ENTRY INTO FORCE of the European Convention on Human Rights

20 June 1994

Number of implemented cases*



Strict curbs on industrial hazards after father and son’s complaint about cyanide use at gold mine

Baia Mare resident Vasile Tătar feared for his son Paul’s health after a mining company was allowed to continue using cyanide despite its role in a disastrous chemical spill. Vasile and Paul took their case to the European Court of Human Rights, which found that Romania had failed to uphold their right to a healthy environment. Romania took steps to better regulate risky industrial activities.

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98 year-old wins decades-long fight for property seized by the Communist regime

After the fall of communism in Romania, laws were passed giving people the right to claim back property nationalised by the old regime. Tens of thousands of people made such claims, but a huge number faced delays and failures to deal with their applications. The European court ruled that the system must be reformed – leading to a new law which made the restitution system more effective.

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Justice for a victim of domestic violence in Romania

Bruised and beaten, Angelica Bălșan suffered eight assaults from her husband and sustained injuries that required up to ten days of medical care. She made many complaints to the authorities, but they took no proper steps to protect her. The European court held that Ms Bălșan had been inadequately protected against the abuse – leading to ongoing reforms to combat domestic violence in Romania.

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Failure to investigate attack on Roma settlement leads to local reforms

All of the Roma inhabitants of a village had their houses burnt down by other locals. The authorities were warned, but refused to intervene. After the attack, the authorities did not investigate properly and the courts failed to give the victims a fair trial. Their application to the European court led to compensation and local programmes to combat discrimination and exclusion.

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Reforms to protect free speech after journalist given prison sentence

Ionel Dălban was a Romanian journalist and ran a local weekly magazine, Cronica Romaşcană. He was convicted and given a prison sentence for writing about an alleged fraud by public figures. The Strasbourg court ruled that the conviction had violated his right to freedom of expression. The case triggered reforms to free speech protections in Romania.

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"Totally insufficient" investigation of a suspicious death and the reform of criminal investigations

Tatiana Trufin’s brother was killed in suspicious circumstances. Despite evidence of an attack, the authorities did very little to investigate for the next 12 years. The European court ruled that their efforts had been totally insufficient. This influenced reforms to improve the effectiveness of criminal investigations in Romania.

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* This figure includes all judgments and decisions from the European Court of Human Rights (including friendly settlements) concerning which the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has decided that all necessary follow-up measures have been taken. Source: the database of the Department for the Execution of Judgments of the ECHR, HUDOC-EXEC.