The Rapporteur of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on the Execution of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, Klaas de Vries (Netherlands, SOC), today comment on a bill currently debated in the Bulgarian Parliament providing, inter alia, for the possibility to terminate criminal investigations if they lasted more than two years:
“The execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights does not require the introduction of domestic remedies allowing impunity. Persons responsible for murder, torture or slavery must not be allowed to get away with their crimes on the pretext that the criminal proceedings against have been too long”, Mr. de Vries said. “A remedy allowing for impunity in cases of violations of Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Convention is certainly not required by the Court”, he added.
The bill passed a first reading in the Bulgarian parliament on 17 July 2013. It was justified by the obligation to guarantee the right to a trial within a reasonable time. Some provisions of this draft bill raise serious problems as regards the obligation to identify and punish persons responsible for violations of the rights protected by Art. 2, 3 and 4 of the Convention.