• In the case of Kingsley v United Kingdom [2002] 35 EHRR 10, it was held that the state is only held liable for paying damages for losses they are held to be responsible for where Article 6 of the ECHR is breached.

Facts of the Case

  • The European Court of Human Rights recognised that Article 6 has been breached and subsequently awarded damages comprising the legal costs of the applicant, C, as well as the costs of the proceedings which took place in Strasbourg.
  • C claimed that they were entitled to be compensated due to the mental suffering and stress resulting from the decision concluded by the Gaming Board.
  • The Government, however, rejected C’s assertion and highlighted that the reason for C’s suffering was due to the loss of their licence as opposed to an Article 6 breach.


  • Was C entitled to compensation?

Held by the European Court of Human Rights

  • The ECtHR dismissed the appeal and held that C’s claim for non-pecuniary damages could not be granted because they found that C’s suffering was not a result of the Government.

Judge L Wildhaber

  • His Lordship recognised that the Government had no caused the loss for which C suffered, and therefore re-iterated that the Government cannot be held responsible for paying damages for an act they had not committed.
  • “The Court recalls that it is well established that the principle underlying the provision of just satisfaction for a breach of Article 6 is that the applicant should as far as possible be put in the position he would have enjoyed had the proceedings complied with the Convention’s requirements. The Court will award monetary compensation under Article 41 only where it is satisfied that the loss or damage complained of was actually caused by the violation it has found, since the State cannot be required to pay damages in respect of losses for which it is not responsible.” [40]

Judge Casadevall (dissenting)

  • “I do not share the decision of the majority not to award monetary compensation, by way of just satisfaction, for the non-pecuniary damage suffered by the applicant.”
  • “Proceeding from the principle, constantly reiterated by the Court, that the Convention is a living instrument which must be interpreted in the light of present-day conditions, that its intention is to guarantee rights that are not theoretical or illusory, but practical and effective, and in accordance with “… the principle that the applicant should as far as possible be put in the position he would have been in had the requirements of [ the Convention ] not been disregarded”, the construction of Article 41 which—to my mind—is the correct one inclines me to the view that, in principle, a mere finding of a violation cannot constitute in itself adequate just satisfaction. Applicants are entitled to something more than a mere moral victory or the satisfaction of having contributed to enriching the Court’s case law.”