Croatia / Constitutional Court / U-III-1095/2014 Paolo Biasiol from Rijeka v Leopold Kesten from Rijeka and Getro Plc.

Key facts of the case: 

On 10 May 2003, the applicant, who was twelve years old at the time, was shopping with his father in a Getro store in Rijeka. After the purchase has been made, the anti-theft alarm went off while the applicant was passing through the doors. The security guard started checking the applicant in a manner causing fear and shame in front of a large group of people. The security guard requested him to empty his pockets. Upon the applicant’s father’s request, the assistant workers decided to call the police. Even though the police concluded that no theft has been made, the security guard nevertheless checked the applicant’s shoes as well.

In accordance with the Civil Obligations Act, the court of first instance granted the applicant a compensation for non-material damages in relation to the violation of the right to human dignity and reputation and for the violation of his personality. The county court confirmed the first violation, but decided to deny the second violation, reasoning that a twelve year old child cannot develop a sense of a personality. The Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia has nullified the decision of the County Court.

Outcome of the case: 

According to observations of the Constitutional Court, the second-instance court made an arbitrary conclusion that the applicant, a twelve year old child, who has not formed a perception of his personal reputation and dignity, does not have a right to compensation of damages on that basis.

The Constitutional Court finds that the applicant’s right to a fair trial granted by Article 29 of the Constitution has not been respected by the court of second instance in relation to the exercise of his right to respect for and legal protection of each person’s private and family life, dignity and reputation guaranteed in Article 35 of the Constitution.

Therefore, the Constitutional Court has nullified the decisions rendered by the courts of lower instances and remanded the case to the County Court for a new trial.

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter: 

VI. ASSESMENT OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
11. Referring to the allegations of the constitutional complaint, the Constitutional Court assessed the issue of a possible violation of the right to a fair trial from the aspect of the prohibition of arbitrary decision-making, guaranteed in Article 29 paragraph 1 of the Constitution, in relation to the right to respect and legal protection of personal and family life, dignity, reputation and honour, guaranteed in Article 35 of the Constitution (...) Article 1 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union 2010/ C 83/02 ( published in the Official Journal of the European Union C 83/389 of 30 March 2010, hereafter referred to as the Charter) reads: "TITLE I DIGNITY Article 1 Human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected.
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14. The Constitutional Court emphasizes that the Constitution guarantees  respect and legal protection of personal and family life, dignity, reputation and honor to everyone. Human dignity is a key factor in the concept of human rights and duties.
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15. The Constitutional Court reminds that the Republic of Croatia is a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child ("Official Gazette - International Treaties" Nos. 12/93 and 20/97), which in Article 16 explicitly cites honor and reputation of the child , without imposing any additional conditions for the existence or protection  thereof.
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16. By joining the European Union, the Republic of Croatia has accepted the contents of the Charter, whose chapter I is titled "Dignity". Article 1 of the Charter titled "Human Dignity" explicitly states that "human dignity is inviolable and that it must be respected and protected". In this way, by committing to the contents of the Charter, human dignity becomes a component of human rights catalogue of the Croatian Constitution.
 

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter (original language): 

VI. OCJENA USTAVNOG SUDA
11. Polazeći od navodau stavnetužbe, Ustavni sud je istu razmotrio s aspekta eventualne povrede prava na pravično suđenje u aspektu zabrane arbitrarnosti, zajamčenog člankom 29. stavkom 1. Ustava, u vezi s pravom na poštovanje i pravnu zaštitu osobnog i obiteljskog života, dostojanstva, ugleda i časti, zajamčenog člankom 35. Ustava.…Članak 1. Povelje o temeljnim pravima Europskeunije (Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union 2010/C 83/02, objavljena u Službenom listu Europske unije C 83/389 od 30. ožujka 2010.; u daljnjemtekstu: Povelja) glasi: "GLAVA I. DOSTOJANSTVO Članak 1. Ljudsko dostojanstvo je nepovredivo. Ono se mora poštovati i štititi.
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14. Ustavni sud naglašava da Ustav svakom jamči poštovanje i pravnu zaštitu osobnog i obiteljskog života, dostojanstva, ugleda i časti. Dostojanstvo čovjeka ključni je čimbenik koncepta prava i dužnosti čovjeka.
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15. Ustavni sud podsjeća da je Republika Hrvatska stranka Konvencije o pravima djeteta ("Narodne novine - Međunarodni ugovori" broj 12/93. i 20/97.), koja u članku 16. izrijekom  navodi čast i ugled djeteta, ne postavljajući u odnosu  na dijete nikakve dodatne uvjete za postojanje, odnosno zaštitu istih.
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16. Pristupanjem Europskoj uniji Republika Hrvatska recipirala je sadržaj Povelje, čija glava I.  nosi naslov "Dostojanstvo". Članak 1. Povelje naslovljen  je s  "Ljudskodostojanstvo" te izrijekom navodi da je "ljudsko dostojanstvo nepovredivo te da se ono se mora poštovati i štititi". Na taj način, recipiranjem sadržaja Povelje, ljudsko dostojanstvo postaje sastavnica kataloga ljudskih prava hrvatskog Ustava.

Language: 
Croatian
Deciding body (original language): 
Ustavni sud Republike Hrvatske
Language: 
Croatian