The Constitutional Court has compensated Roma man, who since 2014 has been unsuccessfully seeking redress for racial discrimination in access to employment. The District Court in Trnava did not deal with his case for years. It set the first court hearing almost four years after the lawsuit was filed. The Constitutional Court granted the discriminated man a compensation of EUR 2,000 for backlog in his court proceeding.
The injured Roma turned to the District Court in 2014 after the local employment agency refused to provide him a job due to his ethnic origin. The agency explained that a company, for which it looked for employees, specifically asked for not hiring Roma.
The court has not dealt with the lawsuit of discriminated Roma for a long time. The first hearing took place in September 2018 - three years and eight months after the lawsuit was filed. Moreover, the employment agency ceased to exist during the court proceeding. Its rights and obligations were taken over by another company. Before the first hearing this company bankrupted thus the compensation for the discrimination the injured Roma was seeking has become practically impossible to get.
Therefore, in 2018, the discriminated Roma filed a complaint with the Slovak Constitutional Court, arguing that the inaction of the District Court violated his right to hear this case in a reasonable time without any delay.
The Slovak Constitutional court ruled there has been a violation of the applicant´s rights by the District Court and granted him financial compensation of EUR 2,000.
“I am glad that after years the case has been resolved at least this way. But, on the other hand, I am disappointed that the employment agency that discriminated against me has not been punished for its actions. I also want to thank Poradna and my lawyer for standing by me in this long legal battle."
said the discriminated Roma on the decision of the Slovak Constitutional Court.
"Disproportionate length of court proceedings is a huge problem for the Slovak judiciary and it is also common in cases of discrimination. It is the thing that, among others, discourages discriminated people from pursuing their rights in courts. However, according to the international law Slovakia is obliged to secure effective access to justice to those who face discrimination. The Slovak Ministry of Justice and other responsible state institutions should finally come up with vigorous action so that delays in discrimination cases do not occur,"
said Vanda Durbáková, an attorney cooperating with Poradna and legal representative of the applicant.