Execution of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights
Rehbock against Slovenia
(Application No. 29462/95, judgment of 28/11/2000, final on 28/11/2000)
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 “the Convention” and “the Court”);
Having regard to the judgment transmitted by the Court to the Committee once it had become final;
Recalling that the violations of the Convention found by the Court in this case concern: inhuman treatment of the applicant in the hands of police during his arrest (violation of Article 3); failure of Slovenian courts to review promptly the applicant's requests for release (violation of Article 5, paragraph 4); absence of a right to compensation in this respect (violation of Article 5, paragraph 5) and interference with the applicant's right to his private life through monitoring of his correspondence with the former European Commission of Human Rights (violation of Article 8) (see details in Appendix);
Having invited the government of the respondent state to inform the Committee of the measures taken to comply with its 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, within the time-limit set, 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;
DECLARES, having examined the measures taken by the respondent state (see Appendix), that it has exercised its functions under Article 46, paragraph 2, of the Convention in this case and
DECIDES to close the examination of this case.
Appendix to Resolution CM/ResDH(2009)137
Information on the measures to comply with the judgment in the case of
Rehbock against Slovenia
Introductory case summary
The case concerns the inhuman treatment inflicted on the applicant, a German national, in the hands of police during his arrest in September 1995. The applicant sustained injuries causing him serious suffering as a result of the ill-treatment (violation of Article 3).
The case also concerns the fact that the applicant's two requests for release made in October and November 1995 were not examined promptly (23 days for each application) by the Slovenj Gradec Regional Court (violation of Article 5, paragraph 4). The case also concerns the violation of the applicant's right to compensation because the lawfulness of his detention has not been examined promptly (violation of Article 5, paragraph 5). The Court found that at the material time Slovenian law reserved the right to compensation to cases in which the deprivation of liberty was unlawful or resulted from an error. However, there was no indication that the applicant's continued detention, in particular the dismissal of his applications for release, fell into either of these categories. The Court held that in these circumstances the applicant's right to compensation in respect of the violation of Article 5, paragraph 4 was not ensured with a sufficient degree of certainty.
Lastly, the case concerns the violation of the applicant's right to his private life in that his correspondence with the former European Commission of Human Rights had been monitored without any justification (violation of Article 8).
I. Payment of just satisfaction and individual measures
a) Details of just satisfaction
Costs and expenses
25 000 DEM
7 000 DEM less 17 098 FRF
32 000 DEM
less 17 098 FRF
Paid on 23/02/2001
b) Individual measures
On 01/09/1996 the applicant was conditionally released.
II. General measures
1) Violation of Article 3: The Ministry of Internal Affairs regularly inspects the work of the Police to monitor the legality of the procedures applied and protect individuals' rights. The rules specifying the powers of the Minister of Internal Affairs over the Police were published in the Official Gazette No 97/2004 of 03/09/2004.
The Police provide continuous training to its staff on the exercise of its powers and practical implementation of procedures. It regularly publishes brochures on the issue of the exercise of these powers in the context of human rights. The Human Rights Ombudsman is involved in this training process.
The Ministry of Justice sent the translation of the judgment to the Director-General of the Police, who ordered all heads of units of the General Police Directorate and the heads of all police directorates in writing to inform all police officers of the Court's judgment.
The measures aimed at eliminating the ill-treatment of detained persons in hands of the police have also been indicated in the Response of the Slovenian Government to the 2006 Report of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT/Inf(2008)8).
2) Violation of Article 5, paragraph 4: The Ministry of Justice drew the attention of the Supreme Court to the part of the judgment in which the Court established that the Slovenian courts had failed to examine promptly either of the applications for release submitted by the applicant. The authorities further indicated that the Convention has a direct effect in Slovenian law.
3) Violation of Article 5, paragraph 5: The Slovenian authorities stated on four occasions in 2001 and 2004 that the right to compensation for unlawful deprivation of liberty is guaranteed by Article 30 of the Slovenian Constitution as well as by provisions of Article 539 and 540 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The requirements for payment of such compensation are laid down in detail in Article 538 and Article 542 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The injured party should file a claim for damages with the State Attorney's Office in an attempt to reach an agreement on the existence of the loss and the type and extent of the compensation. If no agreement on damages can be reached, the claim is to be filed with a court of law in charge. The authorities further communicated that the practice of the Slovenian courts provided for compensation for pecuniary damages occurred as a result of unlawful detention on remand or imprisonment. It was indicated that in 2007 and 2008 Slovenian courts awarded both pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages for unlawful deprivation of liberty in 46 cases (e.g. the decisions of Ljubljana District Court nos. P.2202/2001-III of 18/10/2004, P. 2062/2005-III of 15/02/2007 and P.1002/2006-II of 23/11/2007).
4) Violation of Article 8: The Court noted that since the enactment of Section 213b of the Code of Criminal Procedure on 23/10/1998, correspondence between detained persons and the Court has ceased to be monitored.
5) Publication: The Court's judgment was published in the journal Sodnikov informator (Judges' Bulletin) as well as on the website of the Information and Documentation Centre of the Council of Europe.
III. Conclusions of the respondent state
The government considers that the measures adopted will prevent similar violations and that Slovenia has thus complied with its obligations under Article 46, paragraph 1 of the Convention.
1 Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 3 December 2009 at the 1072nd meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies