PUBLIC AUTHORITIES AND GOOD GOVERNANCE

European Court of Human Rights on good governance

The European Court of Human Rights (2 October 2012, Case of Czaja v. Poland, 5744/05) reiterates the particular importance of the principle of good governance. It requires that where an issue pertaining to the general interest is at stake, especially when it affects fundamental human rights, including property rights, the public authorities must act promptly and in an appropriate and above all consistent manner. It is desirable that public authorities act with the utmost care, in particular when dealing with matters of vital importance to individuals, such as welfare benefits and other such rights. In the present case, the Court considers that having discovered their mistake, the authorities failed in their duty to act speedily and in an appropriate and consistent manner.

Karel Frielink

(12 February 2013)

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