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PEOPILS MARCO BONA AND UMBERTO OLIVA SECURES LANDMARK ECJ JUDGEMENT ON VICTIMS OF VIOLENT CRIME’S RIGHTS TO “FAIR COMPENSATION”

Peopil board member Marco Bona and his legal team including his partner and Peopil member Umberto Oliva have secured a landmark legal decision from the European Court of Justice regarding compensation payable to victims of violent crime according to Directive 2004/80/EC.

Mr Bona said today “In this case, our client, an Italian resident was a victim of sexual violence in autumn 2005. The €50,000 that the perpetrators of that violence were ordered by the criminal court to pay to her by way of damages and interest could not be recovered. In February 2009, we brought a claim on behalf of our client against the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers for the compensation for the harm that she had suffered as a result of the failure of Italy to transpose, within the appropriate time, Directive 2004/80. In those proceedings, at first instance the Presidenza was ordered to pay our client the sum of €90,000 which was reduced in the Appeal to €50,000.

In the judgement, Presidenza del Consiglioi dei Ministri (C-129/19) delivered on the 16th July 2020, the Court held that the fixed rate of compensation consisting of Euros 4.800,00 granted to victims of sexual violence under the national scheme in Italy and for victims of violent intentional crime cannot be classified as “fair and appropriate”, and that “If it is a fixed sum, without taking into account the seriousness of the consequences for the victim of the crime committed it therefore does not represent an appropriate contribution to the reparation of material and non- material harm suffered”.

Speaking about the landmark judgement, Marco Bona, said today “this is an important judgement for victims of intentional violent crime across Europe. The Court has expressed itself in this case with a ruling that addresses two important issues namely the identification of the victims protected by the compensation system provided by European Union law and the limits and discretion of States in setting compensation”. In particular, “the Court of Justice made it clear that ‘fair and appropriate’ compensation refers to immaterial or moral damages too, being this a landmark contribution by the EU Court”.

Mr. Bona added “many European Union states provide very limited compensation schemes for victims of intentional violent crime”.

Mr. Bona continued “having carried out its analysis of the Law, the Court held that the Directive 2004/80 imposes on each Member State the obligation to provide a scheme on compensation that covers all victims of violent intentional harm committed on this territory and not only victims that are in a cross border situation”.

Mr. Bona added “while in the absence of any indication in the Directive as to the amount of compensation deemed to be ‘fair and appropriate’ compensation, that provision does allow Member States some discretion in that regard but any compensation provided for must not be purely symbolic or manifestly insufficient. This judgement will have the effect of coming to the aid of hundreds of thousands of victims of intentional crime in Europe each year. For too long, National Governments have failed to properly compensate victims of intentional crime and this decision is to be welcomed”

In 2002 Peopil, including Marco Bona, contributed to the Green paper consultation leading to Directive 2004/80/EC.  

 

 

 

When 21-07-2020

Umberto Oliva, Marco Bona, Francesco Bracciani