Branka Belić Babić and others against Serbia
A. Consolidation of applications
Bearing in mind the similarity of the subjects of the mentioned petitions, the Court considers it appropriate to examine them together and to make a joint decision.
B. Complaints based on Article 6, paragraph 1 of the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol no. 1 (non-execution or delayed execution of domestic decisions taken against social/state enterprises)
The Government argued that the final decisions made at the domestic level were actually made in favor of the applicants. Therefore, she proposed that the Court reject the petitions in question as an abuse of the right to individual petitions in accordance with Article 35, paragraph. 3(a) and 4 of the Convention.
The applicants did not dispute that fact.
The Court reiterates that a petition may be rejected as an abuse of the right to an individual petition within the meaning of Article 35, paragraph 3(a) of the Convention if, among other reasons, it is knowingly based on false information or if significant information and documents are intentionally omitted, either where were known from the very beginning or where new significant events occurred during the course of the proceedings. Incomplete and therefore misleading information may constitute an abuse of the right to petition, especially if the information in question concerns the very essence of the case and if a sufficiently good explanation is not provided for the non-disclosure of such information (see Gross v. Switzerland [WV], no. 67810/10 , paragraph 28, ECtHR 2014; SAS v. France [VV], no. 43835/11, paragraph 67, ECtHR 2014; and Nikolić and others v. Serbia (dec.) [Council], no. 48162/18 and 8 others, dated January 21, 2021).
Referring to the case in question, the Court notes that in the period from December 15, 2020 to February 22, 2021, the state fully paid the amounts awarded in the decisions in question at the domestic level, in accordance with domestic law (see Stevanović et al. v. Serbia , no. 43815/17 and 15 others, paragraph 17, dated August 27, 2019). The petitioners did not inform the Court of such a development before the Government received notification of the filing of the petitions, and no explanation was given for this omission.
Taking into account the fact that the withheld information related to the very essence of the petitions, the Court finds that such behavior was contrary to the purpose of the right to an individual petition. Lawyers must understand that, taking into account the Court's duty to investigate allegations of human rights violations, they must also demonstrate high professional prudence and meaningful cooperation in working with the Court, sparing it from frivolous complaints, and, before and after initiating proceedings, they must inquire diligently into all the details of the case, carefully observing all the relevant rules of procedure, and are also obliged to encourage their clients to do the same. Otherwise, the intentional or negligent misuse of the Court's resources may jeopardize the credibility of the work of the lawyer in the eyes of the Court, and even if it occurs systematically, it may lead to a situation where certain lawyers are prohibited from representing the applicants according to Rule 36, paragraph 4 (b) of the Rules of Procedure of the Court ( see Stevančević v. Bosnia and Herzegovina (dec.), No. 67618/09, paragraph 29, dated January 10, 2017).
Considering the above, the Court finds that the petitions in question represent an abuse of the right to an individual petition, and must be dismissed in accordance with Article 35, paragraph. 3 (a) and 4 of the Convention.
FROM QUIET THE REASON, THE COURT, UNANIMOUSLY,
Decides to combine the petitions;
It declares the petitions inadmissible.