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.
Third-party confiscation - Albania
Anti-mafia Law Drug trafficking Corruption Seizure of assets
Financial investigation and international cooperation - Bosnia and Herzegovina
Organized crime Tax evasion Suspicious transactions INTERPOL
Confiscation of Proceeds of Crime in Federation of BIH
Emiran case Tax evasion Money laundering Social use of confiscated assets
Third party confiscation - Montenegro
Public officials Confiscation Third person evolved Fictitious transactions
Unauthorised production, possession and sale of narcotic drugs - Montenegro
Real estate Secret surveillance Narcotics
Confiscation of instrumentalities and proceeds of crime - North Macedonia
Pepeo case Smuggling Tax evasion Tobacco mafia Illegal trade Unauthorized use of another’s company
Judgment on merits of the Supreme Court of the Republic of North Macedonia in relation to confiscation from a third party
Seizure Movable property Goods
Evidentary standards - Serbia
Confiscation Supreme court of cassation Fraud Sale agreements
Shorazova v. Malta
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.
ZAKLAN v. CROATIA
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.
AKTIVA DOO v. SERBIA
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.
MARKUS v. LATVIA
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.
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.
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.
DŽINIĆ v. CROATIA
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.
AL-DULIMI AND MONTANA MANAGEMENT INC. V. SWITZERLAND
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
Gogitidze and Others v. Georgia
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