Published: 12 Dec 2017 | By Harriet Bland
Sargsyan v Azerbaijan (Just Satisfaction)
Case No. 40167/07
Judgment date: 12 December 2017
Minas Sargsyan, an ethnic Armenian, lived in Gulistan village, Azerbaijan, until 1992, when he and his family were forced to flee to Armenia as refugees, following heavy bombing by Azerbaijani forces during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He applied to the ECtHR for redress in 2006. On 16 June 2015, the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR held that the family’s rights under Art. 1 of Protocol 1 of the ECHR (protection of property), Art. 8 ECHR (right to respect for private and family life, and home) and Art. 13 ECHR (right to an effective remedy) had been violated. After Minas’ death, the case was pursued by his wife, and then their children.
In just satisfaction proceedings, the applicants claimed non-pecuniary damages for the anguish of being unable to return to their property or visit relatives’ graves, and pecuniary damage for the loss of their property and land.
The Grand Chamber’s decisions on both the merits (in 2015) and the just satisfaction claim (in 2017) of this case have run parallel with the case of Chiragov and others v Armenia (No. 13216/05) 16.06.2015 & 12.12.2017, which concerns similar issues arising in relation to an Azerbaijani family from an Armenian-controlled area of Nagorno-Karabakh.