Case nº U-III/3304/2011 of January 23, 2013. Proceedings initiated in response to a constitutional complaint for the protection of constitutionally guaranteed human rights and fundamental freedoms

Resolution Date:January 23, 2013
Issuing Organization:Constitutional Court
SUMMARY

The omission of the courts to execute the final and binding judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Vanjak v. Croatia (14 January 2010, application no. 29889/04).

 
FREE EXCERPT

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia, composed of Jasna Omejec, President, and Judges Mato Arlović, Snježana Bagić, Slavica Banić, Mario Jelušić, Davor Krapac, Ivan Matija, Antun Palarić, Duška Šarin and Miroslav Šeparović, in proceedings instituted in a constitutional complaint by V. from Karlovac represented by I., attorney in Z., at its session held on 23 January 2013, rendered the followingD E C I S I O NI. The constitutional complaint is hereby accepted related to the omission of the courts referred to in point II of the operative part to execute the final and binding judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Vanjak v. Croatia (14 January 2010, application no. 29889/04) in the meaning of Article 46.1 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Official Gazette – International Treaties nos. 18/97, 6/99 - consolidated text, and 8/99 - correction, 14/02 and 1/06) in conjunction with Article 115.3 and Article 134 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (Official Gazette nos. 56/90, 135/97, 113/00, 28/01 and 76/10).II. The following are hereby quashed:- the judgment of the Administrative Court of the Republic of Croatia no: Us-12153/2010 of 14 April 2011- the ruling of the Second Instance Disciplinary Court at the Department for Disciplinary Actions, Legal Affairs and Human Resources Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior, no: 511-01-158-II-39191/1-2010 of 6 September 2010- the ruling of the First Instance Disciplinary Court in Rijeka at the Department for Disciplinary Actions, Legal Affairs and Human Resources Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior, class: 511-01-158-RI-15626/03-2010 of 12 May 2010.III. The case is remanded to the First Instance Disciplinary Court in Rijeka at the Department for Disciplinary Actions, Legal Affairs and Human Resources Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior.IV. The applicant of the constitutional complaint shall be deemed the victim of a violation of Article 29.1 of the Constitution and Article 6.1 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in proceedings referred to by the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights Vanjak v. Croatia (14 January 2010, application no. 29889/04), until the judgment of the ECHR has been duly executed.V. Pursuant to Article 31.4 and 5 of the Constitutional Act on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia (Official Gazette nos. 99/99, 29/02 and 49/02 - consolidated text), the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia in implementing this decision orders that in the renewed proceedings the applicant be compensated for the costs of the proceedings in which the judgment and decisions referred to in point II of this operative part were rendered.VI. This decision shall be published in the Official Gazette.andR U L I N GI. The constitutional complaint is hereby dismissed with regard to the applicant's objections concerning the proceedings he had instituted with the request to amend a legally effective court decision on the basis of a decision of the ECHR, which he grounded on Article 14.2, Article 18.1 and Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, as well as on Article 6 European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.II. This ruling shall be published in the Official Gazette.Statement of reasonsI. PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT1.- The applicant of the constitutional complaint, a Croatian national, filed a constitutional complaint for the protection of constitutional rights in the procedure of the execution of a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (hereinafter: ECHR) in the case of Vanjak v. Croatia (judgment, 24 January 2010, application no. 29889/04), which became final on 14 April 2010. This judgment will hereinafter be referred to as: Vanjak v. Croatia (2010).The constitutional complaint was filed against:- the ruling of the First Instance Disciplinary Court in Rijeka at the Department for Disciplinary Actions, Legal Affairs and Human Resources Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior, class: 511-01-158-RI-15626/03-2010 of 12 May 2010 (hereinafter: impugned first-instance decision), dismissing the applicant's request for the reopening of proceedings before a competent domestic body in the procedure for the execution of the ECRH judgement Vanjak v. Croatia (2010);- the ruling of the Second Instance Disciplinary Court at the Department for Disciplinary Actions, Legal Affairs and Human Resources Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior, no: 511-01-158-II-39191/1-2010 of 6 September 2010 (hereinafter: impugned second-instance decision), rejecting the applicant's appeal as unfounded and upholding the first-instance decision;- the judgment of the Administrative Court of the Republic of Croatia no: Us-12153/2010 of 14 April 2011 (hereinafter: impugned judgment), rejecting the complaint of the applicant of the constitutional complaint against the second-instance decision.1.