Chamber News

Main hall of the Human Rights building (detail)

In the case of Sacharuk v. Lithuania, the Court held that there had been a violation of the right to a fair trial and no violation of the right to no punishment without law.

The case concerned the applicant’s conviction of abuse of office and of unlawful use of an official document because he had used another parliamentarian’s identity card to vote in parliament on his behalf.

The Court found that the applicant’s doubts as to the Supreme Court’s impartiality had been justified, and his request for one of the judges to be replaced should have been accepted. At the same time, the applicant could have foreseen that his acts constituted an offence under the criminal law in place, and the Court could not discern any flagrant non-observance or arbitrariness in the application of the law in question.

Main hall of the Human Rights building

In the case of Aydın Sefa Akay v. Türkiye the Court held that there had been a violation of the right to liberty and security and a violation of the right to respect for private life and home.

The case concerned a UN judge’s arrest and pre-trial detention, as well as the search of his house and person, in the aftermath of the 2016 attempted military coup in Türkiye, in spite of his diplomatic immunity. He was working remotely from his home in Istanbul for the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (“the UN Criminal Tribunals Mechanism”) when arrested.

The Court was not convinced by the national courts’ interpretation of international law when rejecting his claim for diplomatic immunity. It also found that the applicant appeared to have been entitled to full diplomatic immunity, including the inviolability of his person and private residence and being shielded from any form of arrest or detention, under international law. His arrest, pre-trial detention, search of his house and person had thus been unlawful.

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In the case of Zăicescu and Fălticineanu v. Romania the Court held that there had been a violation of the right to respect for private and family life in conjunction with the prohibition of discrimination.

The case concerned the retrial and acquittal of two army officers in the 1990s who had been convicted in the 1950s of war crimes and crimes against humanity for their involvement in, among other crimes, the persecution of Romanian Jews in 1941, in particular the Iași pogrom, which one of the applicants had survived, and the placement of a high number of Jews in ghettos, which was the case for both applicants.

The Court found that the revision of historical convictions for crimes connected with the Holocaust had not been adequately justified by the Government, and must have caused feelings of vulnerability and humiliation in Holocaust victims such as the applicants. The ill-treatment the applicants had suffered had taken place nine years before the Convention had come into existence and 50 years before Romania had signed the Convention, and the most important procedural steps incumbent on the Government had taken place long before Romania had become a High Contracting Party.

Roof of the hearing room 1 of the Human Rights building

In the case of Guðmundur Gunnarsson and Magnús Davíð Norðdahl v. Iceland the ECHR held that there had been a violation of the right to free elections and of the right to an effective remedy in conjunction with Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 to the European Convention.

The case concerned alleged irregularities in the recount of votes in the Northwest constituency in the 2021 Althingi election, subsequent changes in the allocation of levelling seats, and the examination of the post-election complaints by Althingi. The applicants were the unsuccessful candidates in that constituency.

The Court found that while the procedure for the examination of the applicants’ complaints by Althingi had been fair and objective and had guaranteed a sufficiently reasoned decision, it had lacked the necessary impartiality safeguards and had been characterised by virtually unrestrained discretion.

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Grand Chamber News

Grand Chamber file

The Chamber to which the case C.O.C.G. and Others v. Lithuania had been allocated has relinquished jurisdiction in favour of the Grand Chamber.

The case concerns four Cuban nationals and their repeated attempts to enter Lithuania by crossing the border with Belarus. The applicants submit that on each attempt Lithuanian border guards pushed them back, at gunpoint, into Belarusian territory, without giving them an opportunity to submit asylum applications. They have eventually entered Lithuania and have been apprehended. The case also concerns their subsequent deprivation of liberty in a centre for asylum seekers.

Main hearing room of the Human Rights building

On 8 April 2024, the Grand Chamber panel of five judges decided to reject all ten requests for referral to the Grand Chamber.


Main hearing room of the Human Rights building

The Court will be holding a Grand Chamber hearing in the case of Semenya v. Switzerland on 15 May 2024.

The case concerns an international-level athlete, specialising in middle-distance races, who complained about certain regulations of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF – now called World Athletics) requiring her to take hormone treatment to decrease her natural testosterone level in order to be able to take part in international competitions in the female category. Having refused to undergo the treatment, she was no longer able to take part in international competitions. 


Staircase in the main hall of the Human Rights building

The ECHR has declared inadmissible the application in the case of Kirkorov v. Lithuania.

The case concerned the ban on the applicant, a popular singer and music producer in Russia, from entering Lithuania because he was considered a threat to national security. The Lithuanian authorities found that he was a tool for Russia’s propaganda in States of the former USSR and that, by regularly giving concerts in Crimea, he supported the Russian State’s policy of aggression.

The Court found that the Lithuanian authorities’ assessment, which had been based on the applicant’s statements and behaviour, had not been arbitrary or without basis. In particular the applicant had openly stated that he supported Russia’s actions in the Crimean peninsula and referred to himself as Vladimir Putin’s “representative on stage”. The courts had moreover weighed up the interests of national security and public order against the applicant’s actions and the ban imposed on him and not found it to be disproportionate.

Judges' hammer

The ECHR has declared inadmissible the application in the case of Energyworks Cartagena S.L. v. Spain.

The case concerned the changes to the regulations of the electricity sector and, particularly, to the subsidy regime for investment, which had affected the applicant company, an energy producer.

The Court found that there had been no retroactive deprivation of the subsidies. The changes to the system had affected future income only, and the subsidies could not be qualified as “possessions” that the applicant company had been deprived of.

Communication of cases

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The Court has communicated to the Government of Lithuania the application Al-Nashiri v. Lithuania and has asked them to submit their observations on its admissibility and merits.

The case concerns a national of Saudi Arabia currently detained in Guantánamo Bay and facing capital charges before a United States (US) military commission on suspicion of, among other things, the bombing of the US Navy ship USS Cole in 2000. The US authorities consider him to have been one of the most senior figures in al-Qaeda.

In his case before the ECHR, the applicant raises multiple complaints of torture, ill-treatment and unacknowledged detention when he was held for five months in 2005-2006 at a secret facility in Lithuania run by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Other News


On 18 April 2024 a delegation from the Constitutional Court of Latvia, headed by its President, Aldis Laviņš, paid a working visit to the Court and was received by President Síofra O’Leary. During the visit the delegation took part in roundtable discussions with judges of the Court and members of the Registry.


On 18 April 2024, His Serene Highness Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein visited the Court and was received by President Síofra O’Leary. Carlo Ranzoni, Judge elected in respect of Liechtenstein, and Marialena Tsirli, Registrar of the Court, also attended the meeting.


The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has elected Alain Chablais as judge to the Court in respect of Liechtenstein for a 9-year term of office which will begin on 1 September 2024.