1 août 2015

Looks like discrimination of foreign business in Liechtenstein. AK v Liechtenstein, 38191/12

German citizen AK accused the Constitutional Court of Liechtenstein of discrimination against foreigners in their corporate law. A partially successful judgement was delivered on 09/07/2015. AK insists that there is a long-standing constitutional anti-foreign business case law (§§ 16).

He had a dispute with Liechtenstein citizen FH over the property right in 75 % of the bearer shares in both the EMK stock corporation and the EMK Engineering stock corporation, both companies resident in the Principality (§ 7).  There was an EMK Engineering extraordinary shareholders’ meeting on 23/07/2004 that voted out FH of his office of corporation’s representative and member of its supervisory board, as well as named AK as new CEO (§ 8). All the courts of Liechtenstein supported the Liechtenstein citizen, and consequences of that shareholders’ meeting were set aside.

AK tried to replace all 5 judges of the Liechtenstein Constitutional Court, and his main argument on their bias was that judge H was a brother of FH (§ 18). Other judges were friends and co-workers of judge H. Moreover, other judges were previously working for the Government of Liechtenstein (§§ 19 – 22), which apparently was interested in the outcomes of the proceedings or at least in promotion of its nationals’ interests. The five motions were dismissed one by one by a panel of 4 judges.

The Government argued that Liechtenstein is a very small country, it has a limited number of officials, and therefore its inability to replace even the judge brother of FH was justified (§§ 62 & 64).

The European Court of Human Rights dismissed the argument on discrimination, however found objective partiality for two reasons (§ 79):
  1. AK tried to remove judges accusing them of more of less same sins. Thus in deciding on partiality of a colleague, the judge was in fact deciding on an accusation against himself.
  2. While deciding about partiality of a colleague, a particular judge was himself under attack, since the question of his own partiality was not clear.
The Strasbourg Court decided that there shall be substitute judges to replace all possibly partial judges of each final instance (§ 83).

30 juil. 2015

Certain aspects of case Zhovtis v Kazakhstan, 2021/2010

The European Parliament and the European Commission declared Mr Evgeny Zhovtis a victim of political persecution by Kazakhstan. He is a well-known human rights activist who was sentenced to four years of imprisonment for killing a pedestrian in a traffic accident. The European Union considered that this sentence was a punishment for defense of human rights. Mr. Zhovtis lodged a communication with the UN Human Rights Committee.

The case has three interesting aspects.

1) The internal criminal case started after the ratification of the Covenant of Political and Civil Rights by Kazakhstan, however the Optional Protocol providing the right of individual petition was ratified on 30/09/2009 in the middle of the internal criminal case. What shall we do with the possible breaches of the Covenant before the latter date? The Committee applied a strict interpretation, and rejected everything the author had written (§ 7.4).

It is interesting that Article 40 of the Covenant provides the Committee the right to require a report of a State on a particular question. I have no example of how it works, but it could be a remedy to many authors similar to those in Kazakhstan before 30/09/2009.

2) Mr. Zhovtis claimed that the internal appeal court had to call independent experts who could possibly explain that it had been a fault of the pedestrian (§ 2.7). The Committee answered that he “failed to demonstrate that the alleged “bias” or “lack of equality of arms” reached the threshold for arbitrariness in the evaluation of the evidence, or amounted to a denial of justice” (§ 7.5). Could extensive examples of Kazakh case law help? This question is open.

3) Finally, Mr Zhovtis claimed that the fact that he was not present personally but just represented at internal appeal proceedings breached the right to appeal (§ 2.9). The point of view of the UN body is that this does not lead automatically to the breach of the right of appeal within the meaning of Article 14(5), and needs more substantial argumentation (§ 7.6).  

Thus, there might be differences between appraisal by the European Parliament and the European Commission on one hand, and by the UN judicial bodies on the other hand.

29 juil. 2015

UN HRC bans compulsory military service worldwide, Abdullayev v Turkmenistan, 2218/2012

Mr. Abdullayev converted into a version of Christianity that considers military service as a sin (§ 4). He was sentenced for trying to avoid the service, and claimed a breach of his religious freedom before the United Nations Human Rights Committee (Article 18(1) of the Covenant).

The Turkmenistan Government argued that the military service is an obligation of a national to defend the State (i.e. "we're not using the arms for bad", § 4). However the UN HRC answered that “no derogation may be made” to the freedom of religion or consciousness.

The most interesting is that § 7.7 goes much further: “no derogation may be made, even in time of public emergency”. This is an absolutely amazing revolutionary development.

Byloje Abdullayev prieš Turkmenistaną, Nr. 2218/2012, § 7.7, Jungtinės Tautos priėmė sprendimą uždrausti privalomąją karinę tarnybą visame pasaulyje, kadangi tai prieštarauja religijos, sąžinės ir minties laisvei. Pvz., Jėzaus Kristaus mokymas gali būti suprastas kaip draudžiantis imti ginklą į rankas.

Įdomiausia yra tai, kad JTO uždraudė šaukti žmones į kariuomenę net karo metu.
Daugiau informacijos lietuviškai čia.


Les Nacions Unides van prohibir el servei militar obligatori a tot el món, afer Abdullayev contra Turkmenistan, no. 2218/2012.

Sr. Abdullayev va convertir-se a una versió del cristianisme que considera el servei militar com un pecat (§ 4). Va ser condemnat per intentar evitar el servei, i després va reclamar una violació de la seva llibertat religiosa davant el Comitè dels Drets Humans de les Nacions Unides (article 18 (1) del Pacte).

El Govern de Turkmenistan va sostenir que el servei militar és una obligació d'un ciutadà per defensar l'Estat (és a dir “no utilitzem les armes per fer mal”, § 4). No obstant això, el Comitè de Drets Humans de l'ONU va respondre que "no poden ser establides excepcions " a la llibertat de religió o de consciència.

El més interessant és que el § 7.7 va molt més enllà: "no poden ser establides excepcions, fins i tot en períodes d’emergència pública" com, per exemple, una guerra. Això és un desenvolupament revolucionari i absolutament increïble.

28 avr. 2015

European whistle-blowers policy, Andreasen v 27 EU Member States, 28827/11

The Catalan language is lower

No doubt, Marta ANDREASEN is the most famous whistle-blower in Europe. On 01/01/2002 she became the first EU Chief Accountant with a diploma of an accountant. When she started her functions, very soon she noticed that there was a risk of fraud possibly amounting to € 5 billion. She refused to sign EU financial documents, and in fact for this reason she was fired.

The theoretic problem for EU States was that the national law of all those 27 countries forbade dismissing whistleblowers. However the European law did not. Thus she was dismissed in a manner that was impossible under national law of those 27 States.

It was impossible to sue the European Union, so she sued 27 individual States before the European Court of Human Rights, and I represented her. We lost the case in Strasbourg.

The European Court of Human Rights states that we failed to prove that the EU General Court had not been an equivalent human rights defense mechanism to national human rights mechanisms (§ 70).

This is abuse of deduction. In fact, under national law it is possible to attack dismissal as such, to go in-depth of the facts grounding the dismissal. The situation is absolutely different before the EU General Court. First, there is no such thing as a prohibition on dismissal of whistle-blowers. Second, the EU Courts in Luxembourg do not review the facts grounding the dismissal, and their competence is limited to procedural issues.

Thus, there is no efficient whistleblowers defense mechanism in Luxembourg, and the European Court of Human rights refused to look at the problem closer.

After such a response from the Strasbourg Court, there is a possibility of appeal to United Nations.



Sens dubte, Marta Andreasen és la delatora més famosa dEuropa. L’1 de gener del 2002 es va convertir en la primera Cap de Comptabilitat de la UE amb el diploma de comptable. Quan va començar les seves funcions, molt aviat va adonar-se que hi havia un gran risc de frau, possiblement fins a 5 bilions d’euros. Ella va negar-se a signar els documents financers de la UE i per aquesta raó va ser acomiadada.

El problema teòric que tenien els Estats de la UE és que la legislació nacional de tots els 27 països prohibia el acomiadaments dels delators. Per contra, la legislació europea no ho feia. D’aquesta manera, sota la legislació nacional dels 27 Estats, si hi hagués un delator, seria impossible d’acomiadar-lo. Aquesta és una norma que ve de les Nacions Unides.

Era impossible atacar la Unió Europea davant el Tribunal Europeu dels Drets Humans. Per la qual cosa va atacar els 27 Estats individuals de la UE davant el Tribunal d’Estrasburg, i jo la representava. Hem perdut el cas.

