CASE OF CSIKÓS AND OTHERS v. HUNGARY (European Court of Human Rights) Applications nos. 44001/20 and 13 others

The applicants complained of the excessive length of their pre-trial detention. Some applicants also raised other complaints under the provisions of the Convention.


FIRST SECTION
CASE OF CSIKÓS AND OTHERS v. HUNGARY
(Applications nos. 44001/20 and 13 others – see appended list)
JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
2 December 2021

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

In the case of Csikós and Others v. Hungary,

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

Erik Wennerström, President,
Lorraine Schembri Orland,
Ioannis Ktistakis, judges,
and Attila Teplán, Acting Deputy Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 10 November 2021,

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

PROCEDURE

1. The case originated in applications against Hungary 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 Hungarian 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 of the excessive length of their pre-trial detention. Some applicants also raised other complaints under the provisions of the Convention.

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 5 § 3 OF THE CONVENTION

6. The applicants complained principally that their pre-trial detention had been unreasonably long. They relied on Article 5 § 3 of the Convention, which reads as follows:

Article 5 § 3

“3. Everyone arrested or detained in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 (c) of this Article shall be … entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial. Release may be conditioned by guarantees to appear for trial.”

7. The Court observes that the general principles regarding the right to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial, as guaranteed by Article 5 § 3 of the Convention, have been stated in a number of its previous judgments (see, among many other authorities, Kudła v. Poland [GC], no. 30210/96, § 110, ECHR 2000‑XI, and McKay v. the United Kingdom [GC], no. 543/03, §§ 41-44, ECHR 2006‑X, with further references).

8. In the leading cases of Gál v. Hungary, no. 62631/11, 11 March 2014 and Lakatos v. Hungary, no. 21786/15, 26 June 2018, 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. Having regard to its case-law on the subject, the Court considers that in the instant case the length of the applicants’ pre-trial detention was excessive.

10. These complaints are therefore admissible and disclose a breach of Article 5§ 3 of the Convention.

III. OTHER ALLEGED VIOLATIONS UNDER WELL-ESTABLISHED CASE-LAW

11. Some applicants submitted other complaints which also raised issues under Article 5 § 4 the Convention, given the relevant well-established case‑law of the Court (see appended table). These complaints are not manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 (a) of the Convention, nor are they inadmissible on any other ground. Accordingly, they must be declared admissible. Having examined all the material before it, the Court concludes that they also disclose a violation of Article 5 § 4 the Convention in the light of its findings in, among many authorities, Bandur v. Hungary, no. 50130/12, §§ 79 to 85, 5 July 2016.

IV. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

12. 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.”

13. Regard being had to the documents in its possession and to its case‑law (see, in particular, Gál, cited above), the Court considers it reasonable to award the sums indicated in the appended table.

14. The Court considers it appropriate that the default interest rate should be based on the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank, to which should be added three percentage points.

FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT, UNANIMOUSLY,

1. Decides to join the applications;

2. Declares the applications admissible;

3. Holds that these applications disclose a breach of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention concerning the excessive length of pre-trial detention;

4. Holds that there has been a violation of the Convention as regards the other complaints raised under well-established case-law of the Court (see appended table);

5. Holds

(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months, the amounts indicated in the appended table, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement;

(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points.

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

Attila Teplán                                        Erik Wennerström
Acting Deputy Registrar                            President

____________

APPENDIX
List of applications raising complaints under Article 5 § 3 of the Convention
(excessive length of pre-trial detention)

No. Application no.

Date of introduction

Applicant’s name

Year of birth

 

Representative’s name and location Period of detention Length of detention Other complaints under well-established

case-law

Amount awarded for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage and costs and expenses per applicant

(in euros)[1]

1. 44001/20

11/09/2020

Gábor CSIKÓS

1986

Kiss Dominika Szilvia

Budapest

26/08/2018

pending

More than 3 year(s) and 1 month(s) and 4 day(s)

 

4,200
2. 52426/20

10/11/2020

Livia STERPU

1963

Kiss Dominika Szilvia

Budapest

14/05/2019 to

06/11/2020

1 year(s) and 5 month(s) and 24 day(s)

 

