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ПОСТАНОВЛЕНИЕ ЕВРОПЕЙСКОГО СУДА ПО ПРАВАМ ЧЕЛОВЕКА ОТ 23.03.2006 ДЕЛО КОНОВАЛОВ (KONOVALOV) ПРОТИВ РОССИИ [АНГЛ.]

Архив. Текст документа на 1 января 2007 года

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                    EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
                                   
                             FIRST SECTION
                                   
                      CASE OF KONOVALOV v. RUSSIA
                      (Application No. 63501/00)
                                   
                             JUDGMENT <*>
                                   
                       (Strasbourg, 23.III.2006)
   
   --------------------------------
       <*>  This  judgment will become final in the circumstances  set
   out  in  Article  44 з 2 of the Convention. It may  be  subject  to
   editorial revision.
   
       In the case of Konovalov v. Russia,
       The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting  as
   a Chamber composed of:
       Mr C.L. Rozakis, President,
       Mr P. Lorenzen,
       Mrs {N. Vajic} <*>,
   --------------------------------
       <*> Здесь и далее по тексту слова на национальном языке набраны
   латинским шрифтом и выделены фигурными скобками.
   
       Mrs S. Botoucharova,
       Mr A. Kovler,
       Mr K. Hajiyev,
       Mr S.E. Jebens, judges,
       and Mr S. Quesada, Deputy Section Registrar,
       Having deliberated in private on 2 March 2006,
       Delivers  the  following judgment, which was  adopted  on  that
   date:
   
                               PROCEDURE
   
       1. The case originated in an application (No. 63501/00) 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,  Vladimir
   Nikolayevich Konovalov ("the applicant"), on 12 September 2000.
       2.  The  applicant was represented by Mrs L.F. Konovalova.  The
   Russian  Government ("the Government") were represented by Mr  P.A.
   Laptev,  Representative of the Russian Federation at  the  European
   Court of Human Rights.
       3.  The  applicant  alleged that the failure to  enforce  final
   judgments in his favour was incompatible with the Convention.
       4.  The  application was allocated to the First Section of  the
   Court  (Rule  52 з 1 of the Rules of Court). Within  that  Section,
   the  Chamber that would consider the case (Article 27 з  1  of  the
   Convention) was constituted as provided in Rule 26 з 1.
       5.  By  a  decision  of  27  May 2004 the  Court  declared  the
   application partly admissible.
       6.  The applicant and the Government each filed observations on
   the  merits  (Rule  59  з  1). The Chamber  having  decided,  after
   consulting the parties, that no hearing on the merits was  required
   (Rule  59  з  3  in fine), the parties replied in writing  to  each
   other's observations.
       7.  On 1 November 2004 the Court changed the composition of its
   Sections  (Rule  25  з  1). This case was  assigned  to  the  newly
   composed First Section (Rule 52 з 1).
   
