CASE OF CURELARIU v. ROMANIA
(Applications nos. 45825/13 and 79701/13)
22 October 2015
This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Curelariu v. Romania,
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:
Valeriu Griţco, President,
Mārtiņš Mits, judges
and Hasan Bakırcı, Acting Deputy Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 1 October 2015,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
1. The case originated in two applications against Romania 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 applications were communicated to the Romanian Government (“the Government”).
THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
3. The relevant details of the two applications are set out in the appended table.
4. In both applications, the applicant complained of inadequate conditions of detention.
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 3 OF THE CONVENTION
6. The applicant complained principally of the inadequate conditions of his detention. He relied on Article 3 of the Convention, which reads as follows:
“No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
7. The Court notes that the applicant was kept in detention in poor conditions. The details of the applicant’s detention are indicated in the appended table. The Court refers to the principles established in its case-law regarding inadequate conditions of detention (see, for instance, Kudła v. Poland [GC], no. 30210/96, §§ 90-94, ECHR 2000-XI, and Ananyev and Others v. Russia, nos. 42525/07 and 60800/08, §§ 139-165, 10 January 2012). It reiterates in particular that extreme lack of space in a prison cell or overcrowding weighs heavily as an aspect to be taken into account for the purpose of establishing whether the impugned detention conditions were “degrading” from the point of view of Article 3 and may disclose a violation, both alone or taken together with other shortcomings (see, amongst many authorities, Karalevičius v. Lithuania, no. 53254/99, §§ 36-40, 7 April 2005).
8. In the leading case of Iacov Stanciu v. Romania (no. 35972/05, §§ 116-129, 24 July 2012), 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 applicant’s conditions of detention were inadequate (see appended table for details).
10. These complaints are therefore admissible and disclose a breach of Article 3 of the Convention.
11. In application no. 45825/13 the applicant also complained of other aspects concerning material conditions of detention. In the light of its findings above, the Court does not consider it necessary to examine these remaining aspects (see Radovancovici v. Romania, no. 45358/13, § 24, 3 March 2015).
III. 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 (Iacov Stanciu, cited above, §§ 201-203), the Court considers it reasonable to award the sum 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 complaints concerning the inadequate conditions of detention, as set out in the appended table, admissible;
3. Holds that these applications disclose a breach of Article 3 of the Convention concerning the inadequate conditions of detention;
4. Holds that there is no need to examine the remaining issues raised under Article 3 of the Convention in application no. 45825/13 in respect of the material conditions of detention;
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months, the amount 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 amount indicated in the appended table 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 22 October 2015, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Hasan Bakırcı Valeriu
Acting Deputy Registrar President
Applications raising complaints under Article 3 of the Convention
(inadequate conditions of detention)
Date of introduction
Date of birth
Start and end date
Sq. m. per inmate
Amount for non-pecuniary damage (in euros)
Penitentiaries of Timișoara,
Gherla and Aiud
3 year(s) and 1 month(s)
1.83 - 3.8 m˛
Timișoara Penitentiary - overcrowding (1.83 - 2.34 m˛ individual space).
Gherla and Aiud Penitentiaries - overcrowding (3.5 - 3.8 m˛ individual space), poor conditions of hygiene.
 Plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicant.