Постановление ЕСПЧ от 04.07.2017 <Дело Исаков и другие (Isakov and Other) против России> (жалобы N 54446/07 и др.) [англ.]

EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
THIRD SECTION
CASE OF ISAKOV AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA
(Applications nos. 54446/07 and 23 others – see appended list)
JUDGMENT <*>
(Strasbourg, 4.VII.2017)

——————————–
<*> This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.

In the case of Isakov v. Russia,
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:
Luis  Guerra, President,
Dmitry Dedov,
Jolien Schukking, judges,
and  , Deputy Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 13 June 2017,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:

 

PROCEDURE

  1. The case originated in applications 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 Russian nationals on the various dates indicated in the Appendix.
  2. Some of the applicants were represented by lawyers, whose names are listed in the Appendix. The Russian Government (“the Government”) were represented by Mr G. Matyushkin, Representative of the Russian Federation to the European Court of Human Rights, and then by his successor in that office, Mr M. Galperin.
  3. The applicants complained, in particular, that, as they were or had been convicted prisoners, they were, or had been barred from voting in elections.
  4. On 12 December 2011 application no. 16824/10 was communicated to the Government. On 5 March 2015 the disenfranchisement complaints raised in applications nos. 54446/07, 51229/08, 44423/10, 43115/11, 77991/11, 78379/11, 78381/11, 78387/11, 1735/12, 2866/12, 10883/12, 18632/12, 31455/12, 35559/12, 69342/12, 73777/12, 78747/12, 5023/13, 10131/13, 3376/14, 14407/14, 32634/14, and 68565/14 were also communicated. The remainder of this group of applications was declared inadmissible pursuant to Rule 54 § 3 of the Rules of Court.
  5. The Government did not object to the examination of application no. 16824/10, for which assignation to a Chamber had initially been envisaged, by a Committee.

 

THE FACTS

  1. The applicants are, or were at the relevant period, convicted prisoners, with the result that they are, or were, automatically banned from voting, by virtue of Article 32 § 3 of the Russian Constitution.

 

THE LAW

  1. Joinder of the applications

 

  1. Having regard to the similar subject matter of the applications, the Court finds it appropriate to examine them jointly in a single judgment.

 

  1. Alleged violation of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention

 

  1. The applicants complained about their disenfranchisement on the grounds that they were, or had been, convicted prisoners. Some of them also claimed that they had been prevented from voting in the elections of members of the State Duma of 4 December 2011. They relied on Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention, which reads as follows:

“The High Contracting Parties undertake to hold free elections at reasonable intervals by secret ballot, under conditions which will ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature.”

  1. The Court refers to the principles established in its case-law regarding ineligibility to vote in elections (see, for instance, Hirst v. the United Kingdom (no. 2) [GC], no. 74025/01, ECHR 2005-IX; Kulinski and Sabev v. Bulgaria, no. 63849/09, 21 July 2016; Anchugov and Gladkov v. Russia, nos. 11157/04 and 15162/05, 4 July 2013; Greens and M.T. v. the United Kingdom, nos. 60041/08 and 60054/08, ECHR 2010 (extracts); and Calmanovici v. Romania, no. 42250/02, 1 July 2008).
  2. In Anchugov and Gladkov (cited above) the Court found a violation in respect of issues similar to those in the present case.
  3. 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 statutory ban on prisoners voting in elections is, by reason of its blanket character, incompatible with Article 3 of Protocol No. 1.
  4. These complaints are therefore admissible and disclose a breach of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1.

 

III. Alleged violation of Article 13 of the Convention

 

  1. The applicant in case no. 16824/10 complained under Article 13 of the Convention that he had no effective remedies to complain of disenfranchisement.
  2. The Court has held that Article 13 does not go so far as to guarantee a remedy allowing a Contracting State’s laws as such to be challenged before a national authority on the grounds of being contrary to the Convention or to equivalent domestic legal norms (see Greens and M.T., cited above, §§ 90-92). In the present case the Court has not found any grounds to depart from its case-law. It follows that this part of the application is manifestly ill-founded and must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 §§ 3 (a) and 4 of the Convention.

 

  1. Application of Article 41 of the Convention

 

  1. 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.”

 

  1. Damage

 

  1. Some of the applicants claimed just satisfaction in respect of non-pecuniary damage. The Court notes that in the vast majority of cases, where a violation of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 was found on account of the prisoners’ ineligibility to vote, it expressly declined to make any award of just satisfaction (see Hirst (no. 2), cited above § 94; Firth and Others v. the United Kingdom, nos. 47784/09 and 9 others, § 18, 12 August 2014; and Anchugov and Gladkov, cited above, § 122). As in those cases, in the instant case the Court concludes that the finding of a violation constitutes sufficient just satisfaction for any damage sustained by the applicants.

 

  1. Costs and expenses

 

  1. Some of the applicants claimed legal costs and other expenses in relation to the proceedings before the Court.
  2. As regards legal costs, in Firth and Others, cited above, § 21, the Court said that lodging applications regarding ineligibility to vote after the judgment in Hirst (no.2) was straightforward and did not require legal assistance. The circumstances of the instant cases lead the Court to the same conclusion, that the legal costs claimed were neither reasonably nor necessarily incurred. It therefore rejects the claims under that head.
  3. As to other expenses, including postal costs, the Court considers it reasonable to award the sums set out in Appendix, plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants.

 

  1. Default interest

 

  1. 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 applicants’ complaints under Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention admissible, and the remainder of application no. 16824/10 inadmissible;
  3. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention;
  4. Holds

(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months, the amounts listed in Appendix, plus any tax that may be chargeable, 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 below amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points;

  1. Dismisses the remainder of the applicants’ claim for just satisfaction.

 

Done in English, and notified in writing on 4 July 2017, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.

Luis  Guerra President
Deputy Registrar

 

Appendix

No. Application no. Lodged on Applicant

Date of birth

Place of residence

Represented by Award in respect of costs and expenses (EUR)
1. 54446/07 06/11/2007 Veniamin Vitalyevich ISAKOV

01/01/1966

Aleksandriyskaya,

Krasnodar Region

2. 51229/08 02/02/2008 Maksim Aleksandrovich KOVAL

19/01/1959

Eysk,

Krasnodar Region

30
3. 16824/10 14/02/2010 Aleksey Ivanovich

BOLSUNOVSKIY

08/10/1982

Krasnoyarsk

30
4. 44423/10 20/07/2010 Dmitriy Vladimirovich BARANOV

04/08/1981

Tomsk

30
5. 43115/11 12/06/2011 Aleksandr Aleksandrovich PROSOLUPOV

06/11/1979

Krasnoyarsk

6. 77991/11 02/12/2011 Nikolay Valeryevich SAFONOV

Vostochnyy

Sverdlovsk Region

Igor Stepanovich GOLENDUKHIN
7. 78379/11 02/12/2011 Andrey Nikolayevich BATUKHTIN

14/06/1972

Vostochnyy

Sverdlovsk Region

Igor Stepanovich GOLENDUKHIN
8. 78381/11 02/12/2011 Andrey Aleksandrovich BUSHUYEV

26/08/1976

Vostochnyy

Sverdlovsk Region

Igor Stepanovich GOLENDUKHIN
9. 78387/11 02/12/2011 Sergey Mikhaylovich ABZALIMOV

Vostochnyy

Sverdlovsk Region

Igor Stepanovich GOLENDUKHIN
10. 1735/12 05/12/2011 Nikolay Nikolayevich KOKORA

06/09/1965

Krasnodar

30
11. 2866/12 12/12/2011 Yevgeniy Borisovich YARTSEV

17/10/1979

Irkutsk

Igor Leonidovich TRUNOV
12. 10883/12 18/01/2012 Andrey Valentinovich TELEPIN

21/11/1981

Kharp

Yamalo-Nenetskiy Region

13. 18632/12 02/03/2012 Vyacheslav Viktorovich BORISOV

23/05/1964

Yekaterinburg

14. 31455/12 12/03/2012 Andrey Igorevich RESIN

29/07/1974

Lozvinskiy

Sverdlovsk Region

Andrey Aleksandrovich MOLOSTOV 30
15. 35559/12 02/05/2012 Sergey Stepanovich KULIDA

17/10/1959

Lepley

Republic of Mordoviya

16. 69342/12 21/05/2012 Oleg Pavlovich LIKHACHEV

22/03/1961

Staromatyevka

Stavropol Region

30
17. 73777/12 04/03/2012 Mikhail Sergeyevich SHARAPOV

21/11/1980

Moscow

8
18. 78747/12 25/10/2012 Sergey Yakovlevich GOLIMGREYN

25/04/1981

Kharp

Yamalo-Nenetskiy Region

19. 5023/13 08/12/2012 Stepan Sergeyevich SHARKOV

20/04/1991

Vyborg

Marina Aleksandrovna BELINSKAYA
Nikita Nikolayevich SOKOLOV

15/05/1977

St Petersburg

Viktoriya Pavlovna PROKOFYEVA
Sergey Igorevich KOTELNIKOV

20/12/1982

St Petersburg

Marina Aleksandrovna BELINSKAYA
Aleksandr Vladimirovich AVDEYEV

28/06/1988

Fornosovo

Leningrad Region

Marina Aleksandrovna BELINSKAYA
23. 10131/13 20/01/2013 Danil Nikolayevich PANKOV

11/04/1979

St Petersburg

Sergey Igorevich KOTELNIKOV
Dmitriy Yuryevich TATARINOV

11/11/1982

St Petersburg

Marina Aleksandrovna BELINSKAYA
Kirill Igorevich DERZHAVETS

10/03/1970

St Petersburg

Sergey Igorevich KOTELNIKOV
26. 3376/14 11/12/2013 Dmitriy Dmitriyevich GOLOVINOV

15/06/1969

Rostov-na-Donu

27. 14407/14 30/04/2014 Timur Vladislavovich VOYNOV

03/07/1985

Areiyskoe

Krasnoyarsk Region

30
28. 32634/14 17/06/2014 Sergey Viktorovich ZHABOTINSKIY

16/01/1963

Rostov-na-Donu

30
29. 68565/14 24/09/2014 Yevgeniy Viktorovich ZARETSKIY

13/07/1969

Fornosovo

Leningrad Region

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