Complaints on detention conditions in Romania, Hungary and Turkey caused a surge in the volume of incoming cases to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in 2016, the court’s president Guido Raimondi announced today at the institution’s annual press conference.

According to Raimondi, the number of incoming cases increased considerably, after falling over the previous two years. In 2016, Romania recorded 8204 applications, almost double compared to 2015 (4604 applications).

The 2016 report of the ECHR placed Romania among the countries with most violations of the European Convention on Human Rights. Namely, Romania ranked third, with 86 judgements, after Russia (228) and Turkey (88). Next came Ukraine (73), Greece (45) and Hungary (41). Out of the 86 judgments, 71 found at least one violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, as follows: There were 6 judgements that found no violation and 4 that ended with striking-out judgements/friendly settlements, and 5 were placed in the ‘Other’ category (satisfaction, revision, preliminary objections and lack of jurisdiction). Considered by categories, most judgements, 28, had as grounds ‘Inhuman or degrading treatment’, 16 violated the ‘Right to a fair trial’ and 12 were motivated by ‘Lack of effective investigation’.

By the end of 2016 the number of pending cases stood at 79,750, up 23 percent compared to the end of 2015, when there were 64,850 applications pending. At 31 December 2016 the majority of pending cases were against Ukraine (22.8 percent), Turkey (15.8 percent), Hungary (11.2 percent), Russia (9.8 percent), and Romania (9.3 percent). Half the priority cases concerned Ukraine. 

The ECHR passed a total of 993 sentences on human rights violations in 2016.

The largest number of violations related to the right to liberty and security (286), inhuman treatment and humiliation (193), the right to fair trial (176).

Georgeta Gheorghe