European Court of Human Rights - case of Jasiūnienė v. Lithuania (2003) (excerpts)

European Court of Human Rights - case of Jasiūnienė v. Lithuania (2003) (excerpts)

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27.  The Court reiterates that Article 6 § 1 secures to everyone the right to have any claim relating to his civil rights and obligations brought before a court or tribunal; in this way it embodies the “right to a court”, of which the right of access, that is the right to institute proceedings before courts in civil matters, constitutes one aspect. However, that right would be illusory if a Contracting State's domestic legal system allowed a final, binding judicial decision to remain inoperative to the detriment of one party. It would be inconceivable that Article 6 § 1 should describe in detail procedural guarantees afforded to litigants - proceedings that are fair, public and expeditious - without protecting the implementation of judicial decisions; to construe Article 6 as being concerned exclusively with access to a court and the conduct of proceedings would be likely to lead to situations incompatible with the principle of the rule of law which the Contracting States undertook to respect when they ratified the Convention. Execution of a judgment given by any court must therefore be regarded as an integral part of the “trial” for the purposes of Article 6. A delay in the execution of a judgment may be justified in particular circumstances. But the delay may not be such as to impair the essence of the right protected under Article 6

§ 1 (see Hornsby v. Greece, no. 18357/91, 19 March 1997, § 40, ECHR 1997-II; also see, as a recent authority, the Burdov v. Russia judgment, no. 59498/00, 7 May 2002, §§ 34-35).