Dentons has successfully represented nine members of a Slovak Romani community before the District Court Kosice II, on a pro bono basis, in a seven-year dispute regarding their forced eviction.
According to Dentons, the court “has ruled in favor of nine members of a Romani community, who were forcibly evicted from their homes in the district of Nizne Kapustniky, Kosice, in 2012 under the pretext of waste removal by the city authorities. The inhabitants were offered no alternative accommodation after their homes were demolished and, as a result, they became homeless. Some of them were bussed to a different part of the country. The Court has ruled, in its first instance judgment, that the City of Kosice violated human dignity and the right to privacy of the plaintiffs and committed illegal discrimination on the basis of their ethnic affiliation.”
Dentons worked on the case in cooperation with the European Roma Rights Centre.
“Although this is only the first instance decision, it is a great victory for those evicted people who have been fighting a legal battle for more than seven years so far,” commented ERRC’s Legal Consultant Michal Zalesak. “The judgment is also important for the future as it sends a message to authorities everywhere who seek to illegally evict Roma from their homes and creates new case-law on forced evictions and the Anti-discrimination Act. I believe this is the first judgment with a finding of harassment in Slovakia under this law.”
Dentons’ team included Managing Counsel Martin Mendel and Associate Richard Marcincin.