CASE OF KOZLOV v. RUSSIA (European Court of Human Rights) 53267/18 and 8242/19

The applicant complained of excessive length of pre-trial detention, the deficiencies in proceedings for review of the lawfulness of detention and about his confinement in a metal cage in the courtroom during the criminal proceedings against him.


THIRD SECTION
CASE OF KOZLOV v. RUSSIA
(Applications nos. 53267/18 and 8242/19)
JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
7 July 2022

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

In the case of Kozlov v. Russia,

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

Darian Pavli, President,
Andreas Zünd,
Mikhail Lobov, judges,
and Viktoriya Maradudina, Acting Deputy Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 16 June 2022,

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

PROCEDURE

1. The case originated in applications against Russia 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 applicant was represented by D. Panfilov, a lawyer practising in Moscow.

3. The Russian Government (“the Government”) were given notice of the applications.

THE FACTS

4. The personal details about the applicant and the relevant facts on the applications are set out in the appended table.

5. The applicant complained of excessive length of pre-trial detention, the deficiencies in proceedings for review of the lawfulness of detention and about his confinement in a metal cage in the courtroom during the criminal proceedings against him.

THE LAW

I. JOINDER OF THE APPLICATIONS

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

II. the government’s request to strike out a complaint under article 5 § 3 of the convention out under article 37 § 1 of the convention

7. The Government submitted a unilateral declaration in case no. 53267/18 whereby they acknowledged that there has been a violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention on account of the applicant’s pre-trial detention from 16 October 2016 to 20 June 2020. They offered to pay the applicant 3,230 euros (EUR) and invited the Court to strike the complaint out of the list of cases in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (c) of the Convention. The said amount would be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable on the date of payment and would be payable within three months from the date of notification of the Court’s decision. In the event of failure to pay that amount within the above-mentioned three-month period, the Government undertook to pay simple interest on it, from the expiry of that period until settlement, at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points.

8. The applicant rejected the Government’s proposal.

9. The Court observes that Article 37 § 1 (c) enables it to strike a case out of its list if:

“… for any other reason established by the Court, it is no longer justified to continue the examination of the application”.

Thus, it may strike out applications under Article 37 § 1 (c) on the basis of a unilateral declaration by a respondent Government even if the applicants wish the examination of the cases to be continued (see, in particular, Tahsin Acar v. Turkey (preliminary issue) [GC], no. 26307/95, §§ 75-77, ECHR 2003-VI).

10. The Court has established clear and extensive case-law concerning complaints relating to excessive length of pre-trial detention under Article 5 § 3 of the Convention (see, for example, Idalov v. Russia [GC], no. 5826/03, §§ 139-49, 22 May 2012).

11. Noting the admissions contained in the Government’s declaration as well as the amount of compensation proposed – which is consistent with the amounts awarded in similar cases – the Court considers that it is no longer justified to continue the examination of the relevant part of the application (Article 37 § 1 (c)).

12. In the light of the above considerations, the Court is satisfied that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and the Protocols thereto does not require it to continue the examination of the application in this part (Article 37 § 1 in fine).

13. Finally, the Court emphasises that, should the Government fail to comply with the terms of their unilateral declaration, the application may be restored to the list in accordance with Article 37 § 2 of the Convention (see Josipović v. Serbia (dec.), no. 18369/07, 4 March 2008).

14. In view of the above, it is appropriate to strike out this part of application out of the Court’s list of cases.

III. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 5 § 4 of the Convention

15. The applicant complained of the deficiencies in proceedings for review of the lawfulness of detention (see the appended table). He relied, expressly or in substance, on Article 5 § 4 of the Convention, which reads as follows:

“Everyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings by which the lawfulness of his detention shall be decided speedily by a court and his release ordered if the detention is not lawful.”

16. The Court reiterates that Article 5 § 4 of the Convention, in guaranteeing to detained persons a right to institute proceedings to challenge the lawfulness of their detention, also proclaims their right, following the institution of such proceedings, to a speedy judicial decision concerning the lawfulness of detention and the ordering of its termination if it proves unlawful (see Baranowski v. Poland, no. 28358/95, § 68, ECHR 2000-III). Where an individual’s personal liberty is at stake, the Court has very strict standards concerning the State’s compliance with the requirement of speedy review of the lawfulness of detention (see, for example, Mamedova v. Russia, no. 7064/05, § 96, 1 June 2006, where the length of appeal proceedings lasting, inter alia, twenty-six days, was found to be in breach of the “speediness” requirement of Article 5 § 4).

