KI 82/16

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The applicant, a local employee of the UN mission in Kosovo, was arrested and charged with various criminal offenses, including facilitating or compelling prostitution (Article 241 of the Criminal Code of Kosovo). The Basic Court found him guilty and sentenced him to 14 years imprisonment. The Court of Appeal affirmed the guilty verdict. The applicant filed a request for protection of legality with the Supreme Court, which rejected the request. The applicant then submitted a referral to the Constitutional Court, alleging, among other things, that he was discriminated against on the grounds of gender in violation of Article 24 of the Constitution because the trial court found credible the statement of a victim and a witness because they were women. The Constitutional Court explained that, in the applicant’s circumstance, equality before the law should be understood as a right of a party to impartial treatment and equal opportunity to exhaust legal remedies despite personal status. Under European Court of Human Rights case law interpreting Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, treatment is discriminatory if it has no objective and reasonable justification – that is, if it does not pursue a legitimate aim, or there is not a reasonable relationship of proportionality between the means and aim. The court dismissed the applicant’s allegation of gender discrimination as “manifestly ill-founded,” finding that he failed to prove how and why the trial court treated him in an unequal way in relation to the victim and witness at issue, only because they were women. The tribunal rejected the applicant’s other claims and concluded that he had not substantiated his allegations of a violation of the fundamental human rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. Therefore, the applicant’s referral was declared inadmissible. (Also available in Srpski and English.)



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