The Erased People of Slovenia Receive First Compensation Decisions

The Erased People of Slovenia Receive First Compensation Decisions

The Act on Restitution of Damage for Persons Who were Erased from the Register of Permanent Population was adopted in November 2013 as a result of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights pilot judgement of 26 June 2012 in the case Kurić and others vs. Slovenia (PDF), which confirmed that violations of the rights of the erased people took place. The Grand Chamber also found that the situation of the applicants is a result of a broader structural problem and ordered Slovenia to set up an ad hoc compensation mechanism that would enable the erased persons to access compensation on the national level.

Although a compensation mechanism as such is a positive step, the representatives of the erased individuals and non-governmental organisations have expressed a number of concerns on the content of the law, including those related to the scope of beneficiaries that is limited to those persons who have already arranged their status in Slovenia. Criticism was also aimed at the amount of lump-sum compensation, which is not comparable to the compensation awarded to the six erased applicants by the European Court of Human Rights (20,000 EUR solely for non-pecuniary damage).

After the second Grand Chamber judgement of 12 March 2014, in which the court ruled on the amount of compensation for pecuniary damage for the six winning applicants, the disappointment with national measures increased. According to the first and second Court judgment, an erased person who has been without legal status for 20 years is entitled to compensation of at least 50,000 EUR, while to a person in a comparable situation the domestic legal system provides only a bit over 12,000 EUR.

The erased people continue to lay their hopes on the European Court of Human Rights. Namely, in light of the persistent failure of the Slovenian authorities to adopt a national compensation scheme, between 27 June 2013 and 3 July 2013 the Italian attorney Andrea Saccucci filed before the Court a new set of collective applications involving hundreds of erased persons, asking the Court to rule on their compensation claims irrespective of whether in the future Slovenia will set up an appropriate domestic remedy for that purpose. The claims are still pending the Court ruling.

For more information, please visit The Erased – Information and documents website.