Press release - 631(2009)


“Flawed enforcement of court decisions undermines the trust in State justice” says Commissioner Hammarberg

Strasbourg, 31.08.2009 – “Court decisions are not fully respected in several European countries. This must be seen as a refusal to accept the rule of law and is a serious human rights problem” said Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, in his latest Viewpoint published today.

“Court decisions in these countries are often enforced only partly or with long delays - or sometimes not at all. This is a structural problem which should require the national authorities to take priority action.”

Cases of non-enforcement of domestic judicial decisions are raised in a great number of complaints to the Strasbourg Court of human rights. Among countries with such cases are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Russian Federation, Serbia and Ukraine.

Highlighting concrete measures defined by the Council of Europe to address the problem of delayed or insufficient implementation on domestic court decisions, the Commissioner calls for more action by key national actors, including parliamentarians and independent national institutions.

“The credibility of the justice system is at stake. It is not sufficient to reform legislation, increase the resources of the courts or encourage the public to settle their disputes in court. Members of the public who have placed their trust in the judicial system should obtain satisfaction, not only on paper but also in practice”.

Published fortnightly in English, French and Russian, Viewpoints can be used without prior consent, provided that the text is not modified and the original source is indicated in the following way: “Also available at the Commissioner’s website at”.

Press contacts in the Commissioner’s Office:
Stefano Montanari, +33 (0)6 61 14 70 37;


Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights
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Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 35 38
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