17. In the leading cases of Idalov [GC], cited above, §§ 154-58 and 161-65, and Khodorkovskiy v. Russia, no. 5829/04, §§ 219-48, 31 May 2011, the Court already found a violation in respect of issues similar to those in the present case.

18. 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 appeal proceedings for the review of the lawfulness of the applicant’s detention, as set out in the table appended below, cannot be considered compatible with the requirements set out in Article 5 § 4 of the Convention.

19. These complaints are therefore admissible and disclose a breach of Article 5 § 4 of the Convention.

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

20. In application no. 8242/19 the applicant also complained about his placement in a metal cage in the courtroom during the criminal proceedings against him (see the appended table). This complaint is not manifestly ill‑founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 (a) of the Convention, nor is it inadmissible on any other ground. Accordingly, it must be declared admissible. Having examined all the material before it, the Court concludes that it also discloses a violation of the Convention in the light of its well‑established case-law (see Svinarenko and Slyadnev v. Russia [GC], nos. 32541/08 and 43441/08, §§ 113-39, ECHR 2014 (extracts)).

V. REMAINING COMPLAINTS

21. In both applications the applicant also raised other complaints under various Articles of the Convention.

22. The Court has examined the applications and considers that, in the light of all the material in its possession and in so far as the matters complained of are within its competence, these complaints either do not meet the admissibility criteria set out in Articles 34 and 35 of the Convention or do not disclose any appearance of a violation of the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Convention or the Protocols thereto.

23. It follows that this part of the applications must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 § 4 of the Convention.

VI. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

24. 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.”

25. Regard being had to the documents in its possession and to its case‑law (see, in particular, Vorontsov and Others v. Russia, no. 59655/14 and 2 others, 31 January 2017, Oravec v. Croatia, no. 51249/11, §§ 78-80, 11 July 2017, Ayboğa and Others v. Turkey, no. 35302/08, §§ 28-30, 21 June 2016, Doherty v. the United Kingdom, no. 76874/11, §§ 113-15, 18 February 2016, Albrechtas v. Lithuania, no. 1886/06, §§ 87-89, 19 January 2016 and Karaosmanoglu and Özden v. Turkey, no. 4807/08, §§ 89-91, 17 June 2014), the Court considers it reasonable to award the sum indicated in the appended table.

26. The Court further 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. Takes note of the terms of the respondent Government’s declaration in respect of the applicant’s complaint under Article 5 § 3 of the Convention (application no. 53267/18) and decides to strike out this part of the application of its list of cases in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (c) of the Convention;

3. Declares the complaints concerning use of metal cages in courtrooms and the deficiencies in proceedings for review of the lawfulness of detention, as set out in the appended table, admissible, and the remainder of the applications inadmissible;

4. Holds that these complaints disclose a breach of Articles 3 and 5 § 4 of the Convention concerning respectively use of metal cages in courtrooms and the deficiencies in the proceedings for review of the lawfulness of detention, as described in the appended table;

5. Holds

(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, 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 7 July 2022, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.

Viktoriya Maradudina                   Darian Pavli
Acting Deputy Registrar               President

___________

APPENDIX
List of applications raising complaints under Article 5 § 4 of the Convention
(deficiencies in proceedings for review of the lawfulness of detention)

Application no.
Date of introduction
Applicant’s name
Year of birth
 
Representative’s name and location First-instance court and date of detention order Appeal instance court and date of decision Procedural deficiencies Other complaints under well-established case-law Amount awarded for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage and costs and expenses per applicant in relation to the violations of the Convention found by the Court
(in euros)[i]
Amount awarded in respect of the unilateral declaration of the Government
(in euros)[ii]
53267/18
08/11/2018
and
8242/19
05/02/2019
Denis Alekseyevich KOZLOV
1980
Panfilov Dmitriy Vladimirovich
Moscow
Kotovskiy Town Court of the Tambov Region, 03/04/2018, statement of appeal lodged on 06/04/2018 Tambov, Regional Court, 06/06/2018 lack of speediness of review of detention (Idalov v. Russia [GC], no. 5826/03, §§ 154-58,
22 May 2012)
Art. 3 – use of metal cages and/or other security arrangements in courtrooms – Oktyabrskiy District Court of Tambov,
Tambov Regional Court
from 18/09/2018 to 29/03/2019
4,700 3,250

[i] Plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicant.
[ii] Plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicant

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