ПОСТАНОВЛЕНИЕ Европейского суда по правам человека от 17.11.2005<ДЕЛО КОРЧАГИНА И ДРУГИЕ (korchagina and others) ПРОТИВ РОССИИ> [англ.]
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
CASE OF KORCHAGINA
AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA
(Application No. 27295/03)
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
Korchagina and Others v. Russia,
The European Court of Human Rights
(First Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Mr C.L. Rozakis,
Mrs S. Botoucharova,
Mr A. Kovler,
Mr K. Hajiyev,
Mr D. Spielmann,
Mr S.E. Jebens,
and Mr S. Quesada, Deputy Section Registrar,
deliberated in private on 25 October 2005,
Delivers the following
judgment, which was adopted on that date:
1. The case
originated in an application (No. 27295/03) 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 six Russian
nationals listed in the appendix on 26 March 2003.
2. The Russian
Government ("the Government") were represented by Mr P. Laptev, Representative
of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights.
3. On 8
March 2004 the Court decided to communicate the application to the Government.
Under the provisions of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention, it decided to examine
the merits of the application at the same time as its admissibility.
I. The circumstances of the case
4. The applicants are residents
5. The applicants are in receipt of welfare payments for
their children. In 1999 - 2000 they brought separate sets of civil proceedings
against a local welfare authority, claiming arrears in those payments.
6. On the dates set out in the appendix the domestic courts granted the
applicants" claims and ordered the welfare authority to pay them the respective
amounts. The enforcement proceedings were commenced accordingly.
26 July 2001 the bailiffs discontinued the enforcement proceedings in respect of
the judgments in the applicants" favour and returned them the writs of execution
referring to the lack of the debtor"s funds.
8. In 2002 - 2004 the
applicants unsuccessfully applied to various public bodies seeking to have the
judgments in the favour enforced.
9. On 2 June 2004 the applicants were
paid the amounts due pursuant to the writs of execution.
10. Section 9 of the Federal Law on Enforcement Proceedings of
21 July 1997 provides that a bailiff"s order on the institution of enforcement
proceedings must fix a time-limit for the defendant"s voluntary compliance with
a writ of execution. The time-limit may not exceed five days. The bailiff must
also warn the defendant that coercive action will follow, should the defendant
fail to comply with the time-limit.
11. Under Section 13 of the Law, the
enforcement proceedings should be completed within two months of the receipt of
the writ of enforcement by the bailiff.
I. Alleged violation
of Article 6 of the Convention
and Article 1 of Protocl No. 1 to the
12. The applicants complained about the prolonged
non-enforcement of the judgments in their favour. The Court will examine this
complaint under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1
to the Convention. These Articles, in so far as relevant, read as follows:
Article 6 § 1
"In the determination of his civil rights and
obligations..., everyone is entitled to a fair... hearing... by [a]...
Article 1 of Protocol No. 1
"Every natural or legal
person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be
deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the
conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international
The preceding provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the
right of a State to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control the use
of property in accordance with the general interest or to secure the payment of
taxes or other contributions or penalties."
Government informed the Court that the authorities of the Voronezh Region had
attempted to secure a friendly settlement of the case and that the applicants
had refused to accept the friendly settlement on the terms proposed by the
authorities. By reference to this refusal and to the fact that, in any event,
the judgments in the applicants" favour had been enforced, the Government
invited the Court to strike out the application, in accordance with Article 37
of the Convention.
14. The applicants disagreed with the Government"s
arguments and maintained their complaints. As regards the friendly settlement
proposal, the applicants claimed that the authorities of the Voronezh Region had
made an offer to them, but did not allow the applicants to acquaint themselves
with the terms of that offer and that, in any event, the amount of the judgment
debts transferred to their accounts in 2004 had lost the purchasing power due to
15. The Court firstly observes that the parties were unable
to agree on the terms of a friendly settlement of the case. The Court recalls
that under certain circumstances an application may indeed be struck out of its
list of cases under Article 37 § 1 (c) of the Convention on the basis of a
unilateral declaration by the respondent Government even if the applicant wishes
the examination of the case to be continued (see Tahsin Acar v. Turkey [GC], No.
26307/95, § 76, ECHR 2003-...).
