Date of introduction
Applicant’s name
Year of birth

Start of proceedings
End of
proceedings
Total length
Levels of jurisdiction
Domestic award in respect of non-pecuniary damage (in euros)
Amount awarded for non-pecuniary damage per applicant
(in euros)[1] [2]
Amount awarded for costs and expenses per application
(in euros)[3]
30141/19
27/05/2019
Danijel BAJKIĆ
1990
31/12/2010

02/07/2020

9 years, 6 months and
3 days

2 levels of jurisdiction

Smederevo Court of First Instance
R4R.br.58/16
27 May 2016
(no violation)
2,100
250
4419/20
20/12/2019
Slobodan ŽIVKOVIĆ
1967
14/07/2011

Pending

more than 10 years, 3 months and
14 days

2 levels of jurisdiction

Smederevo Court of First Instance
R4R.br.9/2017
14 July 2017
(no violation)
2,100
250
[1] Plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants.
[2] Less any amounts which may have already been paid in that regard at the domestic level. [3] Plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants.