27 juin 2011

From time to time the ECtHR compares internal case law

In Bulfracht Ltd. v Croatia, 53261/08, the ECtHR decided to compare the case law of the Croatian Constitutional Court on the calculation of claim value threshold to cross in order to be able to appeal on points of law (§ 39). This is the domain that is traditionally protected by the spirit of non-interpreting national law.

The Bulgarian ship’s operator Bulfracht Ltd. tried to sue the Croatian shipping broker company J.A. as a guarantor for the Cypriot company TWS who had ordered carriage of goods from Ukraine to Taiwan but had not paid the agreed USD 515 099.20 (§ 6). The threshold for appealing to the Croatian Supreme Court was HRK 500 000. In that case the Croatian Constitutional Court decided that exchanging USD into Yugoslavian dinars, and then to Croatian kuna (HRK) was the correct practice. Due to this manner of currency exchange the threshold was not met. However later the Constitutional Court adopted another Ruling stating that USD shall be exchanged directly into HRK.

Nevertheless, I’m not sure that such a comparison might become a permanent practice of the ECtHR.

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