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Wyrok
Europejskiego Trybunału Praw Człowieka
z dnia 30 czerwca 2016 r.
23975/06

UZASADNIENIE

Wstęp

ECLI:CE:ECHR:2016:0721JUD002397506

THIRD SECTION

CASE OF GRECHKIN AND SMIRNOVA v. RUSSIA

(Applications nos. 23975/06 and 5211/07)

JUDGMENT

STRASBOURG

30 June 2016

This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.

In the case of Grechkin and Smirnova v. Russia,

The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:

Helena Jäderblom, President,

Dmitry Dedov,

Branko Lubarda, judges,

and Hasan Bakırcı Deputy Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 30 June 2016,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:

Postępowanie

PROCEDURE

1. The case originated in applications against Russia lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("the Convention") on the various dates indicated in the appended table.

2. The applications were communicated to the Russian Government ("the Government").

Uzasadnienie faktyczne

THE FACTS

3. The list of applicants and the relevant details of the applications are set out in the appended table.

4. The applicants complained of the excessive length of civil proceedings and lack of an effective remedy to complain about a violation of their right to have a civil case examined within a reasonable time.

Uzasadnienie prawne

THE LAW

I. JOINDER OF THE APPLICATIONS

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

II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION

6. The applicants complained principally that the length of the civil proceedings in question had been incompatible with the "reasonable time" requirement. They relied on Article 6 § 1 of the Convention, which reads as follows:

Article 6 § 1

"In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ... everyone is entitled to a ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal ..."

7. The Court firstly notes the Government's argument that the applicants had failed to exhaust domestic remedies available to them before and after the adoption of the pilot judgement Burdov v. Russia (no. 2) (no. 33509/04, ECHR 2009).

8. As regards the domestic remedies existing prior to the adoption of the aforementioned pilot judgment, the Court reiterates its previous finding that at the time when the applicants brought their applications to Strasbourg there was no effective remedy under Russian law capable of affording redress for the unreasonable length of civil proceedings (see Meshcheryakov v. Russia, no. 24564/04, § 36, 3 February 2011 with references therein, and Zaytsev and Others v. Russia, no. 42046/06, § 48, 25 June 2009).

9. As regards the domestic remedy introduced in response to the aforementioned pilot judgment, the Court reiterates it would be unfair to request the applicants whose cases have already been pending for many years in the domestic system and who have come to seek relief at the Court to bring again their claims before domestic tribunals (see, for similar reasoning, Fateyenkov and Others v. Russia, no. 44099/04 et al., 18 February 2016, with further references). In line with this principle, the Court decides to proceed with the examination of the present cases (see, mutatis mutandis, Utyuzhnikova v. Russia, no. 25957/03, §§ 48-52, 7 October 2010; compare with Fakhretdinov and Others v. Russia (dec.), no. 26716/09, § 32, 23 September 2010) and, accordingly, dismisses the Government's non–exhaustion objection.

10. Turning to the circumstances of the case, the Court further reiterates that the reasonableness of the length of proceedings must be assessed in the light of the circumstances of the case and with reference to the following criteria: the complexity of the case, the conduct of the applicants and the relevant authorities and what was at stake for the applicants in the dispute (see Frydlender v. France [GC], no. 30979/96, § 43, ECHR 2000-VII).

11. In the leading case of Kormacheva v. Russia (no. 53084/99, 29 January 2004), the Court already found a violation in respect of issues similar to those in the present case.

12. 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 cases the length of the proceedings was excessive and failed to meet the "reasonable time" requirement.

13. These complaints are therefore admissible and disclose a breach of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention.

III. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 13 OF THE CONVENTION

14. Relying on Article 13 of the Convention, the applicants further complained of the lack of an effective venue in Russia to complain about the length of proceedings. Article 13 reads as follows:

"Everyone whose rights and freedoms as set forth in [the] Convention are violated shall have an effective remedy before a national authority notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity."

15. The Court reiterates that Article 13 guarantees an effective remedy before a national authority for an alleged breach of the requirement under Article 6 § 1 to hear a case within a reasonable time (see Kudła v. Poland [GC], no. 30210/96, § 156, ECHR 2000-XI). It notes that the Government did not indicate any remedy that could have expedited the determination of the applicants' cases at the time when they were pending before the Russian courts (see Kormacheva, cited above, § 64).

16. In view of the findings above and those made by the Court in paragraphs 7-9 above, the complaints under Article 13 of the Convention are declared admissible. The Court further concludes that in the present cases there has been a violation of Article 13 of the Convention on account of the lack of a remedy under domestic law whereby the applicants could have obtained a ruling upholding their right to have their cases heard within a reasonable time, as set forth in Article 6 § 1 of the Convention.

IV. REMAINING COMPLAINTS

17. In application no. 5211/07, the applicant also raised other complaints under various Articles of the Convention.

18. The Court has examined the applications listed in the appended table and considers that, in the light of all the material in its possession and in so far as the matters complained of are within its competence, these complaints either do not meet the admissibility criteria set out in Articles 34 and 35 of the Convention or do not disclose any appearance of a violation of the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Convention or the Protocols thereto.

19. It follows that this part of the applications must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 § 4 of the Convention.

V. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

20. 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."

21. Regard being had to the documents in its possession and to its case–law (see, in particular, Rubtsova v. Russia, no. 22554/04, §§ 30, 52, 13 January 2011, Vokhmina v. Russia, no. 26384/02, §§ 26, 37, 9 June 2005 and Plemyanova v. Russia, no. 27865/06, §§ 27, 39, 15 October 2009), the Court considers it reasonable to award the sums indicated in the appended table.

22. 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.

Sentencja

FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT, UNANIMOUSLY,

1. Decides to join the applications;

2. Declares the complaints concerning the excessive length of civil proceedings and the lack of an effective domestic remedy to complain thereof admissible, and the remainder of the application no. 5211/07 inadmissible;

3. Holds that these complaints disclose a breach of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention concerning the excessive length of civil proceedings;

4. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 13 of the Convention on account of the lack of an effective remedy to complain about the excessive length of the proceedings;

5. Holds

(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months, the amounts indicated in the appended table, 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 above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points.

Done in English, and notified in writing on 21 July 2016, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.

Helena Jäderblom

Hasan Bakırcı

Deputy Registrar

President

APPENDIX

List of applications raising complaints under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention

(excessive length of civil proceedings)

No.

Application no.

Date of introduction

Applicant name

Date of birth /

Date of registration

Start of proceedings

End of proceedings

Total length

Levels of jurisdiction

Other complaints under well-established case-law

Amount awarded for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage and costs and expenses

per applicant

(in euros) 1

1.

23975/06

10/05/2006

Denis Yuryevich GRECHKIN

22/09/1975

26/07/1998

22/11/2005

7 year(s) and

3 month(s) and 28 day(s)

2 level(s) of jurisdiction

Art. 13 - lack of any effective remedy in domestic law in respect of excessive length of civil proceedings

3,900

2.

5211/07

13/12/2006

Tamara Nikolayevna SMIRNOVA

20/10/1956

23/03/2001

29/05/2002

24/12/2001

20/07/2006

9 month(s) and 2 day(s)

2 level(s) of jurisdiction

4 year(s) and

1 month(s) and 22 day(s)

3 level(s) of jurisdiction

Art. 13 - lack of any effective remedy in domestic law in respect of excessive length of civil proceedings

2,000

1

Plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants.