To whom it may concern!
We kindly call upon EU and International institutions, politicians, legal scholars, NGO's and the press to help us insist on establishing a forum competent to deal with confiscated property claims as well as implementing the necessary legal mechanisms to provide an effective and enforceable remedy in cases where a violation has been established.
Up to the present date claims regarding communist mass property confiscations have not been resolved in accordance with international law. Recent decisions, namely von Maltzan and others (No. 7191/01), show that the European Court of Human Rights prefers not to touch the subject and tends to consider itself ratione temporis not competent to hear such claims.
The UN Human Rights Committee, although more responsive to these questions in context with discrimination, may only issue recommendations, which most countries, in particular the Czech Republic, simply ignore. (cf. U.N. Communications: No.586/1994 Adam v Czech Republic,516/1992 Simunek v Czech Republic, No.857/1999, Blazek v Czech Republic, No.747/1997, Des Fours Walderode v Czech Republic, No. 945/2000 Marik v Czech Republic).
Unfortunately, the European Union likewise has not been very cooperative in this issue. Despite numerous demands by NGO's to resolve pending property claims in former communist countries before the latter accede the European Union, the Union, especially the European Commission rigorously refused to include this matter in the accession negotiations and that although the Copenhagen Criteria clearly demand that the rule of law must be respected.
It is quite apparent that there is something terribly wrong with the present system; former totalitarian and abusive regimes fall outside of the scope of the European Union's legislation as well as the jurisdiction of European Court of Human Rights. There is a striking absence of individual procedural capacity. This creates an unacceptable climate of impunity, which must be amended as soon as possible.
In this respect we refer to ILOG's EP-Petition, EPP-ED resolution condemning totalitarian communism (available under www.projusticia.net and www.projusticia.net ) and our correspondence with the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights.
Fortunately, the office of the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe has taken note of our suggestion regarding the establishment of a competent forum. Due to the additional workload the Council of Europe will surely a priori try to avoid adopting the necessary measures, unless of course the public opinion compels them to do otherwise.
Therefore, for the sake of Justice, it is important that we all, victims, intellectuals and institutions determinedly demand the establishment of a competent and independent tribunal, otherwise the Judiciary will continue to disregard the victims.