ПОСТАНОВЛЕНИЕ Европейского суда по правам человека от 17.11.2005<ДЕЛО ИВАННИКОВА (ivannikova) ПРОТИВ РОССИИ> [англ.]
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
CASE OF IVANNIKOVA
(Application No. 24659/03)
<*> 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 Ivannikova v.
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting as a
Chamber composed of:
Mr C.L. Rozakis, President,
Mr A. Kovler,
Mrs E. Steiner,
Mr D. Spielmann,
Mr S.E. Jebens, judges
S. Quesada, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on
25 October 2005,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on
1. The case originated in an application (No.
24659/03) 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 a Russian national, Ms Galina Nikolayevna Ivannikova, on 8
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 7 October 2003 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.
circumstances of the case
4. The applicant was born in 1965 and lives in
the Voronezh Region.
5. The applicant receives welfare payments for her
child. In 1999 she brought civil proceedings against a local welfare authority,
claiming arrears in those payments for 1998 - 1999.
6. On 17 December
1999 the Novousmanskiy District Court of the Voronezh Region awarded the
applicant 1,593.54 Russian roubles (RUR).
7. On 17 March 2000 a writ of
execution was issued and sent to the bailiffs.
8. On 24 October 2001 the
bailiffs discontinued the enforcement proceedings in respect of the judgment of
17 December 1999 and returned the writ of execution to the applicant, as the
debtor had insufficient funds.
9. In January - February 2004 the
applicant was paid the amount due pursuant to the writ of execution.
Relevant domestic law
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.
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
1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention
12. The applicant complained about
the lengthy non-enforcement of the judgment in her 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
Article 6 § 1
"In the determination of his civil
rights and obligations..., everyone is entitled to a fair... hearing... by
Article 1 of Protocol No. 1
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
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."
13. The Government informed the Court that the authorities of
the Voronezh Region had attempted to secure a friendly settlement of the case
and that the applicant 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 judgment in the applicant"s favour had been enforced,
the Government invited the Court to strike out the application, in accordance
with Article 37 of the Convention.
14. The applicant disagreed with the
Government"s arguments and maintained her complaints. As regards the friendly
settlement proposal, the applicant claimed that the authorities of the Voronezh
Region had made an offer to her, but did not allow her to acquaint herself with
the terms of that offer and that, in any event, the amount of the judgment debt
transferred to her account in 2004 had lost its 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 the latter 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 judgment in question has already been
enforced, the Court considers that the mere fact that the authorities complied
with the judgment after a substantial delay cannot be viewed in this case as
automatically depriving the applicant of her victim status under the Convention
(see, e.g., Petrushko v. Russia, No. 36494/02, § 16, 24 February 2005).
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 Convention.
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 declared
20. The Government advanced no arguments on the
merits of the application.
21. The applicant maintained her
22. The Court observes that the judgment of 17 December 1999
remained inoperative for about four years and one month. No justification was
advanced by the Government for this delay.
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
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 judgment in the applicant"s favour the domestic
authorities prevented her from receiving the money she 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 No. 1.
alleged violations of the Convention
26. The applicant also complained that
the lengthy non-enforcement of the judgment in her favour violated her rights to
effective domestic remedies under Article 13 of the Convention.
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 Article 13.
III. Application of
Article 41 of the Convention
28. 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 damage, the applicant claimed RUR
7,053.80 as the interest payable at a statutory rate of 55% for the default
period as well as 30,000 US dollars (USD), of which USD 10,000 represented the
amount she could have earned during the period when, instead, she had sought the
enforcement of the judgment in her favour and USD 20,000 was the compensation
for the losses her child had sustained as a result of the untimely enforcement
of the judgment of 17 December 1999. She also claimed USD 45,000 in respect of
30. The Government contested the applicant"s
claims as wholly excessive and unjustified. As regards the pecuniary damage,
they pointed out that under national law it was open to the applicant to file a
court claim, seeking interest for the delayed payment of her judgment debt, and
that the domestic courts would calculate such interest on the basis of a
statutory rate which was currently equal to 14%. Therefore, in the Government"s
view, the interest accrued by the applicants should amount to RUR 892. As to the
non-pecuniary damage, the Government considered that should the Court find a
violation in this case that would in itself constitute sufficient just
31. Having regard to the materials in its possession, the
Court accepts the Government"s argument and awards the applicant RUR 892, plus
any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of pecuniary damage.
regards the compensation of non-pecuniary damage, the Court would not exclude
that the applicant might have suffered distress and frustration resulting from
the State authorities" failure to enforce the judgment in her 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 applicant (see, in a similar context, Poznakhirina, cited
above, § 35).
B. Costs and expenses
33. The applicant also claimed
RUR 10,000 for the costs and expenses incurred before the domestic courts and
34. The Government considered the applicant"s claims to be
unfounded and manifestly excessive and noted that the documents submitted by the
applicant lacked evidence that she had incurred such costs.
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 applicant the sum of
EUR 20 in respect of costs and expenses, plus any tax that may be chargeable on
C. Default interest
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
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
1. Declares the
2. Holds that there has been a violation of
Article 6 of the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the
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 the applicant, 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 892 (eight hundred ninety-two
roubles) in respect of pecuniary damage;
(ii) EUR 20 (twenty euros) 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;
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
5. Holds that the finding of a violation constitutes
in itself sufficient just satisfaction for any non-pecuniary damage sustained by
6. Dismisses the remainder of the applicant"s claim for
Done in English, and notified in writing on 17 November
2005, pursuant to Rule 77 § 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.