CASE OF FARZIYEV AND OTHERS v. UKRAINE (European Court of Human Rights) Applications nos. 63747/14 and 23 others – see appended list

The list of applicants and the relevant details of the applications are set out in the appended table. The applicants complained under Article 3 of the Convention of their life sentence with no prospect of release.

FIFTH SECTION
CASE OF FARZIYEV AND OTHERS v. UKRAINE
(Applications nos. 63747/14 and 23 others – see appended list)
JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
1 April 2021

This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.

In the case of Farziyevand Others v. Ukraine,

The European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:

Ivana Jelić, President,
Ganna Yudkivska,
Arnfinn Bårdsen, judges,
and Liv Tigerstedt, Deputy Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 11 March 2021,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:

PROCEDURE

1. The case originated in applications against Ukraine lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) on the various dates indicated in the appended table.

2. The Ukrainian Government (“the Government”) were given notice of the applications.

THE FACTS

3. The list of applicants and the relevant details of the applications are set out in the appended table.

4. The applicants complained under Article 3 of the Convention of their life sentence with no prospect of release.

THE LAW

I. JOINDER OF THE APPLICATIONS

5. Having regard to the similar subject matter of the applications, the Court finds it appropriate to examine them jointly in a single judgment.

II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 3of the Convention

6. The applicants complained of their life sentence with no prospect of release.They relied, expressly or in substance, on Article 3 of the Convention, which reads as follows:

Article 3

“No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

7. The Court reiterates that the Convention does not prohibit the imposition of a life sentence on those convicted of especially serious crimes, such as murder. Yet to be compatible with Article 3 such a sentence must be reduciblede jureandde facto, meaning that there must be both a prospect of release for the prisoner and a possibility of review. The basis of such review must extend to assessing whether there are legitimate penological grounds for the continuing incarceration of the prisoner. These grounds include punishment, deterrence, public protection and rehabilitation. The balance between them is not necessarily static and may shift in the course of a sentence, so that the primary justification for detention at the outset may not be so after a lengthy period of service of sentence. The importance of the ground of rehabilitation is underlined, since it is here that the emphasis of European penal policy now lies, as reflected in the practice of the Contracting States, in the relevant standards adopted by the Council of Europe, and in the relevant international materials (see Vinter and Othersv. the United Kingdom [GC], nos. 66069/09 and 2 others, §§ 59-81, ECHR 2013 (extracts)).

8. In the leading case of Petukhov v. Ukraine (no. 2) (no. 41216/13, 12 March 2019), the Court already found a violation in respect of issues similar to those in the present case.

9. Having examined all the material submitted to it, the Court has not found any fact or argument capable of persuading it to reach a different conclusion on the admissibility and merits of these complaints. They are therefore admissible and disclose a breach of Article 3 of the Convention.

III. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

10. Article 41 of the Convention provides:

“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”

11. Having regard to its case‑law (see, in particular, Petukhov (no. 2), cited above, § 201), the Court considers that the finding of a violation constitutes in itself sufficient just satisfaction.

FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT, UNANIMOUSLY,

1. Decides to join the applications;

2. Declares the applications admissible;

3. Holds that they disclose a breach of Article 3 of the Convention;

4. Holds that the finding of a violation constitutes in itself sufficient just satisfaction.

Done in English, and notified in writing on 1 April 2021, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.

Liv Tigerstedt                                 Ivana Jelić

Deputy Registrar                             President

____________

APPENDIX
List of applications raising complaints under Article 3 of the Convention
(life sentence with no prospect of release)

