Information Note on the Courtís case-law No. 181
Đurić and Others v. Bosnia and Herzegovina - 79867/12, 79873/12, 80027/12 et al.
Judgment 20.1.2015 [Section IV] See:  ECHR 61
Execution of judgment
Measures of a general character
Respondent State required to amend settlement plan for the enforcement of final domestic judgments
Facts - Between 1999 and 2008, Republika Srpska (an Entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina) was ordered to pay war damages to the applicants by a first-instance court. The payments were not made. In 2009, in the case of Čolić and Others v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the European Court held that the failure to comply with final domestic judgments awarding war damages had breached Article 6 of the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 and, in view of the large number of other similar cases, invited the State to take general measures to solve the problem. As a result, in 2012, Republika Srpska introduced a settlement plan which envisaged the enforcement of final judgments ordering payment of war damages in cash within 13 years starting from 2013 and the payment of EUR 50 in respect of non-pecuniary damage. The enforcement time-frame was extended to 20 years in 2013.
Law - Article 6 of the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1: The Court examined the adequacy of the settlement plan. It considered the proposed time-frame of 20 years too long in the light of the lengthy delays which had already occurred. Although the Court was aware of the Stateís significant public debt and the number of non-enforced judgments and cases pending before the domestic courts, it reiterated that it was not open to a State authority to cite a lack of funds as an excuse for not honouring a judgment debt. Moreover, it was the Stateʼs legal system that had allowed for the creation of such a high number of judgments awarding war damages. While a search for a fair balance between the demands of the general interest of the community and the requirements of the protection of the individualís fundamental rights was inherent in the entire Convention, the consequence of delaying for another 20 years the enforcement of these judgments was to impose an individual and excessive burden on the creditors concerned. The settlement plan, as extended in 2013, was thus not in accordance with Article 6 of the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention.
Conclusion: violation (unanimously).
Article 41: EUR 1,000 per application in respect of non-pecuniary damage.
Article 46: In view of the nature of the violation, which affected many people, the respondent State should amend the settlement plan, preferably within a year after the present judgment became final. Moreover, in view of the lengthy delay which had already occurred, a more appropriate enforcement interval should be introduced, such as that initially adopted in 2012. In any event, in cases in which there had already been a delay of more than ten years, the judgments needed to be enforced without further delay. The respondent State should also undertake to pay default interest at the statutory rate in the event of a delay in the enforcement of judgments in accordance with the settlement plan as amended following this judgment.
(See also Čolić and Others v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1218/07 et al., 10 November 2009)
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This summary by the Registry does not bind the Court.
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