Execution of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights
Mattoccia against Italy
(Application No. 23969/94, judgment of 25 July 2000)
The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Article 46, paragraph 2, of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which provides that the Committee supervises the execution of final judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter referred to as “the Convention” and “the Court”);
Having regard to the final judgment transmitted by the Court to the Committee on 25 July 2000;
Recalling that the violations of the Convention found by the Court in this case concern a breach to the applicant's right to be informed in detail of the nature and cause of the accusation against him and to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence as well as to his right to be tried within a reasonable time (see details in Appendix);
Having invited the government of the respondent state to inform the Committee of the measures taken to comply with Italy's obligation under Article 46, paragraph 1, of the Convention to abide by the judgment;
Having examined the information provided by the government in accordance with the Committee's Rules for the application of Article 46, paragraph 2, of the Convention;
Having satisfied itself that the respondent state paid the applicant the just satisfaction provided in the judgment (see details in Appendix);
Recalling that a finding of violations by the Court requires, over and above the payment of just satisfaction awarded by the Court in its judgments, the adoption by the respondent state, where appropriate:
of individual measures to put an end to the violations and erase their consequences so as to achieve as far as possible restitutio in integrum; and
of general measures, preventing similar violations;
Further recalling that its examination of the measures expected to solve the structural problem of excessive length of proceedings continues in the framework of its supervision of execution of the cases, raising mainly this problem, still pending before the Committee (see Interim Resolution CM/ResDH(2009)42),
DECLARES, having examined the measures taken by the respondent state (see Appendix) and considering the decision taken at the 871st meeting of the Ministers' Deputies (24 February 2004), that it has exercised its functions under Article 46, paragraph 2, of the Convention in this case,
DECIDES to close the examination of this case.
Appendix to Resolution CM/ResDH(2009)85
Information about the measures to comply with the judgment in the case of
Mattoccia against Italy
Introductory case summary
The case concerns the violation of the applicant's right to fair trial, in that in 1990 he was convicted and sentenced to 3 years' imprisonment for the rape of a young mentally handicapped girl without having being informed exactly about the time and place of the crime he was accused of and, thus, without having the possibility to defend himself effectively. In addition, despite the exceptional difficulties the defence was confronted with, the applicant was not allowed to adduce new evidence on appeal (violation of article 6§§1 and 3a and b). The case also concerns the excessive length of the proceedings, namely seven years and five months from 1986 to 1993 (violation of Article 6§1).
I. Payment of just satisfaction and individual measures
a) Details of just satisfaction
Costs and expenses
24 000 000 ITL
15 000 000 ITL (+ VAT)
42 000 000 ITL
Paid on 05/12/2000; default interests paid on 11/12/2003
b) Individual measures
The applicant finished serving his sentence in 1994, his execution file (“fascicolo dell'esecuzione”) was annotated in order to mention the European Court's judgment and he did not put forward any further request before the Committee of Ministers. No further measure was therefore considered to be needed (see, mutatis mutandis, ResDH(2005)86 in the case Lucà against Italy).
II. General measures
Posterior to the facts at the origin of the case, the legislation was modified and henceforth explicitly provides for the right of everyone charged with a criminal offence to be informed in detail of the nature and cause of the accusation against him (see Sections 369 and 375 of the new code of criminal procedure and new Article 111 of the Constitution).
The judgment of the European Court was translated, published in the Italian Ministry of Justice's Official Newsletter, No. 24 of 31/12/2003 and transmitted to the judicial authorities in charge of criminal cases, drawing their attention to the public prosecutor's obligation to inform in a rapid and detailed manner the accused person of the charges against him.
As regards the structural problem of excessive length of proceedings in Italy, the Committee of Ministers continues to be seised of the supervision of execution of a great number of judgments of the Court and Committee of Ministers' decisions (under former Article 32 of the Convention) finding violations of Article 6, paragraph 1, of the Convention on account of the excessive length of proceedings, including before the criminal courts. Within the framework of these cases, the Committee supervises the adoption of the outstanding general measures. To this effect, the Committee of Ministers adopted Interim Resolution CM/ResDH(2009)42, in which it noted with interest the measures taken in order to accelerate and rationalise criminal-law proceedings (Law-Decree No. 92 of 23 May 2008, converted into Act No. 125 of 24 July 2008, which amended the Code of Criminal Procedure) and called upon the Italian authorities to pursue actively their efforts; to envisage and adopt urgently ad hoc measures to reduce the civil and criminal backlog by giving priority to the oldest cases and to cases requiring particular diligence; to provide the resources needed to guarantee the implementation of all the reforms; and to pursue the consideration of any other measure to improve the efficiency of justice. Furthermore, in this Resolution, the Committee inter alia invited the authorities to draw up a timetable for anticipated medium-term results with a view to assessing them as the reforms proceed, and to adopt a method for analysing these results in order to make any necessary adjustments, if need be.
III. Conclusions of the respondent state
The government considers that the measures adopted have fully remedied the consequences for the applicant of the violations of the Convention found by the European Court in this case.
It also considers that all the general measures taken will prevent violations of the fairness of criminal proceedings similar to that found in this case and also demonstrate the efforts being made to avoid excessive length of criminal proceedings. The government will continue to make all the necessary efforts, under the supervision of the Committee, to avoid new, similar violations. The government concludes that it has thus complied with its obligations under Article 46 of the Convention in the present case.
1 Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 30 September 2009 at the 1065th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies