Moldova – in the top countries with the most applications and convictions to the ECtHR

In 2019, the Republic of Moldova was in the 5th place among the countries against which the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)  issued the most judgements. Moreover, Moldovans complained to the ECtHR 3.4 times more often than the European average. This is the conclusion made by the experts of the Legal Resources Centre from Moldova (LRCM) based on the analysis of the ECtHR's activity report for the previous year. 

In 2019, the ECtHR had delivered 54 judgements on Moldovan cases, ranking fifth out of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe. In this respect, Moldova is far ahead of Germany, Spain, or the Netherlands—the countries that have joined the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) long before Moldova and have a much larger population each than Moldova. In total, ECtHR had delivered 441 judgements on Moldovan cases. Most often Moldova was condemned by the ECtHR for the way judges or prosecutors applied the law.  

16 out of 54 judgements delivered by ECtHR against Moldova (approximately 30%) concerned violations of human rights in the Transnistrian region. In 2 of the 16 judgements concerning the Russian Federation, the Republic of Moldova was also condemned. The 16 judgements refer to 34 cases filed at the ECtHR.

In the case of Filin v. Moldova and the Russian Federation, our country was condemned for failure to satisfy the positive obligation to prevent the applicant’s arrest by the representatives of the
“MRT” authorities, and in the case of Negruță  for favoring and contributing to the applicant's detention and transmission to the Transnistrian militia.

As of 31 December 2019, 1,056 Moldovan applications were still pending before the court. More than 95% of them have high chances of success. This is more than all the applications in the cases lost by Moldova in the 22 years since people got the right to sue Moldova to the ECtHR. 

In 2019, the ECtHR received the smallest number of applications against Moldova in the last 12 years. However, per capita, the number of applications against Moldova was very high. In this respect, in 2019, Moldova ranked sixth out of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.

Under all the ECtHR judgements and decisions issued by 31 December 2019, Moldova was obliged to pay over EUR 17.1 million (EUR 537,000 in 2019 only).

The analytical note on the situation of the Moldovan cases at the ECtHR can be downloaded here. The analytical notes for the previous years (2010-2018) can be found on the LRCM's web page. 

The analytical note was written in the framework of the project "Promoting rule of law in Moldova through civil society oversight", implemented by the LRCM with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).