ПОСТАНОВЛЕНИЕ Европейского суда по правам человека от 17.11.2005<ДЕЛО ГЕРАСИМЕНКО (gerasimenko) ПРОТИВ РОССИИ> [англ.]
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
CASE OF GERASIMENKO
(Application No. 24657/03)
<*> 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 Gerasimenko 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.
24657/03) 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 Lyubov Nikolayevna Gerasimenko, on
19 April 2002.
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 1955 and lives in
5. The applicant is in receipt of welfare payments for her
child. In 2000 she brought civil proceedings against a local welfare authority,
claiming arrears in those payments.
6. On 25 December 2000 the
Levoberezhny District Court of Voronezh awarded the applicant 10,017.45 Russian
roubles (RUR). This judgment entered into force on 6 January 2001.
23 January 2001 a writ of execution was issued and sent to the bailiffs.
8. On 26 July 2001 the bailiffs discontinued the enforcement proceedings in
respect of the judgment of 25 December 2000 and returned the writ of execution
to the applicant, as the debtor had insufficient funds.
9. On 26 April
2002 the applicant requested the Department of Justice of the Voronezh Region to
ensure the enforcement of the judgment in her favour.
10. By letter of 7
May 2002 the Department of Justice of the Voronezh Region invited the applicant
to re-submit the writ of execution to the bailiffs.
11. In January -
February 2004 the applicant was paid the amount due pursuant to the writ of
II. Relevant domestic law
12. 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.
13. 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
I. Alleged violation of Article 6 of the
and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention
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 follows:
Article 6 § 1
determination of his civil rights and obligations..., everyone is entitled to a
fair... hearing... by [a]... tribunal..."
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 law.
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."
15. 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.
16. 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 never made any offers to her, and that, in any event, the amount of
the judgment debt transferred to her account in 2004 had lost its purchasing
power due to inflation.
17. 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-...).
18. 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
19. As 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).
20. 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.
21. 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 admissible.
22. The Government
advanced no arguments on the merits of the application.
applicant maintained her complaint.
24. The Court observes that the
judgment of 25 December 2000 remained inoperative for about three years and one
month. No justification was advanced by the Government for this delay.
25. 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).
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
27. There has accordingly been a violation of Article 6 § 1 of
the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1.
II. Other alleged
violations of the Convention
28. 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
27 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
30. 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."
31. As regards compensation for pecuniary damage, the applicant claimed RUR
19,442.20 as the interest payable at statutory rate of 25% for the default
period as well as 31,000 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 25 December 2000. The applicant did not clarify her claims as
to the remaining USD 1,000. She also claimed USD 45,000 in respect of
32. 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 4,500. 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
33. Having regard to the materials in its possession, the
Court accepts the Government"s argument and awards the applicant RUR 4,500, plus
any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of pecuniary damage.
so far as the compensation for non-pecuniary damage is concerned, 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
35. The applicant also claimed RUR 10,000 for the costs and
expenses incurred before the domestic courts and the Court.
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.
37. 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 that
C. Default interest
38. 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
2. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 6 of the
Convention and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention;
that there is no need to examine the complaint under Article 13 of the
(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 4,500 (four thousand five hundred roubles) in respect of pecuniary
(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;
(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 applicant;
6. Dismisses the remainder of the applicant"s claim for just satisfaction.
Done in English, and notified in writing on 17 November 2005, pursuant to Rule
77 § 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.