Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 May 2023, 15:20 GMT


Publisher Council of Europe: European Court of Human Rights
Publication Date 31 August 2021
Citation / Document Symbol ECLI:CE:ECHR:2021:0831JUD002799419
Cite as CASE OF MUQISHTA v. BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA (Application no. 27994/19), ECLI:CE:ECHR:2021:0831JUD002799419, Council of Europe: European Court of Human Rights, 31 August 2021, available at:,ECHR,6138dabd4.html [accessed 17 May 2023]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Muqishta v. Bosnia and Herzegovina: ECtHR finds administrative proceedings in the case of a disabled refugee to be excessive in length and unfair

On 31 August 2021, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) published its judgment in the case Muqishta v. Bosnia and Herzegovina (application no. 27994/19). The applicant was granted refugee status in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2004. She is illiterate and has a severe mental disability. Medical authorities have established that she is incapacitated at 90% and requires help to carry out daily activities. In 2011, the applicant applied for a disability and attendance allowance. The domestic authorities rejected her application because she was a foreigner, relying on the country's social care legislation. Domestic judicial remedies were also unsuccessful. The applicant complains under Article 6(1) ECHR about the fairness and length of the administrative proceedings.
In its judgment, the Court noted that it may find a violation of Article 6(1) if the domestic court's findings are arbitrary or manifestly unreasonable, resulting in a "denial of justice". In the present case, the application for benefits was dismissed on the ground that the applicant had applied for allowances reserved to citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The administrative courts had disregarded the provisions entitling her to other, similar benefits, even though she had invoked these provisions in her appeal. The Court therefore found that the authorities disregarded their duty to ensure that the applicant was aware of her rights and was granted those for which she was eligible. It also stated that the authorities and the courts did not give the applicant's case a fair hearing. Additionally, it held that the Government had failed to justify the length of the proceedings - over five years - which was considered by the Court to be excessive and failed to meet the "reasonable time" requirement established in the Court's case law. It therefore found a violation of Article 6(1) ECHR.

ELENA Weekly Legal Update - 3 September 2021

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