CASE OF KOROBEYNIKOV v. RUSSIA
(Application no. 6131/07)
25 July 2017
This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Korobeynikov v. Russia,
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:
Luis López Guerra,
Jolien Schukking, judges,
and Fatoş Aracı, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 4 July 2017,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
1. The case originated in an application (no. 6131/07) against the Russian Federation lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by a Russian national, Mr Igor Vladimirovich Korobeynikov (“the applicant”), on 9 January 2007.
2. The Russian Government ("the Government") were represented initially by Mr G. Matyushkin, the Representative of the Russian Federation to the European Court of Human Rights, and then by his successor in that office, Mr M. Galperin.
3. On 14 December 2016 the complaint concerning quashing by way of supervisory review of the final judgment in the applicant’s favour was communicated to the Government and the remainder of the application was declared inadmissible pursuant to Rule 54 § 3 of the Rules of Court.
4. The Government objected to the examination of the application by a Committee. After having considered the Government’s objection, the Court rejects it.
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
5. The applicant was born in 1963 and lives in Pyatigorsk.
6. The applicant took part in the cleaning-up operation at the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site. He was subsequently registered disabled by Ukrainian authorities, becoming entitled to various social benefits.
7. In September 1999 the applicant settled in Russia. The welfare authorities rejected re-establishing the applicant’s disability status. The applicant challenged the rejection before the courts.
8. On 30 August 2005 the Pyatigorsk Town Court granted the applicant’s claim and ordered the Administration of Labour and Social Security of the Population of Pyatigorsk to issue a certificate of benefits.
9. On 20 September 2009 the judgment became final.
10. On 18 October 2005 the applicant was issued with the certificate of benefits.
11. On 1 November 2006 the Presidium of Stavropol Regional Court allowed the defendant authority’s application for supervisory review and quashed the judgment of 30 August 2005, considering that the lower courts misapplied the material law. The case was remitted for fresh consideration.
12. On 13 December 2006 the the Pyatigorsk Town Court discontinued the proceedings since the parties failed to appear.
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW
13. The relevant domestic law governing the supervisory review procedure in force between 1 February 2003 and 7 January 2008 is summarised in Kot v. Russia (no. 20887/03, § 17, 18 January 2007).
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 OF THE CONVENTION
14. The applicant complained about a violation of the principle of legal certainty on account of the quashing by way of supervisory review of final judgment in his favour. He invoked Article 6 of the Convention, relevant part of which reads as follows:
Article 6 § 1
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ..., everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal ...”
15. The Court notes that this complaint is not manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 (a) of the Convention. It further notes that it is not inadmissible on any other grounds. It must therefore be declared admissible.
16. The Government argued that the supervisory review proceedings resulting in the quashing of the judgment delivered in the applicant’s favour were lawful.
17. The Court observes that it has already found numerous violations of the Convention on account of the quashing of binding and enforceable judgments by way of supervisory review under the Code of Civil Procedure, as in force at the material time (see Kot, cited above, § 29). Some of those violations were found in similar circumstances and similarly concerned the quashing of final domestic judgments making awards in respect of social benefits (see, among many other authorities, Kovalenko and Others, [Committee], nos. 36299/03 and 6 others, 8 December 2015; Zelenkevich and Others v. Russia, [Committee], no. 14805/02, 20 June 2013; and, on account of the social benefit certificates, Fomin and Sivayeva v. Russia, no. 3141/08, 16 June 2017). The Court does not see any reasons to reach a different conclusion in the present cases.
18. Having examined all the material before it the Court concludes that there has been a violation of Article 6 of the Convention.
II. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION
19. 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.”
20. The applicant claimed 123,000 Russian roubles in respect of pecuniary damage and 7,000 euros (EUR) for non-pecuniary damage.
21. The Government considered these claims as being unsubstantiated.
22. Regard being had to the documents in its possession and to its case-law (see, in particular, Botskalev and Rostovtseva and other “Privileged Pensioners” cases v. Russia, nos. 22666/08 and 42 others, §§ 21-22, 26 November 2009, and Gruzda v. Russia [Committee], no. 63833/09, § 23, 5 April 2016), the Court considers it reasonable to award the applicant EUR 1,500 under all heads of damage.
B. Costs and expenses
23. The applicant submitted no claims in respect of costs and expenses. The Court thus makes no award in this regard.
C. Default interest
24. 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. Declares the application admissible;
2. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 6 of the Convention on account of the quashing by way of supervisory review of the final judgments in the applicant’s favour;
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months EUR 1,500 (one thousand five hundred euros) in respect of all heads of damage, to be converted into the currency of the responded State 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;
4. Dismisses the remainder of the applicant’s claim for just satisfaction.
Done in English, and notified in writing on 25 July 2017, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Fatoş Aracı Luis López Guerra
Deputy Registrar President