The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the Eastern European nation of Croatia is in violation of Article 14 (non-discrimination) during a case of family reunification of same-sex couples.
The unanimous judgement follows the unsuccessful application of Ms Pajić, a national of Bosnia-Herzegovina, who had applied for a Croatian residence permit in 2011.
However, her attempts to be reunited with her Croatian partner were refused by the local police department with subsequent appeals to the interior ministry, Zagreb Administrative Court and the Constitutional Court being unsuccessful.
In conjunction with breaching Article 14 (non-discrimination), Croatia was also found to violate Article 8 (private and family life) during the historic case of Pajić v Croatia, which is the first ruling by the European Court of Human Rights on family reunification of same-sex couples.
The judgment found that the nations domestic Aliens Act excluded all same-sex couples from the possibility of obtaining family reunification, and that Croatian authorities had not been able to justified the exclusion or provided any convincing reason to why same-sex couples were treated differently to different-sex couples.
Evelyne Paradis who is the ILGA-Europe Executive Director said that the “decision shines a spotlight on the sort of practical discrimination that can have a devastating effect on people’s day-to-day lives.”
“There was no real reason offered by the Croatian authorities for this difference in treatment and we are glad the Court protected the rights of same-sex couples to enjoy their family life, free from discrimination.”
Following the judgement the Court has instructed Croatia to pay non-pecuniary damages of Euro 10,000 to Ms Pajić, as well as costs and expenses.
Last Updated on Feb 25, 2016