CASE OF RAZGON AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA (European Court of Human Rights) 5386/20 and 5 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 RAZGON AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA
(Applications nos. 5386/20 and 5 others – see appended list)
JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
10 November 2022

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

In the case of Razgon and Others v. Russia,

The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:
Darian Pavli, President,
Andreas Zünd,
Frédéric Krenc, judges,
and Viktoriya Maradudina, Acting Deputy Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 20 October 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. They 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 6 § 1of 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 the statutory requirements allowing for the national judicial authorities to consider an administrative offence case which falls within the ambit of 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. OTHER ALLEGED VIOLATIONS UNDER WELL-ESTABLISHED CASE-LAW

10. The applicants submitted other complaints which also raised issues under 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 violations of the Convention in the light of its findings in Frumkin v. Russia, no. 74568/12, §§ 81-142, 5 January 2016, as regards disproportionate measures taken by the authorities against organisers and participants of public assemblies, and Tsvetkova and Others v. Russia, nos. 54381/08 and 5 others, §§ 84-138, 10 April 2018, as regards unlawful administrative arrest.

IV. REMAINING COMPLAINTS

11. As regards other complaints under Article 6 of the Convention about the administrative-offence proceedings, submitted by the applicants in applications nos.5386/20, 6001/20, 6789/20, 8737/20 and 12772/20, the Court, having reached the conclusion about the lack of impartiality of the tribunal under Article 6 of the Convention (see paragraph 9 above), does not consider it necessary to examine them separately.

V. 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, 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.

14. 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 complaints concerning the lack of impartiality of the tribunal in view of the absence of the prosecuting party in administrative-offence proceedings and the other complaints under well-established case-law of the Court, as set out in the appended table,admissible, and decides that it is not necessary to examine separately further complaints raised under Article 6 of the Convention in applications nos. 5386/20, 6001/20, 6789/20, 8737/20 and 12772/20 about the administrative-offence proceedings;

3. Holds that the 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 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 10 November 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

Other complaints under well-established case-law Amount awarded for pecuniary and
non-pecuniary damage and costs and expenses per applicant
(in euros)[i]
1. 5386/20

10/01/2020

Leonid Abramovich RAZGON

1960 

DanilAlekseyevich LEVENSTAM

1982

 

Mezak Ernest Aleksandrovich

Nantes

fine of

RUB 10,000, for each of the applicants

12/11/2019

Moscow City Court

Art. 5 (1) – unlawful deprivation of liberty, including unrecorded detention and detention without a judicial order and any other legal basis – arrest and detention of both applicants on 12/06/2019 in excess of 3 hours for the sole purpose of drawing a record of administrative offence;

Art. 11 (2) – disproportionate measures against organisers and participants of public assemblies – Both applicants participated in the Manifestation in support of Ivan Golunov, in Moscow on 12/06/2019;

Article 20.2 § 6.1 of CAO; fine of RUB 10,000 for each of the two applicants;

Moscow City Court on 12/11/2019

3,900
2. 6001/20

17/01/2020

Pavel Andreyevich MERKULOV

1984

Memorial Human Rights Centre

Moscow

fine of

RUB 10,000

30/07/2019

Moscow City Court

Art. 5 (1) – unlawful deprivation of liberty, including unrecorded detention and detention without a judicial order and any other legal basis – detention on 12/06/2019 at 2:05 p.m. exceeded 3 hours, released at

7 p.m. on the same day; raised on appeal;

Art. 11 (2) – disproportionate measures against organisers and participants of public assemblies – March in support of Ivan Golunov in Moscow on 12/06/2019 ;Article 20.2 § 6.1 of CAO;

fine of RUB 10,000; Moscow City Court, 30/07/2019

3,900
3. 6789/20

18/01/2020

Kirill Vadimovich CHIRKIN

1993 

Renaldo Zaurovich DZHINDZHOLIYA

1981

 

Mezak Ernest Aleksandrovich

Nantes

fine of

RUB 10,000, for each of the applicants

26/08/2019

Moscow City Court

Art. 5 (1) – unlawful deprivation of liberty, including unrecorded detention and detention without a judicial order and any other legal basis – arrest and escorting of both applicants to the police office on 12/06/2019 for the purpose of drawing up a record of administrative offence; their detention in excess of 3 hours and in the absence of the respective records (raised on appeal);

Art. 11 (2) – disproportionate measures against organisers and participants of public assemblies – Both applicants participated in Manifestation in support of Ivan Golunov in Moscow on 12/06/2019;

Article 20.2 § 6.1 of CAO; fines of RUB 10,000;

Moscow City Court, 26/08/2019

3,900
4. 8737/20

28/01/2020

Maksim Nikolayevich BALABIN

1972 

Dmitriy Dmitriyevich ZNAMENSKIY

1987

 

Mezak Ernest Aleksandrovich

Nantes

fine of

RUB 10,000, for each of the applicants

24/10/2019 and

26/08/2019

Moscow City Court, respectively for the 2 applicants

Art. 5 (1) – unlawful deprivation of liberty, including unrecorded detention and detention without a judicial order and any other legal basis – lack of legal grounds for arrest and escorting to the police station on 12/06/2019 of both applicants and their detention in excess of 3 hours (see Denisenko v. Russia [Committee], no. 18322/05, 14 February 2017);

Art. 11 (2) – disproportionate measures against organisers and participants of public assemblies – Both applicants participated in the Manifestation in support of Ivan Golunov in Moscow on 12/06/2019;

Article 20.2 § 6 of CAO; fine of RUB 10,000;

Moscow City Court, 24/10/2019 and 26/08/2019, respectively

3,900
5. 11553/20

17/02/2020

MariyaDmitriyevna ISAYEVA

1986 

Mikhail Yuryevich RIVES-KOROBKOV

1956

 

Laptev Aleksey Nikolayevich

Moscow

fine of

RUB 10,000, for each of the applicants

08/11/2019 and

24/09/2019

Moscow City Court, respectively for 2 applicants

Art. 5 (1) – unlawful deprivation of liberty, including unrecorded detention and detention without a judicial order and any other legal basis – the two applicants were arrested on 12/06/2019 during the manifestation for the purpose of drafting the administrative offence report; detained for more than 3 hours;

Art. 11 (2) – disproportionate measures against organisers and participants of public assemblies – Both applicants participated in the Manifestation in support of Ivan Golunov in Moscow on 12/06/2019; Article 20.2 § 6.1 of CAO; fine of

RUB 10,000; Moscow City Court 08/11/2019 and 24/09/2019, respectively

3,900
6. 12772/20

02/03/2020

Polina Vadimovna ANISIMOVA

1994

Memorial Human Rights Centre

Moscow

fine of

RUB 10,000

30/08/2019

Moscow City Court

Art. 5 (1) – unlawful deprivation of liberty, including unrecorded detention and detention without a judicial order and any other legal basis – detention on 12/06/2019 in excess of 3 hours for the purpose of drawing up a record of administrative arrest;

Art. 11 (2) – disproportionate measures against organisers and participants of public assemblies – Manifestation in support of Ivan Golunov in Moscow on 12/06/2019; Article 20.2 § 6.1 of CAO;

fine of RUB 10,000; Moscow City Court, 30/08/2019

3,900

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

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