16. On the facts, the Court observes
that the Government failed to submit with the Court any formal statement capable
of falling into that category and offering a sufficient basis for finding that
respect for human rights as defined in the Convention does not require the Court
to continue its examination of the case (see, by contrast, to Akman v. Turkey
(striking out), No. 37453/97, §§ 23 - 24, ECHR 2001-VI).
regards the Government"s argument that the judgments in question have already
been enforced, the Court considers that the mere fact that the authorities
complied with the judgments after a substantial delay cannot be viewed in this
case as automatically depriving the applicants of their victim status under the
Convention (see, e.g., Petrushko v. Russia, No. 36494/02, § 16, 24 February
18. In the light of the above considerations, the Court rejects
the Government"s request to strike the application out under Article 37 of the
19. The Court notes that the application 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
20. The Government advanced no
arguments on the merits of the application.
21. The applicants
maintained their complaint.
22. The Court observes that the judgments in
the applicants" favour remained inoperative for several years. No justification
was advanced by the Government for the respective delays.
23. The Court
has frequently found violations of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention and Article
1 of Protocol No. 1 in cases raising issues similar to the ones in the present
case (see, among other authorities, Burdov v. Russia, No. 59498/00, ECHR
2002-III and, more recently, Petrushko, cited above, or Poznakhirina v. Russia,
No. 25964/02, 24 February 2005).
24. Having examined the material
submitted to it, the Court notes that the Government did not put forward any
fact or argument capable of persuading it to reach a different conclusion in the
present case. Having regard to its case-law on the subject, the Court finds that
by failing for years to comply with the enforceable judgments in the applicants"
favour the domestic authorities prevented them from receiving the money they
could reasonably have expected to receive.
25. There has accordingly
been a violation of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol
II. Other alleged violations of the Convention
applicants also complained that the lengthy non-enforcement of the judgments in
their favour violated their rights to effective domestic remedies under Article
13 of the Convention.
27. The Court considers that this complaint is
linked to the above issues of non-enforcement to such an extent that it should
be declared admissible as well. However, having regard to the finding relating
to Article 6 § 1 (see paragraph 25 above), the Court considers that it is not
necessary to examine whether, in this case, there has been a violation of
III. Application of Article 41 of the Convention
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."
29. As regards compensation for
pecuniary damages, the applicants claimed the interest payable at statutory rate
for the default period in the amount of RUR 3,791.85 for the first applicant,
RUR 1,459.61 for the second applicant, RUR 3,263.19 for the third applicant, RUR
957.89 for the fourth applicant, RUR 5,883.43 for the fifth applicant and RUR
3,626.24 for the sixth applicant. They also claimed RUR 11,569.50, RUR 2,718.45,
RUR 6,314.79, RUR 3,751.33, RUR 10,992.38 and RUR 17,968.91 without further
explanation. In addition, the applicant claimed each 31,000 US dollars (USD), of
which USD 10,000 represented the amount they could have earned during the period
when, instead, they had sought the enforcement of their court awards and USD
20,000 was the compensation for the losses their children had sustained as a
result of the untimely enforcement of the judgment in their favour in respect of
pecuniary damage. The applicants did not specify their claims as regards the
remaining USD 1,000. They also claimed USD 45,000 in respect of non-pecuniary
30. The Government contested the applicants" claims as wholly
excessive and unjustified. They argued that there was no causal link between the
damage allegedly sustained by the applicants and the non-enforcement of the
judgments in their favour. The Government considered that should the Court find
a violation in this case that would in itself constitute sufficient just
31. The Court finds that some pecuniary loss must have
been occasioned by reason of the period that elapsed from the time between the
entry into force of the judgments in question and their subsequent enforcement
(see, e.g., Poznakhirina, cited above, § 34 and Makarova and others v. Russia,
No. 7023/03, 24 February 2005, § 38). Having regard to the materials in its
possession, the Court awards the first applicant RUR 3,791.85, the second
applicant RUR 1,459.61, the third applicant RUR 3,263.19, the fourth applicant
RUR 957.89, the fifth applicant RUR 5,883.43 and the sixth applicant RUR
3,626.24, plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of pecuniary
32. As regards the compensation for non-pecuniary damage, the
Court would not exclude that the applicants might have suffered distress and
frustration resulting from the State authorities" failure to enforce the
judgments in their favour. However, having regard to the nature of the breach in
this case and making its assessment on an equitable basis, the Court considers
that the finding of a violation constitutes in itself sufficient just
satisfaction for any non-pecuniary damage sustained by the applicants (see, in a
similar context, Poznakhirina, cited above, § 35).