El Tribunal Europeu dels Drets Humans va declarar fa 5 dies que no vam demostrar que el Tribunal General de la UE no era un mecanisme de defensa dels drets humans equivalent als mecanismes nacionals dels drets humans (§ 70).

Aquest és l'abús de la deducció. De fet, segons el dret nacional és possible atacar l'acomiadament com a tal, per anar al fons dels fets i dels motius de l'acomiadament. La situació és absolutament diferent davant del Tribunal General de la UE. En primer lloc, no hi ha tal cosa com la prohibició d'acomiadament dels delator. En segon lloc, els tribunals de la UE a Luxemburg no revisen els fets i els motius de l'acomiadament, i la seva competència es limita a qüestions de procediment.

Per tant, no existeix un mecanisme eficient de defensa dels delators a Luxemburg, i el Tribunal Europeu dels Drets Humans va negar-se a mirar el problema de prop.

Després d'aquesta resposta del Tribunal d'Estrasburg, hi ha la possibilitat d'apel·lar davant les Nacions Unides.

18 mars 2015

Suing State for damage by its supreme court before its administrative courts as an exhaustion condition, NML Capital Ltd v France, 23242/12

In 2000 Argentine issued bonds to be paid in 2020 and 2030, but the Republic became bankrupt already in 2001. Argentine signed a Fiscal Agency Agreement providing that it renounced its sovereign immunity as a State, and that in a case of its default at least 25 % of the total amount of debt were immediately payable. Under the Fiscal Agency Agreement the judicial competence was transferred to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Deptee company NML Capital from Caiman Islands obtained an order from the latter New York obliging Argentina to refund and compensate $ 284 184 632.30 (§ 7). After this, NML Capital addressed the French Courts in order to arrest the funds of Argentina’s diplomatic missions in Paris.

The French Cassation Court agreed with the validity of the New York judgment, however refused to order arrest of Argentina’s funds in France due to sovereign immunity.

It is quite natural to think that after the Cassation Court you have exhausted all internal remedies, and NML Capital attacked it before the European Court of Human Rights. However on 13/01/2015 the Strasbourg judges decided that NML Capital had to attack the French Republic before the French administrative courts for “breach of equality in terms of public burdens” (“rupture de l'égalité devant les charges publiques”, § 19).

“Breach of equality in terms of public burdens” is a procedure absolutely similar to the Köbler procedure of the EU Court of Justice. It is interesting to note that the European Court of Human Rights already several times interpreted that the Köbler procedure is not a requirement within any obligatory meaning of Strasbourg procedures.

After Strasbourg, there is an appeal open to the UN Human Rights Committee. This UN jurisdiction does not accept complaints from legal persons. It is interesting to know that many UN States do not recognize Caiman Islands companies as legal persons. Could NML Capital act as a natural person then?

8 févr. 2015

“Death words” of the plaintiff killing his tax case, Cañada Mora v Spain, 2070/2011

Spanish wine producer José Antonio Cañada Mora was attacked by tax authorities imposing on him a tax debt of € 481 154 for periods from 1992 to 1996 (§ 2.1). There were chances to avoid loosing the money, since the debts for 1992 and 1993 had expired pursuant to the legal statute of limitations, and a substantial part of evidence, i.e. copies not supported by originals, filed by tax authorities had been declared inadmissible (§ 2.2).

On 14/03/2005 Cañada Mora filed an application for amparo (legal protection) before the Spanish Constitutional Court, however his case was still pending before the lower Supreme Court. On 01/04/2005 the Supreme Court dismissed the cassation, since its value taken separately for each quarter was less than € 150 258 (§ 2.8).

On 25/04/2005 Cañada Mora second time applied for amparo before the Constitutional Court, and the application contained the words that he “reiterate[d] the application for amparo that was lodged on 14/03/2005” (§ 2.9).

These words became death words. The Constitutional Court merged the second application with the first one, took into consideration the date of 14/03/2005, and on that ground declared it inadmissible (proceedings still pending before a lower court, § 2.10).

The European Court of Human Rights supported the Spanish judges (§ 2.11), and Cañada Mora appealed before the UN Human Rights Committee.

The UN Committee answered that it does not follow from the death words that the purpose of Cañada Mora was to submit a second request for amparo separate from 14/03/2005 (§ 4.3).