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No retrial for psychiatric victims


ECHR: German courts have failed legal aid

For years, Waltraud Storck was placed in psychiatry because of a wrong diagnosis and without a court order and was given forced treatment. However, according to the European Convention on Human Rights, the victim of psychiatry cannot request German legal aid for a new civil law retrial against the responsible private clinic, the European Court of Human Rights (EGMR) ruled in Strasbourg on July 19 (ref .: 486/14).

At the instigation of her father, Storck was admitted to the closed psychiatry as an adult. There was no judicial order for the placement between July 29, 1977 and April 5, 1979. She had diagnosed severe schizophrenia, a misdiagnosis. She was compulsorily treated with neuroleptics without taking polio into account.

As a result of the treatment, she is now 100 percent severely disabled and dependent on a wheelchair. Storck has described her experiences in several book publications under the pseudonym Vera Stein.

An action for damages against the clinic was unsuccessful in the German courts. The ECHR ruled on June 16, 2005 that Germany had violated Storck's right to freedom and security and awarded her € 75,000 in compensation. They never consented to the placement. The authorities should have checked the legality of the accommodation even after trying to escape.

With the verdict in his pocket, Storck now wanted to bring civil law to the clinic again. The courts up to the Federal Constitutional Court rejected the legal aid application made for this.

The complaint lodged against the ECHR was now unsuccessful. Storck had not brought up any new aspects for the retrial. Germany offered her a further 17,000 euros in addition to the 75,000 euros because of the rejected legal aid application as compensation.

The court is also unable to examine to what extent Germany has correctly implemented the ECHR judgment of 2005, the ECHR said. This is solely a matter for the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. However, this has now stopped the process. fle

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