Resources

Communication between asset recovery practitioners in the region has opened up opportunities for cooperation and identifying and sharing best practice and lessons learned, thus encouraging further research and exchange of information. In this regard, the AIRE Centre and RAI have developed a catalogue of resources, which includes the most important available documents and data related to the practical challenges of experts in this field.

Here, you can access summaries of key judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, learn more about cases from Western Balkan jurisdictions, and access asset recovery legislation from across the region.

Also, in the Resources section, you can find strategic documents and action plans related to asset recovery in the region, presentations by experts and information about trends in this area across Europe. If you want to share further examples of good practice, relevant documents and data, feel free to contact us.

ECtHR jurisprudence

Shorazova v. Malta

March, 2022

The freezing order Proportionality Effective safeguards General interest Legal assistance

The Court ruled that the freezing order had been an interference with the applicant’s property rights. The Court considered that there were sufficient grounds to question the genuine nature of the actions undertaken by government and thus the general interest behind the measure. In the procedure before the Criminal Court by which the freezing order had been issued and repeatedly extended in the applicant’s case, the applicant had been deprived of relevant procedural safeguards against an arbitrary or disproportionate interference for nearly eight years.

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ZAKLAN v. CROATIA

December 16, 2021

Temporary seizure Public interest Proportionality Admissibility criteria Ratione personae

The Court held that there had been a violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1. The applicant complained of the refusal of the court to order the return of the money that had been seized from him. The Court concluded that the applicant had been made to bear a disproportionate burden in this case, leading to a violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1.

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AKTIVA DOO v. SERBIA

April 19, 2021

Just satisfaction Non-pecuniary damage General interest Proportionality

The seizure and sale of goods owned by the applicant company which were imported legally but were allegedly traded in contravention of the regulations on recording trade in goods and services. Court reiterates that, in order to be proportionate, the interference should correspond to the severity of the infringement, and the sanction to the gravity of the offence it is designed to punish – in the instant case the failure to comply with the proper recording requirement – rather than to the gravity of any presumed infringement which has not actually been established, such as an offence that could have had “grave economic consequences for the State budget.

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MARKUS v. LATVIA

September 11, 2020

Partial confiscation of property General interest Procedural safeguards Proportionality

The case concerned the imposition of the criminal penalty of confiscation of property. Mr Markus was convicted in 2008 of asking for a bribe and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment. The court also imposed a mandatory ancillary penalty of confiscation of property.

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B.K.M. LOJISTIK TASIMACILIK TICARET LIMITED SIRKETI v. SLOVENIA

September 11, 2020

Mandatory confiscation Exhaustion of domestic remedies Just satisfaction General Interest Control of the use of property Proportionality

The Court considers that confiscation of an instrument for the commission of criminal offences from a third party does not involve the same level of urgency as confiscation of proceeds or objects of a criminal offence, viewed from the perspective of policy responses in the general interest.

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G.I.E.M. S.r.l. and Others v. Italy

June 28, 2018

Formal conviction Actions of third parties Proportionality General Interest

Confiscation of land over unlawful site development. The applicants alleged that this confiscation had an insufficient legal basis. The Court reiterated that Article 7 precluded the imposition of a criminal sanction on an individual without personal criminal liability being established and declared beforehand.

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DŽINIĆ v. CROATIA

August 17, 2016

Temporary seizure Value of the property Pecuniary gain Just satisfaction

A violation of the applicant’s right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions because the domestic courts had an order temporarily freezing the applicant’s property during the investigation and, subsequently, during the criminal proceedings conducted against him. Namely, during the criminal proceedings against the applicant, the relevant court issued a temporary order seizing the applicant’s real estate on the motion of the prosecutor. The applicant had made several objections to the domestic courts that the value of his property exceeded that of the pecuniary gain he was charged with several times over and requested that the seizure be limited only to a part of the initially seized property, the value of which was proportionate to the illegal proceeds.

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AL-DULIMI AND MONTANA MANAGEMENT INC. V. SWITZERLAND

June 21, 2016

Conflict between international laws Equivalent protection Proportionality

Potential norm conflict between the obligations stemming from a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution and the protections offered by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), a recurrent theme in the Strasbourg jurisprudence . In the absence of any clear or explicit wording excluding or limiting respect for human rights in the context of the implementation of sanctions at national level, the ECtHR would as a matter of principle always interpret the resolution in question harmoniously so as to avoid any conflict

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Gogitidze and Others v. Georgia

August 12, 2015

Public interest Proportionality Just satisfaction General interest

In finding no violation of the right to property, the Court reasoned that the State had struck a fair balance between the means taken to confiscate the applicants’ assets and the public interest in combating State corruption. Regarding the right to a fair trial, the Court found that the applicants had waived their right to participate in proceedings by failing to appear at the trial

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GRAYSON AND BARNHAM v. THE UNITED KINGDOM

December 23, 2008

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BAKLANOV v. RUSSIA

November 30, 2005

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AIR CANADA v. THE UK

May 5, 1995

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RAIMONDO v. ITALY

February 22, 1994

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Agosi v. the United Kingdom

October 24, 1986

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Case studies

Third-party confiscation - Albania

Financial investigation and international cooperation - Bosnia and Herzegovina

Confiscation of assets - Kosovo

Confiscation of assets in high profile case - Kosovo

Extended confiscation - Montenegro

Third party confiscation - Montenegro

Unauthorised production, possession and sale of narcotic drugs - Montenegro

Confiscation of instrumentalities and proceeds of crime - North Macedonia

Judgment on merits of the Supreme Court of the Republic of North Macedonia in relation to confiscation from a third party

Evidentary standards - Serbia

Confiscation of Proceeds of Crime in Federation of BIH

Confiscation of Proceeds of Crime in North Macedonia

Asset Recovery in the Republic of Serbia

Legislation

Criminal Code of Montenegro

March 31, 2021

Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia

March 19, 2019

Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Serbia

December 1, 2019

Money Laundering and financing of terrorism

July 24, 2017

CRIMINAL CODE OF THE REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA

May 3, 2017

LAW ON THE ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONING OF INSTITUTIONS FOR COMBATING CORRUPTION AND ORGANIZED CRIME

October 6, 2016

Criminal Code of North Macedonia

February 6, 2014

LAW ON PREVENTING AND STRIKING AT ORGANISED CRIME, TRAFFICKING, CORRUPTION AND OTHER CRIMES THROUGH PREVENTIVE MEASURES AGAINST ASSETS

December 3, 2009

ECONOMIC OFFENCES ACT of the Republic of Serbia

March 1, 2005

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE OF THE REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA

March 21, 1995