Victims Data
Victims Nationality/Ethnic Origin N/A
Victims Gender N/A
Victims Age N/A
Victims Number N/A
Fatalities - deaths N/A
Perpetrators Data
Perpetrators Nationality/Ethnic Origin N/A
Perpetrator Gender N/A
Perpetrator Age N/A
Perpetrators Number N/A
Extremist/Organised Group Violence No

The case The Centre for Legal Resources on behalf of Valentin Câmpeanu v Romania is “the first case brought before the European Court of Human Rights painting a grim picture of the range of extreme human rights abuses routinely inflicted upon people with disabilities placed in long-term stay institutions across Europe, and who are often unable to complain or seek remedies for their plight before a court, due to their disability or because they are prevented from doing so by the authorities.

The Court has asked the Romanian Government to account for its treatment of a HIV-positive, intellectually disabled young man of Roma ethnicity, which resulted in his death at the notorious Poiana Mare Psychiatric Hospital in Romania. The case, brought on behalf of Valentin Câmpeanu by the Romanian NGO Centre for Legal Resources supported by INTERIGHTS, was communicated to the Romanian Government by the Court on 7 June 2011. (…) The Centre for Legal Resources asked the Court to adapt its admissibility criteria so as to allow NGOs to bring cases on behalf of a person with disabilities, even in the absence of specific authorization.”

The CLR claimed violations under Articles 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 and 14 (based on HIV status and mental disability) of the Convention. [2]

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights intervened before the Court, in a first intervention of this kind, considering that in exceptional circumstances, NGOs should be allowed to lodge applications with the Court on behalf of victims, even in the absence of specific authorization:

“There is an atmosphere of impunity surrounding abuses committed against people with disabilities. A strict application of standing requirements to these persons would have the undesired effect of depriving a particularly vulnerable group of people of any reasonable prospect of seeking and obtaining redress for violations of their human rights. It would also run counter to the objective of preventing the occurrence or recurrence of human rights violations by the States parties to the European Convention on Human Rights. (…)

The important role of NGOs in shedding light on human rights violations experienced by vulnerable persons and in facilitating their access to justice must be officially recognised. This would be fully in line with the principle of effectiveness in which the Convention is grounded.” [3]


  1. Interrights, Campeanu Press Release, 07.07.2011, available at: (Date of access: 12.03.2012). Also see information on the webpage of the Centre for Legal Resources, Poiana Mare Psychiatric Hospital Case, available at: (Date of access: 12.03.2012) 
  2. MDAC, MDAC intervenes in case before the European Court of Human Rights involving death of an Intellectually disabled man in a Romanian institution, 04.10.2011, available at: (Date of access: 12.03.2012) it also includes link to Statement of facts.
  3. Council of Europe, Commissioner for Human Rights, Access to justice for persons with disabilities: Commissioner Hammarberg intervenes before the Strasbourg Court, 18.10.2011, available at: (Date of access: 12.03.2012)