Damages Awarded by the European Court

Just satisfaction

It is well-established in the practice of the European Court that a violation finding may lead to an award of just satisfaction under Article 41 of the Convention. Broadly speaking, such an award may include compensation for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs and expenses, all payable by the respondent State.

Pecuniary damage

The Court orders compensation for pecuniary damage where there is a causal link between the damage suffered and the Convention violation found in the Court’s ruling. In the past, the Court has ordered compensation of up to several million Euros.1 The types of pecuniary damage compensated by the Court include:

  • the full or partial value of property lost as a result of the violation;2

  • loss of real opportunities;3

  • the difference between the market value of property expropriated and compensation paid by the State;4

  • interest, where appropriate.5

Non-pecuniary damage

The amount of non-pecuniary damages awarded largely depends on the nature of the violation found and the particular damage suffered by the applicant. In respect of commercial entity applicants, in awarding just satisfaction under this head the Court takes into account any harm done to the reputation of the company; any anxiety, inconvenience and uncertainty caused by the violation (including uncertainty in decision making and planning, and disruption in the management of the company); and other non-pecuniary loss.6

Costs and expenses

This includes legal fees, correspondence, travel and other expenses borne by the applicant in the course of the proceedings before the domestic courts and the ECtHR. However, the Court orders the State to compensate only those costs and expenses which were actually and necessarily incurred and are reasonable as to quantum.

 

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1 Oferta Plus S.R.L. v. Moldova, no. 14385/04, 19/12/2006 and 12/02/2008.

2 Todorova and Others v. Bulgaria. nos. 48380/99, 51362/99, 60036/00, 15/03/2007 and 24/04/2008.

3 Krcmar and Others v. the Czech Republic, no. 35376/97, 03/03/2000; Kanala v. Slovakia, no. 57239/00, 10/07/2007 and 14/10/2008.

4 Urbarska Obec Trencianske Biskupice v. Slovaka, no. 74258/01, 27/11/2007 and 27/01/2009.

5 Ghigo v. Malta, no. 31122/05, 26/09/2006 and 17/07/2008.

6 Comingersoll S.A. v. Potrugal [GC], no. 35382/97, 06/04/2000.