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Unilateral Declaration of misinformation.

Re: Unilateral Declaration of misinformation.

Postby Hairyloon » Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:55 pm

Slartibartfast wrote:It does not sit right for the ultimate guardian of our civil rights to say "Accept this pay-off and keep your mouth shut, or we will strike out your claim".

It is not quite that bad, but that was pretty much my thinking.
But it also seems to me that the court are not following their own rules. I forget the phrasing, but they are supposed to make all reasonable efforts to secure a friendly settlement. The applicant's questions do not seem to me to be unreasonable, and answers would appear likely to help progress towards a settlement, but they seem to have been ignored.

There are a couple more letters, but the applicant appears to have mislaid the reply to that last letter. I understand it says pretty much the same as the previous one.
I'll see if I can get them up in due course...
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Re: Unilateral Declaration of misinformation.

Postby atticus » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:01 pm

Hmmmm...

There appears to be a disconnection between the state's offer to provide redress and any assessment of what should constitute redress.

That said, my understanding - and this is at best anecdotal - is that compensation awards in the ECHR are generally very low.
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Re: Unilateral Declaration of misinformation.

Postby Slartibartfast » Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:56 pm

atticus wrote:my understanding - and this is at best anecdotal - is that compensation awards in the ECHR are generally very low.


The moral vindication of seeing their national government publicly brought to justice was a substantial reward for appellants, who had often been struggling for many years to assert their rights and freedoms. Allowing defendant states to impose a confidential pay-off (even on generous terms) is wrong.
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Re: Unilateral Declaration of misinformation.

Postby Hairyloon » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:28 am

atticus wrote:There appears to be a disconnection between the state's offer to provide redress and any assessment of what should constitute redress.

It is not atually the state who has offered it, the court has suggested it, but yes: it seems to me like having a flat rate of compensation for (say) negligence without giving any consideration to the consequences of the negligence.
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Re: Unilateral Declaration of misinformation.

Postby Hairyloon » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:38 am

Slartibartfast wrote:
atticus wrote:my understanding - and this is at best anecdotal - is that compensation awards in the ECHR are generally very low.


The moral vindication of seeing their national government publicly brought to justice was a substantial reward for appellants, who had often been struggling for many years to assert their rights and freedoms. Allowing defendant states to impose a confidential pay-off (even on generous terms) is wrong.

That is not quite how it is, at least not if I have understood correctly. If the applicant refuses the offer, then the state can make a Unilateral Declaration, which is public and must acknowledge the wrongdoing. They still have to pay, but usually a lower amount.
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Re: Unilateral Declaration of misinformation.

Postby atticus » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:04 am

There you are: public vindication.
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Re: Unilateral Declaration of misinformation.

Postby Slartibartfast » Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:22 am

atticus wrote:There you are: public vindication.

I am far from any sort of expert, but it would seem that the 'vindication' is not necessarily complete or unequivocal...

This excerpt from a weighty academic analysis* suggests that national governments can phrase their Unilateral Declaration in generalised terms, without addressing or admitting the specific allegation. Elsewhere on that page (121) it seems that applicants are further disadvantaged by a Unilateral Declaration because it means their case cannot be re-opened in the national courts.

ECHR.gif
ECHR.gif (111.57 KiB) Viewed 467 times

This may be a trivial matter if the appeal concerns the right to use Imperial weights in a fruit shop, but when it is about family members who have been kidnapped, tortured and murdered by the state it seems a bit much to fob them off with "a sum of money and a vague statement of regret"

(* <http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=1N1iV3-y0SQC&pg=PA119&lpg=PA119&dq=ECHR+Unilateral+declaration&source=bl&ots=Ps1mMDO2Gy&sig=5HcNViMORj4R-Cb2RPZDEemuHZ0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=y9PsUo7_K4mp0AX32IDgBw&ved=0CE4Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=ECHR%20Unilateral%20declaration&f=false> )
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Re: Unilateral Declaration of misinformation.

Postby Hairyloon » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:33 pm

Slartibartfast wrote:This excerpt from a weighty academic analysis...

That one is on my reading list. Annoyingly, I have left it at home. :oops:
This may be a trivial matter if the appeal concerns the right to use Imperial weights in a fruit shop, but when it is about family members who have been kidnapped, tortured and murdered by the state it seems a bit much to fob them off with "a sum of money and a vague statement of regret"

This is a fairly trivial matter, but is it not an important principal of any judicial process that all cases be dealt with to the same standard of care?
The draft declaration (drafted by the court) does not even have a vague statement of regret.
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Re: Unilateral Declaration of misinformation.

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:57 pm

So, considering that we have at least some consensus that all is not as it should be, what can be done about it? Who can we complain to?
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Re: Unilateral Declaration of misinformation.

Postby atticus » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:19 pm

hairy wrote:is it not an important principal of any judicial process that all cases be dealt with to the same standard of care?
it is becoming increasingly the case that Courts need to ration their time, and that cases will only be allowed an appropriate amount of time, having regard to the needs of other court users. Low value cases get less attention.
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