B. Costs and
33. The applicants also claimed RUR 10,045 for the costs and
expenses incurred before the domestic courts and the Court.
Government considered that the documents submitted by the applicants did not
indicate that the applicants had incurred any costs.
35. According to
the Court"s case-law, an applicant is entitled to reimbursement of his costs and
expenses only in so far as it has been shown that these have been actually and
necessarily incurred and were reasonable as to quantum. In the present case,
regard being had to the information in its possession and the above criteria,
the Court considers it reasonable to award each applicant the sum of EUR 20 in
respect of costs and expenses, plus any tax that may be chargeable.
36. The Court considers it appropriate that the default
interest 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;
Holds that there has been a violation of Article 6 of the Convention and Article
1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention;
3. Holds that there is no need to
examine the complaint under Article 13 of the Convention;
(a) that the respondent State is to pay, within three months from the date on
which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the
Convention, the following amounts:
(i) RUR 3,791.85 (three thousand
seven hundred and ninety-one roubles and eighty-five kopecks) to the first
applicant, RUR 1,459.61 (one thousand four hundred and fifty-nine roubles and
sixty-one kopecks) to the second applicant, RUR 3,263.19 (three thousand two
hundred and sixty-three roubles and nineteen kopecks) to the third applicant,
RUR 957.89 (nine hundred and fifty-seven roubles and eighty-nine kopecks) to the
fourth applicant, RUR 5,883.43 (five thousand eight hundred and eighty-three
roubles and forty-three kopecks) to the fifth applicant and RUR 3,626.24 (three
thousand six hundred and twenty-six roubles and twenty-four kopecks) to the
sixth applicant in respect of pecuniary damage;
(ii) EUR 20 (twenty
euros) to each of the applicants in respect of costs and expenses, to be
converted into the national currency of the respondent State at the rate
applicable at the date of settlement;
(iii) any tax that may be
chargeable on the above amounts;
(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;
5. Holds that the finding of a violation constitutes in itself sufficient
just satisfaction for any non-pecuniary damage sustained by the applicants;
6. Dismisses the remainder of the applicants" claim for just
Done in English, and notified in writing on 17 November 2005,
pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
NAME OF APPLICANT ¦ FINAL JUDGMENT TO BE ENFORCED ¦ AWARDED¦
¦ Date/Decision body ¦ AMOUNT ¦
¦ ¦ (RUR) ¦
Yelena Petrovna ¦20 December 1999 / ¦3,893.05¦
¦Korchagina ¦the Kominternovskiy District ¦ ¦
¦ ¦Court of Voronezh ¦ ¦
Yelena Gennadyevna ¦12 September 2000 / ¦2,151.13¦
¦Kostyukova ¦the Levoberezhny District ¦ ¦
¦ ¦Court of Voronezh ¦ ¦
Tatyana Ivanovna ¦23 May 2000 / ¦3,919.58¦
¦Kryukova ¦the Kominternovskiy District ¦ ¦
¦ ¦Court of Voronezh ¦ ¦
Svetlana Gennadyevna¦17 December 1999 / ¦1,290.77¦
¦Lavlinskaya ¦the Kominternovskiy District ¦ ¦
¦ ¦Court of Voronezh ¦ ¦
Galina Aleksandrovna¦28 March 2000 / ¦6,583.05¦
¦Palagina ¦the Kominternovskiy District ¦ ¦
¦ ¦Court of Voronezh ¦ ¦
Nina Matveyevna ¦23 May 2000/the Kominternovskiy¦5,119.98¦
¦Yurova ¦District Court of Voronezh and ¦3,344.28¦
¦ ¦12 September 2000/the ¦ ¦
¦ ¦Tsentralny District Court of ¦ ¦
¦ ¦Voronezh ¦ ¦