No. Application no.
Date of introduction
Applicant’s name
Year of birth
Representative’s name and location Name of the trial court
Date of the life sentence
Judicial decision upholding the conviction
1. 63747/14
29/08/2014
Rustam Zakirovich FARZIYEV
1984
Avramenko Gennadiy Mykolayovych
Chernigiv
Chernigiv Regional Court of Appeal
09/08/2004
Supreme Court of Ukraine 16/11/2004
2. 43270/15
20/10/2015
Vasyl Mykolayovych IVASHCHENKO
1961
Cherkasy Regional Court of Appeal
28/01/2002
Supreme Court of Ukraine 09/07/2002
3. 1212/16
11/12/2015
Viktor Ivanovych GOGIN
1949
Kapalkina Yevgeniya Olegivna
Kyiv
Court of Appeal of Crimea 30/11/2004 Supreme Court of Ukraine 28/05/2005
4. 3676/16
04/01/2016
Daniel Boleslavovych SUKHARSKYY
1981
Khmelnytskyy Regional Court of Appeal
21/03/2002
Supreme Court of Ukraine 17/09/2002
5. 4942/16
15/12/2015
Volodymyr Sergiyovych PEREGUDOV
1989
Zayets Sergiy Anatoliyovych
Irpin
Zolotoniskyy Local Court of Cherkasy Region
15/08/2012
High Specialised Court for Civil and Criminal Matters 17/12/2013
6. 45265/16
20/07/2016
Vitaliy Yevgenovych BARANENKO
1976
Odessa Regional Court 10/11/2000 Supreme Court of Ukraine 21/06/2001
7. 50668/16
26/09/2016
Mykola Pavlovych SERVETNYK
1967
Volyn Regional Court
23/02/1998
Supreme Court of Ukraine 31/03/1998
8. 56273/16
21/09/2016
Yevgen Mykolayovych AN
1967
Poznyak Oleksandr Mykolayovych
Kyiv
Court of Appeal of Crimea 22/02/2006 Supreme Court of Ukraine 04/05/2006
9. 58897/16
01/10/2015
Viktor Pavlovych LAVRENYUK
1977
Rivne Regional Court of Appeal 01/04/2005 Supreme Court of Ukraine 22/09/2005
10. 58985/16
22/09/2016
Anatoliy Oleksandrovych LUZHYNETSKYY
1972
Ternopil Regional Court
21/09/2000
Supreme Court of Ukraine 12/12/2000
11. 38459/17
26/06/2017
Nikolay Vladimirovich SUZKO
1978
Dnipropetrovsk Regional Court of Appeal
17/07/2006
Zaporizhzhya Regional Court of Appeal
09/03/2010
Supreme Court of Ukraine 30/01/2007
Supreme Court of Ukraine 01/07/2010
12. 44620/17
02/06/2017
Mikhail Igorevich BELYAYEV
1981
Sumy Regional Court of Appeal 14/04/2003 Supreme Court of Ukraine 02/09/2003
13. 64484/17
07/11/2017
Vadim Valeryevich MESTROPYAN
1971
Moskovskyy Local Court of Kharkiv
28/02/2013
Higher Specialised Civil and Criminal Court of Ukraine 10/06/2014
14. 74946/17
13/10/2017
Oleg Mykhaylovych KAZAK
1981
Kapalkina Yevgeniya Olegivna
Kyiv
Odesa Regional Court of Appeal 13/04/2005 Supreme Court of Ukraine 05/07/2005
15. 77389/17
01/11/2017
Sergey Petrovich KUNITSKIY
1968
Lugansk Regional Court of Appeal
01/08/2002
Supreme Court of Ukraine 08/04/2003
16. 78615/17
26/10/2017
Anatoliy Anatolyevich KOTKO
1973
Bespala Tamila Sergiyivna
Kharkiv
Dnipropetrovsk Regional Court of Appeal
03/08/2004
Supreme Court of Ukraine 07/12/2004
17. 78638/17
26/10/2017
Viktor Petrovych SKRYNNYK
1957
Sumy Regional Court of Appeal 06/07/2004 Supreme Court of Ukraine 19/10/2004
18. 78644/17
26/10/2017
Albert Ivanovich AGUREYEV
1963
Luhansk Regional Court of 29/05/1998 Supreme Court of Ukraine 25/08/1998
19. 81641/17
29/11/2017
Gennadiy Mykhaylovych NOGTYEV
1975
Kyiv Local Court
02/06/1997
Supreme Court of Ukraine 31/07/1997
20. 82615/17
02/02/2018
Ruslan Mikhaylovich PETRENKO
1978
Chernigiv Regional Court of Appeal
05/03/2010
Supreme Court of Ukraine 06/07/2010
21. 84505/17
09/12/2017
Vitaliy Vasilyevich KOSHIK
1981
Bespala Tamila Sergiyivna
Kharkiv
Dnipropetrovsk Regional Court of Appeal
16/07/2004
Supreme Court of Ukraine 14/12/2004
22. 38805/18
01/08/2018
Oleksandr Mykolayovych GUBARYEV
1979
Sumy Regional Court of Appeal 30/08/2002 Supreme Court of Ukraine 18/03/2003
23. 16992/20
17/03/2020
Anatoliy Anatoliyovych BALYK
1969
Khaytov Pavlo Vyacheslavovych
Chernigiv
Kotovskyy City Court of Odessa Region,
18/02/2011
N/A
24. 22467/20
19/05/2020
Vladyslav Yaroslavovych LOZINSKYY
1974
Revyakin Maksym Oleksandrovych
Kharkiv
Kmelnytsk Regional Court of Appeal
07/09/2006
Supreme Court of Ukraine 27/02/2007

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