- 1. The applicant of the constitutional complaint considers that the constitutional right to an "effective remedy" (Article 18.1 of the Constitution), the constitutional right to a fair trial (Article 29.1 of the Constitution), and the constitutional rights of equality of arms (Article 14.2 of the Constitution) have been violated. In addition to Article 29.1 of the Constitution, he also refers to Article 6.1 of the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Official Gazette – International Treaties nos. 18/97, 6/99 - consolidated text, and 8/99. - correction, 14/02 and 1/06; hereinafter: the Convention).He proposes that the Constitutional Court "grant the complaint, quash the contested judgments and remand the case, as well as order the compensation of costs for the drafting of the complaint pursuant to the Tariff on remuneration and compensation of costs for the work of an attorney" (Official Gazette 148/10).2.- During the Constitutional Court proceedings, the Constitutional Court obtained the file of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia (hereinafter: the MI) no: 511-01-158-II-39191/1-2010, and the file of the Administrative Court of the Republic of Croatia (hereinafter: the Administrative Court) no: Us-12153/2010.3.- During the procedure of obtaining the file from the MI, the Constitutional Court was informed that file no: KZZ-39/11 was at the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia (hereinafter: Supreme Court) since the State Attorney's Office of the Republic of Croatia (hereinafter: SAO RC) had filed a motion for the protection of legality. The Constitutional Court requested the relevant documentation from SAO RC. After considering it, it found that the SAO RC had filed a motion for the protection of legality no: KZZ-DO-361/10 of 19 August 2011 (which was received at the Supreme Court on 23 August 2011) against: - the judgments of the Disciplinary Court of the MI, Karlovac Police Administration, no. 511-01-01-DS-40/50-96 of 10 October 1996; - the judgment of the Second Instance Disciplinary Court of the MI, no: DS-II-191/96 of 3 December 1996.In these judgments, rendered in disciplinary proceedings, it was decided on the merits that the employment of the applicant of the constitutional complaint in the MI be terminated due to a grave violation of work discipline. The SAO RC filed a motion for the protection of legality against the above judgments "due to a violation of the court proceedings that preceded the rendering of these judgments referred to in Article 6.1 of the Convention" and "a violation referred to in Article 31.1 of the Criminal Procedure Act" after the judgment Vanjak v. Croatia (2010) of the ECHR had become final.3.- 1. With regard to the effect of the request for the protection of legality on the admissibility of the constitutional complaint, the Constitutional Court recalls that this request is not a legal remedy at the disposal of the applicant of the constitutional complaint. Therefore, it does not have to be exhausted in the meaning of Article 62 of the Constitutional Act on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia (Official Gazette nos. 99/99, 29/02 and 49/02 - consolidated text; hereinafter: Constitutional Act) before a constitutional complaint is lodged. It is up to the Constitutional Court, in the light of the circumstances of each particular case and on the basis of the constitutional requirement that human rights be respected, to assess whether, in the case where the SAO RC files a request for the protection of legality in a particular case with the Supreme Court, it is necessary to stay the proceedings initiated by a constitutional complaint in the case in question until the Supreme Court renders a decision.3.- 2. The Constitutional Court decided to stay the proceedings until the Supreme Court rendered a decision on the request for the protection of legality filed by the SAO RC in the case in question. However, the Deputy State Attorney General, D. K., waived this request by a written submission to the Supreme Court on 29 October 2012. On these grounds, on 30 October 2012 the Supreme Court rendered ruling no: Kzz 39/11-6 dismissing the "request for the protection of legality of the State Attorney General of the Republic of Croatia of 19 August 2011 no: KZZ-DO-361/10". Immediately after becoming aware of this fact, the applicant's constitutional complaint was considered on the merits.II. THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE1) Proceedings that preceded the ECRH judgment in the case of Vanjak v. Croatia (2010)a) Disciplinary proceedings against the applicant4.- From 5 August 1990 the applicant served as a police officer in the Karlovac Police Department (Policijska uprava karlovačka), where he worked as the Assistant Chief of the Ribnik sector for state border security. On 28 May 1996 he was called into a police station where he was...

To continue reading

REQUEST YOUR TRIAL