Indicator history

Close Window

ECtHR cases - decisions art.14 etc.

Key Area:
Discrimination Statistics
27/12/2011 - 14:18
Short Answer

Examples of cases decided by the European Court of Human Rights.

Qualitative Info

In the last five years, the European Court of Human Rights found Romania in violation of Art.14 of the ECHR in five cases. Two of them do not relate to minority rights. Two of the remaining cases deal with police abuses against Roma people, while the third case is about discrimination against Greek-Catholics in access to justice.


Stoica v Romania is a case that originated in an application introduced in 2002, about facts that occured between 1997-1998. The Court found a procedural violation of Art.14, with regards to the fact that the criminal investigation did not take into account the allegations of racist violence against Roma on behalf of the authorities. More importantly, the Court found a substantial violation of Art.14 stating that the police officers' behaviour was not racially neutral during the incidents and the criminal investigations. The Court stated that:

"129. The Court finds thus no reason to consider that the applicant’s aggression by the police officers was removed from this racist context.
130.  For all these reasons, the Court considers that the burden of proof lies on the Government, regard having had to all the evidence of discrimination ignored by the police and the military prosecutor and the above conclusion of a racially biased investigation into the incidents.
131.  Therefore, in the present case the evidence indicating the racial motives behind the police officers’ actions is clear and neither the prosecutor in charge with the criminal investigation nor the Government could explain in any other way the incidents or, to that end, put forward any arguments showing that the incidents were racially neutral."

Cobzaru v Romania is a case that originated in an application introduced in 1999, about facts that occured between 2001-2002. The Court found a violation of Art.14 with regards to the failure of the law enforcement agents to investigate possible racial motives in the applicant's ill-treatment combined with their attitude during the investigation. Although the Court found that "96. ...the prosecutors in the present case did not have before them prima facie plausible information of hatred-induced violence requiring investigation into possible racist motives in the events", the general context that indicates numerous anti-Roma incidents that often involve State agents and anti-discrimination policies adopted should have been enough for the investigating authorities to take special care in investigating possible racist motives behind the violence (para.97).

Sambata Bihor Greco-Catholic Parish v Romania is a case that originated in an application introduced in 1999, about facts that occured between 1995-1998 based on the Decree No.126/1990 and Decree No.9/1989 abolishing the Decree No.358/1948. The complaint was about the effects caused by a procedural condition imposed on cases dealing with the use of worship places by Greco-Catholic and Orthodox parishes in villages where the Greco-Catholic church was nationalized in the past - the disputes could not be solved in court, but rather through mediation. The Court did not assess whether this procedural condition was discriminatory or not, it only stated that it has discriminatory effects because different courts throughout the country apply it differently.


Numbers of cases
Exemplary cases
Groups affected/interested Roma & Travelers, Religious minorities
Type (R/D) Anti-roma/zinghanophobia, Religious intolerance
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Policing - law enforcement, Anti-discrimination, Anti-racism, Religion
External Url