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Đurić against Serbia

Importance level
Panel of Judges
Chamber (7)
Judgment Date
Date of Application
(Čl. 6) Građanski postupak (Ima povrede)
(Čl. 6-1) Javna rasprava (Ima povrede)
Application Numbers
Verdict/resolution view

European Court of Human Rights(hereinafter: Court) passed on January 16, 2024, and published on February 6, 2024 judgment in the caseĐurić v. Serbia, No. 24989/17, by which he established a violation of the rights referred to in Article 6, paragraph 1 of the Conventionfor the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms (hereinafter referred to as the Convention).

The verdict was handed down unanimously by a Panel of 7 judges.

The case refers to the applicant's complaint that he could notto exercise the right to disability benefits and that no public hearing was held before the Administrative Court.

In particular, his request to be recognized as a civil war invalid and entitled to related benefits was rejected due to the lack of written evidence from the period when the event in question took place. The oral public hearing before the Administrative Court was not held.


The applicant (hereinafter: the applicant), Mr. Milan Đurić, complained that he could not exercise his right to disability benefits before the local authorities. Namely, the applicant claimed that at the age of 13 (on April 14, 1996) he suffered serious bodily injuries due to the activation of an explosive device that was left behind after the previous armed conflict. As a result of the above, the applicant lost his left eye and three fingers of his left hand and suffered severe damage to his right eye, after which he was treated for several years for his injuries in the country and abroad and continued his education in a specialized high school for visually impaired children.

The applicant subsequently demanded that he be recognized as a civil war invalid and entitled to the related benefits, which the national administrative bodies, i.e. the courts, refused citing that there was no written evidence from the period when the event in question took place, bearing in mind that the police the investigation report, as well as the two remaining detonation capsules destroyed during the NATO intervention in 1999. The applicant also complained about the failure to hold an oral hearing in the proceedings before the Administrative Court.

The petition was submitted to the Court on March 23, 2017.

The subject is the Republic of Serbiacommunicated as an impact case (impact case).


The court first examined the admissibility of the presented complaints, and established that the complaints in terms of Article 6, paragraph 1 of the Convention are admissible.

In the context of considering the merits, The court noted that even the Supreme Court in its decision noted the lack of flexibility of the legal provision of Article 12 of the then validof the Law on the Rights of War Disabled Civilians which prescribed that the fact that the person actually suffered injuries under the conditions prescribed in Article 2 is determined exclusively by presenting written evidence from the time when the injury was suffered.

The court also noted that the fact that the request for the recognition of the status of civil war invalid was not submitted immediately after the accident, but about 10 years later, cannot be attributed to either the applicant or his representative, bearing in mind that as a result of the accident, the applicant developed an acute health problem which was a priority over legal satisfaction.

The courtisconcludeabout that the applicant was faced with both the legal and the factual impossibility of properly examining his request, especially bearing in mind that the police statement of March 21, 2006 was also not considered procedurally admissible, as it dates from 2006 and not from the time when the applicant suffered injuries. The court also assessed that it would, due to the specificity of the circumstances related to the context of requests related to social insurance, it was useful toisthe domestic court hears as part of the oral hearing and in the presence of the applicant or his representativeabout of the retired police officer named in the 2006 police statement, to possibly provide relevant details.

Following the above, the court israted that the applicant did not have an effective right to a fair trial, because he was not given a reasonable opportunity to present his case at the oral hearing, under conditions that would not put him at a substantial disadvantage.

The applicant also complained about the violation of Article 14 of the Convention as well as Article 1 of Protocol No. 1, but the Court considered that it had examined the main legal issues raised in the petition in question, and that there was no need to make a separate decision on the admissibility and merits of the complaints filed on the basis of the mentioned members.

FAIRLY SATISFACTION (Article 41 of the Convention)

The court obliged the Republic of Serbia to pay the applicant the amount of 3,000.00 euros in compensation for non-material damage and the amount of 3,000.00 euros in the name of costs and expenses, in dinar equivalent on the day of payment, within three months from the finality of the judgment. 

The court concluded that the applicant did not prove the existence of a causal link between the established procedural violation and the alleged material damage, and therefore that  rejected the request in its entirety.

Related cases/References
Decisions made at the domestic level which preceded the application to the ECHR
одлука Уставног суда Уж. 1209/2015 од 6. октобра 2016. године
пресуда Управног суда У. 7191/14 од 3. новембра 2014. године
Specific Measures
General Measures
Action Plan/Report
CM Decisions
Final Resolution