(Application no. 31116/03)
7 July 2009
This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Feliński v. Poland,
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Nicolas Bratza, President,
David Thór Björgvinsson,
Mihai Poalelungi, judges,
and Lawrence Early, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 16 June 2009,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
A. Criminal proceedings against the applicant and his detention on remand
B. Censorship of the applicant's correspondence
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW AND PRACTICE
A. Preventive measures, including detention on remand
B. Remedies against unreasonable length of the proceedings
C. Censorship of correspondence
D. Compensation for unjustified detention
“1. An accused who, as a result of the reopening of the criminal proceedings against him or of lodging a cassation appeal, has been acquitted or resentenced under a more lenient substantive provision, shall be entitled to compensation from the State Treasury for the pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage which he has suffered in consequence of having served the whole or a part of the sentence imposed on him.
4. Entitlement to compensation for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage shall also arise in the event of manifestly unjustified arrest or detention on remand.”
E. Relevant statistical data, measures taken by the State to reduce the length of pre-trial detention and relevant Council of Europe documents
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 5 § 3 OF THE CONVENTION
“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.”
Finally, the Court observes that the applicant does not complain that he has not obtained compensation for his detention in contravention of Article 5 § 5 of the Convention.
1. Period to be taken into consideration
As from that date he was detained “after conviction by a competent court”, within the meaning of Article 5 § 1 (a) and, consequently, that period of his detention falls outside the scope of Article 5 § 3 (cf. Kudła, cited above, § 104).
Accordingly, the period to be taken into consideration amounts to four years, five months and nine days.
2. The parties' submissions
(a) The applicant
(b) The Government
3. The Court's assessment
(a) General principles
(b) Application of the above principles in the present case
There has accordingly been a violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention.
II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 8 OF THE CONVENTION
“1. Everyone has the right to respect for ... his correspondence.
2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”
1. The Government's preliminary objection on exhaustion of domestic remedies
2. The Court's assessment
3. Conclusion as to admissibility
The Court notes that this complaint is not manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 of the Convention. It further notes that it is not inadmissible on any other grounds. It must therefore be declared admissible.
1. Existence of an interference
2. Whether the interference was “in accordance with the law”
III. OTHER ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF THE CONVENTION
A. Medical care in remand centre
“No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
B. Length of criminal proceedings
“The Court may only deal with the matter after all domestic remedies have been exhausted, according to the generally recognised rules of international law...”
IV. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 46 OF THE CONVENTION
“1. The High Contracting Parties undertake to abide by the final judgment of the Court in any case to which they are parties.
2. The final judgment of the Court shall be transmitted to the Committee of Ministers, which shall supervise its execution.”
A. The parties' submissions
1. The applicant
2. The Government
B. The Court's assessment
V. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION
“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.”
B. Costs and expenses
C. Default interest
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 4,000 (four thousand euros) in respect of non-pecuniary damage, to be converted into Polish zlotys at the rate applicable at the date of settlement, plus any tax that may be chargeable;
(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amount 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 2009, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Lawrence Early Nicolas Bratza