(Application no. 1431/03)
22 October 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 Trajče Stojanovski v. the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,
The European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Peer Lorenzen, President,
Mirjana Lazarova Trajkovska, judges,
and Claudia Westerdiek, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 29 September 2009,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
1. Background of the case
a) The applicant's conviction and his placement in a psychiatric hospital
b) Previous review of the applicant's detention in the hospital
2. The proceedings at issue (“the 2003 review”)
“...the applicant left the hospital several times and went to stay with his father...the last visit was in August 2003...after his arrival in the village, he started shouting out some indistinct words...although he was noticed by the inhabitants, there were no attacks on other persons...during the four-day stay in the village, he was always with his father. His presence in the village frightened, in particular, the immediate neighbours, who protected themselves by shutting up their houses and barring them from inside. Many inhabitants said that the applicant was under the psychological influence of his father, who – when intoxicated – had often provoked him by telling lies about the death of his mother and had thus made him aggressive towards some people. Local inhabitants therefore still feared the applicant's aggression...”
3. The applicant's current situation
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW
A court which at first instance has ordered compulsory psychiatric treatment and confinement in a medical institution may discontinue the order and release the perpetrator from the medical institution of its own motion or upon a proposal lodged by the medical institution or the custodial institution and after hearing the public prosecutor. It shall so decide if, after consulting the medical officer, it finds that there is no need for medical treatment and confinement of the perpetrator in the institution. It can order his or her release on condition that he or she undergoes compulsory psychiatric treatment.
Compulsory psychiatric treatment and confinement in a medical institution
“(1) The court shall order the compulsory psychiatric treatment and confinement in a medical institution of a perpetrator who has committed an offence while of unsound mind or with a substantial mental deficiency if it finds that, due to that condition, he or she may reoffend and that medical treatment and confinement in such an institution is warranted to prevent him or her from doing so.
(2) The court shall discontinue the measure set forth in paragraph 1 when it finds that there is no need for medical treatment and confinement of the perpetrator in the medical institution.
(4) The court shall review the need for medical treatment and confinement in a medical institution every year.”
Compulsory psychiatric treatment on release
“(1) The court shall order compulsory psychiatric treatment on release of a perpetrator who has committed an offence while of unsound mind if it finds that, due to that condition, he or she may reoffend and that medical treatment on release would be sufficient to prevent him or her from doing so.
(2) The measure set forth in paragraph 1 may be imposed on an offender who has already undergone compulsory psychiatric treatment and confinement in a medical institution when, on the basis of the results of the medical treatment, the court determines that his or her treatment and confinement in a medical institution is no longer necessary...”
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 5 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION
“1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law:
(e) the lawful detention of persons for the prevention of the spreading of infectious diseases, of persons of unsound mind, alcoholics or drug addicts or vagrants...”
1. The parties' submissions
2. The Court's assessment
II. 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,
(i) EUR 1,500 (one thousand and five hundred euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non-pecuniary damage and
(ii) EUR 1,540 (one thousand five hundred and forty euros), less EUR 850 paid by the Council of Europe in legal aid for costs and expenses, plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicant, to be converted into the national 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 22 October 2009, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Claudia Westerdiek Peer Lorenzen