Liechtenstein brings an Inter-State case against the Czech Republic

On 19 August 2020 the Government of Liechtenstein lodged an inter-State application against the Czech Republic under Article 33 (Inter-State cases) of the European Convention on Human Rights, alleging breaches of the rights of its citizens in property cases.

The case concerns the Government of Liechtenstein’s complaint under several Articles of the Convention about the respondent State’s classification of Liechtenstein citizens as persons with German nationality for the purposes of applying the Decrees of the President of Republic of 1945 (also known as the Beneš decrees), which, among other things, confiscated property belonging to all ethnic Germans and Hungarians after the Second World War.

In its application the Government of Liechtenstein alleges violations of Article 6 (right to a fair trial), Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) of the Convention, Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property) to the Convention, as well as of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) taken together with the other Articles.

The Government of Liechtenstein refers in its complaints to two sets of proceedings concerning property in the Czech Republic, one set against the Prince of Liechtenstein Foundation, which inherited all the property owned by the late Prince Franz Josef II, and one set concerning 33 individual cases brought by Liechtenstein nationals, including the head of state, Prince Hans-Adam II.

The Czech Republic has asserted ownership to the property in the cases. According to the Government of Liechtenstein, one of the cases was concluded in favour of the Czech State in a decision of the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic of February 2020.

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