ECHR says it has no jurisdiction to hear Slovenia's LB suit against Croatia

NEWS 16.12.2020 14:57
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Source: Ilustracija

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Wednesday stated that it "does not have jurisdiction to hear the case of Slovenia versus Croatia" over the receivables of defunct Ljubljanska Banka's (LB) Zagreb branch dating back to the 1980s.

The dispute refers to claims by the Ljubljanska Banka against Croatian companies for loans issued during the the former Yugoslav federation.

Croatia’s representative before the court, Stefica Staznik explained that Ljubljanska Banka had since 1991 filed several litigation suits before Croatian courts related to claims for unpaid loans and guarantees approved to Croatian companies, mostly in the agriculture and food sector.

Slovenia called on multiple violations of the Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom while Croatia claimed that ECHR had no jurisdiction to examine the application because Ljubljanska Banka is a government organisation and does not qualify as non-governmental.

“Slovenia v. Croatia, GC decision: Lack of jurisdiction to examine inter-State application vindicating the rights of a legal entity which does not qualify as “non-governmental,” the ECHR tweeted on Wednesday.

“In the present case and having regard to all the material in the file, the Court saw no reason to depart from its findings in the Ljubljanska Banka D.D. case to the effect that Ljubljana Bank did not enjoy sufficient institutional and operational independence from the State and could not therefore be regarded as a “non-governmental organisation” within the meaning of Article 34. Accordingly, Article 33 did not empower the Court to examine an inter-State application alleging a violation of any Convention right in respect of this legal entity. The Court therefore lacked jurisdiction to hear the present case,” the Strasbourg-based court says in its comment on this case.