Art. 5 (4) – excessive length of judicial review of detention – The applicant’s obligatory 6-month review was carried out with a delay of 4 days and his appeal was decided upon with a delay of 20 days. 2,700
3. 2700/21

22/12/2020

Csaba GALYAS

1983

Karsai Dániel András

Budapest

11/12/2018 to

26/01/2021

2 year(s) and 1 month(s) and 16 day(s)

 

2,900
4. 9114/21

02/02/2021

Tibor ÓNODI

1981

Karsai Dániel András

Budapest

06/09/2017 to

09/04/2021

3 year(s) and 7 month(s) and 4 day(s) 4,900
5. 9664/21

26/01/2021

Géza MÉSZÁROS

1987

Karsai Dániel András

Budapest

07/02/2018 to

04/12/2020

2 year(s) and 9 month(s) and 28 day(s) Art. 5 (4) – excessive length of judicial review of detention – The domestic courts reviewing the applicant’s detention did not always satisfy the requirement of expeditious proceedings: the obligatory 1-year review of his pre-trial detention took place more than 3 months after the requisite date of review. 5,100
6. 10618/21

10/02/2021

Alfréd OLÁH

1971

Karsai Dániel András

Budapest

20/09/2016

pending

More than 5 year(s) and 26 day(s) 6,500
7. 11090/21

16/02/2021

Szabolcs NÉMETH

1980

Kiss Dániel Bálint

Budapest

12/09/2018

pending

More than 3 year(s) and 1 month(s) and 4 day(s)

 

Art. 5 (4) – excessive length of judicial review of detention – The obligatory 6-month detention review was carried out with a delay of 14 days. The 1-year review with a delay of 35 days. 5,400
8. 12435/21

22/02/2021

Péter KIS

1974

Karsai Dániel András

Budapest

13/06/2018 to

26/01/2021

2 year(s) and 7 month(s) and 14 day(s)

 

Art. 5 (4) – excessive length of judicial review of detention – The domestic courts reviewing the applicant’s detention did not always satisfy the requirement of expeditious proceedings: the obligatory 6-month and 1-year reviews of his pre‑trial detention took place more than 1 month after the expiry of the validity of his detention. 4,700
9. 13349/21

01/03/2021

Barbara SÁRKÖZI

1998

Karsai Dániel András

Budapest

27/09/2019

pending

More than 2 year(s) and 2 day(s) 2,700
10. 15096/21

04/03/2021

Róbert MÁTÉ

1976

Kiss Dominika Szilvia

Budapest

12/04/2018 to

06/10/2020

2 year(s) and 5 month(s) and 25 day(s)

 

Art. 5 (4) – deficiencies in proceedings for review of the lawfulness of detention – The obligatory 6‑month review of his detention took place almost two months after the expiry of the validity of his detention order. 4,400
11. 19315/21

30/03/2021

Zsolt LAKATOS

1970

Kiss Dominika Szilvia

Budapest

22/04/2019

pending

More than 2 year(s) and 5 month(s) and 3 day(s)

 

Art. 5 (4) – excessive length of judicial review of detention – The obligatory 6-month review of his detention took place 41 days after the expiry of the validity of his previous detention order. 4,400
12. 20480/21

06/04/2021

Károly PATAKI

1981

Kiss Dominika Szilvia

Budapest

11/05/2019 to

19/03/2021

1 year(s) and 10 month(s) and 9 day(s) 2,700
13. 22941/21

07/04/2021

Attila FILIPOVICS

1982

Kiss Dániel Bálint

Budapest

30/06/2018

pending

More than 3 year(s) and 3 month(s) and 13 day(s)

 

Art. 5 (4) – excessive length of judicial review of detention – The applicant’s appeal against the decision maintaining the detention after the indictment was decided on with a delay of two months. 5,700
14. 22943/21

08/04/2021

László DUDÁS

1988

Kiss Dominika Szilvia

Budapest

25/09/2019

pending

More than 2 year(s) and 18 day(s)

 

Art. 5 (4) – excessive length of judicial review of detention – The applicant’s appeal against the decision maintaining the detention after the indictment was decided on with a delay of two and a half months. The obligatory six-month review was carried out with a delay of 40 days. The obligatory one-year review was carried out with a delay of 29 days. 3,500

[1] Plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants.

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