European Court rules on case of Azerbaijani IDPs
12 December 2017

In today’s Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Chiragov and Others v. Armenia (application no. 13216/05) the European Court of Human Rights ruled on the question of just satisfaction. It held, unanimously, that the Armenian Government had to pay 5,000 euros in respect of pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage to each of the applicants and a total amount of 28,642.87 pounds sterling for costs and expenses.

The case concerned the complaints by six Azerbaijani refugees that they were unable to return to their homes and property in the district of Lachin, in Azerbaijan, from where they had been forced to flee in 1992 during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Court observed that the principle of subsidiarity underpinned the system of the European Convention on Human Rights. Thus, Armenia and Azerbaijan had given undertakings prior to their accession to the Council of Europe, committing themselves to the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The Court could only underline that it was their responsibility to find a solution on a political level to the conflict. Without prejudice to any compensation to be awarded to the applicants as just satisfaction, the effective execution of the principal judgment called for the creation of general measures at national level. The Court also noted that the damage did not lend itself to precise calculation. Certain difficulties in assessing the damage derived from the passage of time: the time element made the link between a breach of the Convention and the damage less certain. In conclusion, the Court underlined the responsibility of the two States concerned to find a resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Pending a solution on the political level, the Court considered it appropriate to award the applicants aggregate sums for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage. 

Decisions of the Grand Chamber are final. The Grand Chamber that gave the judgement consisted of 17 judges, led by Italian Judge, Guido Raimondi.

You may read more on the website of the Europeah Court for Human Rights here

source: with the press service of the European Court for Human Rights

photo: The Grand Chamber of the European Court for Human Rights (archive picture)