The meaning of the European right of recourse

N. Lygeros

Translation from French: Ph. Alsina




For Armenians who fight relentlessly for the recognition of the genocide, the meaning of the right of action in the European Court of Human Rights is not obvious. Others however, who may not anymore be among us nowadays, have started to understand their necessity for the Armenian cause. This is why it is moving to see that a now late grandfather had already prepared the ground of the right of recourse for his grandchildren, by carrying with him all the title of ownership proving the existence of Armenian properties before 1915.

Every Armenian family has souvenirs at home. But these souvenirs are not all equivalent. Some of them can be transformed into genuine legal weapons in the hands of experts. These weapons of the Armenian cause are the title deeds. With them, each Armenian can claim on behalf his own a deprivation of property. Each Armenian in exile, who has taken refuge in a country of adoption, must make a European action if he really wishes to preserve its statute. The European Court of Human Rights enables its citizens to effectively defend their rights. It is not merely a potentiality but a reality, as the massive actions against Turkey on behalf of Cypriots prove it. Because it is not enough to charge the torturers, they should also be sentenced, if we really want that the victims to be recognized. From now on the legal instrument exists, it is the European action.

Any Armenian who can prove that he was an owner, can and must use its right of action in the European Court of Human Rights which is in Strasbourg. The procedure to follow is extremely simple. It comprises the documents initially attesting the existence of a property by the applicant, the request and the Warrant . These forms are simple and identical for all. Then the lawyer does not need the presence of the applicant anymore because he can carry out alone all the formalities. After reception of the documents, the European Court of Human Rights answers by giving a protocol number to the affair. This affair will follow the procedure until the execution of the sentence of the Court, which represents a fine to be paid to the applicant (nearly a million euros for the first Cypriot case, paid by Turkey in November 2004). As the right of recourse is hereditary, even the death of the applicant cannot stop it and the payment automatically passes to the heirs. Moreover, the right of recourse is independent of the state in which the applicant lives. Thus the states cannot exert direct pressures on the procedure. As for the demonstration of the veracity of these remarks, the Cypriot cases are there to carry it out de facto.

Every one of us, whether Armenian or defender of the human rights, feels the need to fight for the Armenian cause. The European right of action enables everyone to take an active and individual part in this fight. For some objectives of this cause it is necessary to be a specialist, but for the right of recourse it is sufficient to be Armenian. But an Armenian helping its descendants while remembering its ancestors. By carrying out a European action, each Armenian can play a part in the Armenian cause. Because while helping himself, while helping his family, he also helps his people. Each recourse is only one stone. But these are the stones which can build the building of a Nation.


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