Bozidar STEVANOVIC against Serbia
Presentation of the decision in the caseStevanović v. Serbia, number 4504/17
The European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter: the Court) is on September 7, 2023 announced the decision in the caseStevanović v. Serbia by which he determined that the petition in question is inadmissible due to non-exhaustion of domestic legal remedies and that it must be rejected as such in accordance with Article 35. st. 1 and 4 of the Convention. The decision was made by a Board of three judges.
The case refers to the claim of the applicant that his constitutional appealrejected by the Constitutional Court as untimely even though this was not the case (the applicant submitted a return receipt as proof that he submitted the constitutional appeal within the legally prescribed period of 30 days).
The Court found that, although the decisions of the Constitutional Court cannot in principle be subject to review, there is a legal remedy at the domestic level, provided for in the Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Court from 2008 and Article 96 of the Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Court from 2013, which in special situations allows the Constitutional Court to review its own decisions and possibly re-conduct the procedure when it turns out that the contested decision is based on an obvious mistake by the Constitutional Court itself that cannot be corrected otherwise.
In addition, the Court assessed that the practice of the Constitutional Court clearly shows that applicants whose constitutional appeals were erroneously rejected as untimely, among other things, can obtain a review of their case in this way (see for example, Už 3122/2012 of July 11, 2018 and Už-3124/2012 of June 7, 2018).
Due to all of the above, the Court assessed that the request for reconsideration, in an exceptional case, in principle, it represents an effective domestic legal remedy in the sense of Article 35, paragraph 1 of the Convention in situations like this.
Therefore, the Court determined that the applicant did not use this legal remedy, nor did he show that for any reason it was inadequate or ineffective in the circumstances of the specific case, and that there are no special circumstances that would release the applicant from the obligation to use it before addressing the Court .