CASE OF SVIRIDOV AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA (European Court of Human Rights) 17154/18 and 4 others

The applicants complained of the lack of impartiality of the tribunal in view of the absence of the prosecuting party in administrative-offence proceedings.


THIRD SECTION
CASE OF SVIRIDOV AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA
(Applications nos. 17154/18 and 4 others – see appended list)
JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
15 September 2022

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

In the case of Sviridov and Others 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 25 August 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 Russian 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 lack of impartiality of the tribunal in view of the absence of the prosecuting party in administrative-offence proceedings.

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 6 § 1 of the Convention

6. The applicants complained of the lack of impartiality of the tribunal in view of the absence of the prosecuting party in administrative-offence proceedings. They relied, expressly or in substance, on Article 6 § 1 of the Convention, which reads as follows:

Article 6 § 1

““In the determination of … any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair … hearing … by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.”

7. The relevant principles of the Court’s case-law concerning the requirement of impartiality under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention can be found in the leading case of Karelin v. Russia, no. 926/08, §§ 51‑57, 20 September 2016, with further references). In that case the Court assessed the national rules of administrative procedure and concluded that statutory requirements allowing for the national judicial authorities to consider an administrative offence case which falls within the ambit of the Article 6 of the Convention under its criminal limb, in the absence of a prosecuting authority, was incompatible with the principle of objective impartiality set out in Article 6 of the Convention.

8. 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.

9. These complaints are therefore admissible and disclose a breach of Article 6 § 1 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. Regard being had to the documents in its possession and to its case‑law (see, in particular, Kuratov and Others v. Russia [Committee], nos. 24377/15 and 2 others, 22 October 2019), the Court considers it reasonable to award the sums indicated in the appended table.

12. 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. Declares the applications admissible;

3. Holds that these applications disclose a breach of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention concerning the lack of impartiality of the tribunal in view of the absence of the prosecuting party in administrative-offence proceedings;

4. 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 15 September 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 6 § 1 of the Convention
(lack of impartiality of the tribunal in view of the absence of the prosecuting party in administrative-offence proceedings)

No. Application no.
Date of introduction
Applicant’s name
Year of birth
 
Representative’s name and location Penalty Date of final domestic decision
Name of court
Amount awarded for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage and costs and expenses per applicant
(in euros)[i]
1. 17154/18
26/03/2018
Vladimir Anatolyevich SVIRIDOV
1964
administrative fine of RUB 30,000, suspension of the driving licence for 1 year and 7 months 19/03/2018, Aleysk Town Court of the Altay Region 1,000
2. 17859/19
20/03/2019
Vladimir Kirillovich LEBEDEV
1957
administrative fine of RUB 500,000 22/11/2018, Nizhniy Novgorod Regional Court 1,000
3. 40179/20
26/08/2020
Aleksey Aleksandrovich TRUSHIN
1995
Vologin Aleksey Borisovich
Volsk
administrative fine of RUB 30,000, suspension of the driving licence for 1 year and 7 months 13/08/2020, Volskiy District Court of the Saratov Region 1,000
4. 44317/20
19/09/2020
Kirill Mikhaylovich SAFRONOV
1999
Vologin Aleksey Borisovich
Volsk
administrative detention of 10 days 10/09/2020, Volskiy District Court of the Saratov Region 1,000
5. 49112/20
19/10/2020
Viktor Vasilyevich KALISTRATOV
1983
suspension of the driving licence, administrative fine of RUB 30,000 09/10/2020, The Second Eastern Circuit Military Court 1,000

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

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