The European Court of Human Rights gave a judgment on the case M.C. & A.C. v Romania today. The case concerned the applicants' complaint that they been attacked on their way home from a gay march and that the ensuing investigation had been inadequate.
The Court considered that the authorities did not take reasonable steps with the aim of examining the role played by possible homophobic motives behind the attack. According to the Court authorities should have done so ‒ despite the fact that incitement to hate speech was not punishable at the time when the incidents occurred ‒ as the crimes could have been assigned a legal classification that would have allowed the proper administration of justice.
The Court concluded that the investigations into the allegations of ill-treatment were ineffective as they lasted too long, were marred by serious shortcomings, and failed to take into account possible discriminatory motives.
The Court thus found a violation of Article 3 (procedural limb) of the Convention read together with Article 14 of the Convention on this point.