European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights; Handbook on Access to Justice

This handbook summarizes the key European legal principles in the area of access to justice. It seeks to raise awareness and improve knowledge of relevant legal standards set by the European Union and the Council of Europe, particularly through the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The handbook is designed to serve as a practical guide for judges, prosecutors and legal practitioners involved in litigation in the EU and in Council of Europe member states as well as for Non-governmental organizations and other bodies that assist victims in accessing justice.

Chapter 5 covers the right to an effective remedy under the European system, providing numerous examples of cases showing types of complaints and how the court assessed them, including examples of the court’s response to non-implemented decisions. Section 5.2.1 deals specifically with the remedy of compensation and the conditions that must be fulfilled for compensation to meet the standards of an effective remedy.

Although it is not always clear that conflict-related harm would fall within the jurisdiction of the court, some of the cases given as examples arose in war or post-war setting (see e.g. Maktouf and Damjanović v. Bosnia and Herzegovina) discussed on pages 23-25. This case is also considered in our Balkan Wars section.