AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF
against the Netherlands
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting on 15 September 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Boštjan M. Zupančič,
Ann Power, judges,
and Santiago Quesada, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 3 February 2009,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, “Blondje” alias “NN cel 07” alias “Nn.PI09.m.20081101.1100”, claims that he is a Dutch national who was born on an unspecified date in the Netherlands. He was represented before the Court by Mr J. Hemelaar, a lawyer practising in Leiden.
A. The circumstances of the case
The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicant, may be summarised as follows.
On 30 October 2008, the applicant was arrested on suspicion of having committed criminal offences. Because he refused to identify himself, the applicant was, pursuant to article 61a of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Wetboek van Strafvordering) detained in order for his identity to be established. On 31 October 2008 he was released and handed over to the aliens’ police (vreemdelingenpolitie) who held him (ophouding), pursuant to article 50 §§ 2 and 4 of the Aliens Act 2000 (Vreemdelingenwet 2000), for similar purposes. After this measure had been extended for 48 hours, the applicant was placed in aliens’ detention with a view to his expulsion (vreemdelingenbewaring). In the course of an interview with the aliens’ police on 3 November 2008 the applicant stated that he had Dutch nationality but that he was not prepared to show his passport or other identity document – both of which he did possess – in order to prove his nationality. On 5 November 2008 the applicant was released.
The applicant’s appeals against his deprivation of liberty were rejected by the Regional Court (rechtbank) of The Hague, sitting in Utrecht, by decision of 2 December 2008.
On 15 January 2009, the Administrative Jurisdiction Division (Afdeling Bestuursrechtspraak) of the Council of State (Raad van State) declared the applicant’s further appeal (hoger beroep) inadmissible, holding that he had failed to fulfil the requirements of article 6:5 of the General Administrative Law Act (Algemene Wet Bestuursrecht) by not mentioning his name in the notice of appeal.
B. Events following the introduction of the application
Neither the application form nor the authority for representation (which was signed “X”) nor the supporting documents containing a mention of the applicant’s name, the applicant’s representative was requested, on 9 March 2009, to provide the Court with a copy of a valid identity document of his client, as required by domestic law.
In his reply of 30 March 2009, the applicant’s representative informed the Court that no valid identity document was available, bearing in mind that the case concerned aliens’ detention and Dutch law did not require the submission of an identity document in such cases. Moreover, in view of the applicant’s young age, there had also been no need or obligation for him to possess a document allowing him to cross international borders.
The applicant complained that his continued detention by the aliens’ police was contrary to his rights under Article 5 of the Convention. He also complained under Article 6 of the Convention that he had been denied a fair hearing. Invoking Article 14 of the Convention, the applicant finally complained that he had been discriminated against.
The applicant raised complaints under Articles 5, 6 and 14 of the Convention in relation to the decisions to deprive him of his liberty pursuant to the Aliens Act 2000.
The Court notes however that the applicant’s identity has not been disclosed: none of the forms or documents submitted contains a mention of his name; he is only referred to as “Blondje alias NN cel 07 alias Nn.PI09.m.20081101.1100”; and the power of attorney was signed “X”.
Since the case file did thus not indicate any element enabling the Court to identify the applicant, the application is to be regarded as anonymous (see X. v. Ireland, no. 361/58, Commission decision of 1 September 1958). Consequently, it is inadmissible in terms of Article 35 § 2 (a) of the Convention and must be rejected pursuant to Article 35 § 4.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Declares the application inadmissible.
Santiago Quesada Josep Casadevall