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Court system reformed after justice delayed for over a decade

Čaminski v. "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"  | 2011

Court system reformed after justice delayed for over a decade

Everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time

Extract from Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights

Background

Aleksandar Caminski was attacked by five people, causing grievous bodily harm. Criminal charges were brought against the suspects. However, it took eleven years for them to be brought to trial, and an appeal took a further two years. Three men were eventually convicted and jailed for six months.

Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights

The court said that the question of whether the length of proceedings is acceptable depends on the circumstances of the case, including its complexity, the actions of the applicant, and the conduct of the authorities.

In this case, the matter at issue this case was not complex, and any delays were not the fault of the applicant. The delays were caused by the inability of the trial court to arrange for the progress of the proceedings.

In the circumstances, the length of time it took for justice to be done was undoubtedly excessive. This violated Mr Caminski’s right to have his case decided in a reasonable time.

Follow-up

As a result of this and numerous other cases, the government carried out widespread reforms to significantly reduce the length of legal proceedings. Improvements were made to civil, criminal, labour, administrative and enforcement proceedings.