                               THE FACTS
                                   
                   I. The circumstances of the case
   
       8.  The  applicant was born in 1953 and lives in  Slavyansk-na-
   Kubani in the Krasnodar Region.
       9.  The  applicant is a former member of the armed  forces.  In
   1993,  after  serving  on the island of Sakhalin,  he  retired  and
   moved  to  Slavyansk-na-Kubani in the Krasnodar Region. He  applied
   to  the Slavyansk Town Council for State housing aid. He was put on
   a   waiting  list  but,  since  that  had  no  effect,  he  brought
   proceedings against the Town Council in the Slavyansk Town Court.
       10. On 31 March 1998 the Slavyansk Town Court received a letter
   from  the  President of the Krasnodar Regional  Court  (No.  03-06,
   dated  11  March  1998). The letter, which was distributed  to  the
   presidents  of  all  the town and district courts  in  the  region,
   recommended  that,  in  order to allow  the  local  authorities  to
   function  properly,  the  courts refrain from  seizing  their  bank
   accounts  when  giving judgments in cases brought against  them  by
   individuals for recovery of pensions and social benefits  including
   State  housing  aid,  and  that  they  provide,  in  the  operative
   provisions  of judgments in such cases, that payments  be  made  as
   soon  as  funds  were  received from an  appropriate  State  budget
   (district, town, regional or federal) and in the order set  out  on
   a waiting list drawn up by the defendant authority.
       11.  On 6 April 1998 the Town Court examined the case. The Town
   Council  submitted at the hearing that the applicant  was  entitled
   by  law  to  State  housing  aid  for retired  military  personnel.
   However, for the past few years it had not received any funds  from
   the  federal  budget  for that purpose. The court  found  that  the
   applicant,  as a retired serviceman, met the statutory requirements
   for  entitlement  to  State housing aid  financed  by  the  federal
   budget.  In  the operative provisions of its judgment  of  6  April
   1998 the court ordered:
       "that  the  sum  of  113,040  roubles  be  recovered  from  the
   Slavyansk-na-Kubani Town Council in the Krasnodar Region in  favour
   of  Vladimir  Nikolayevich Konovalov, as a person  discharged  from
   military  service and transferred to the reserve, as  a  grant  for
   the purchase of housing;
       that  payment  be made from the federal budget of  the  Russian
   Federation,  upon receipt of funds from the budget and  subject  to
   the waiting list.
       The  judgment may be appealed against to the Krasnodar Regional
   Court through the Slavyansk Town Court within a ten-day term."
       The  authority did not appeal and the judgment of 6 April  1998
   became  final on 17 April 1998. On 19 May 1998 the court  issued  a
   writ   of   execution.  According  to  the  applicant,  enforcement
   proceedings were initiated on the same day.
       12.  On 4 and 17 December 1998 the Ministry of Finance and  the
   local  authority  responded  to  an  enquiry  from  the  applicant,
   informing  him about the lack of federal funds for the  payment  of
   State housing aid to him.
       13.  As  the  judgment  had  not been executed,  the  applicant
   brought an application for index-linking of the award in line  with
   an  increase  in  the  market prices of immovable  property.  At  a
   hearing  before the Town Court the defendant town council  did  not
   object  to  the applicant's claim. In a judgment of 19  April  2000
   the  Town  Court increased the amount awarded to the  applicant  in
   the  judgment  of  6  April 1998 for the  purchase  of  housing  to
   377,020  Russian  roubles ("RUR"). In the operative  provisions  of
   the judgment the court ordered:
       "that  the  sum  of  377,020  roubles  be  recovered  from  the
   Slavyansk-na-Kubani Town Council in the Krasnodar Region in  favour
   of  Vladimir Nikolayevich Konovalov as a grant for the purchase  of
   housing;
       that the payment be made from the federal budget of the Russian
   Federation,  upon receipt of funds from the budget and  subject  to
   the waiting list.
       The  judgment may be appealed against to the Krasnodar Regional
   Court through the Slavyansk Town Court within ten days."
       14.  In  a  letter  of  28  April 2000 the  Krasnodar  regional
   prosecutor's   office  informed  the  applicant  that   the   local
   authority  had not received funds from the federal budget  for  the
   payment of State housing aid to retired servicemen.
       15.  According  to  the applicant, enforcement  proceedings  in
   respect of the judgment of 19 April 2000 were initiated on  11  May
   2000.  According to the Government, the applicant lodged a writ  of
   execution  to that end with the court bailiffs on 30 October  2000.
   Neither  party  submitted a copy of the relevant documents  to  the
   Court.
       16.  The  judgments of 6 April 1998 and 19 April 2000 were  not
   executed.
       17.  On  13  October  2000 the Krasnodar regional  prosecutor's
   office  lodged  two  applications for  supervisory  review  of  the
   judgments. It requested that the judgments be quashed and  a  fresh
   examination of the applicant's case be ordered.
       18.  In  a  decision of 2 November 2000 the  Presidium  of  the
   Krasnodar  Regional  Court granted the application  concerning  the
   judgment of 6 April 1998, quashed that judgment on the ground  that
   it  conflicted with substantive and procedural laws and  ordered  a
   fresh examination of the case.
       19. On 20 December 2000 the Town Court discontinued proceedings
   in the case relating to the judgment of 19 April 2000.
       20.  Applications  by  the applicant  for  the  decision  of  2
   November  2000  to  be  quashed by way of supervisory  review  were
   rejected  by the Supreme Court, as follows from its letters  of  17
   January and 19 March 2001.
       21. On 22 March 2001 the applicant informed the Town Court that
   he   wished  to  withdraw  his  action  and  requested   that   the
   proceedings for a fresh examination of his case, as ordered by  the
   supervisory  court's decision of 2 November 2000, be  discontinued.
   The  applicant explained that he had done so because  he  had  been
   assured  by the head of the Town Council that he would be  given  a
   certificate  to  receive free housing. In a decision  of  22  March
   2001  the  Town  Court  granted his request  and  discontinued  the
   proceedings.  The applicant did not appeal against  that  decision.
   On 3 April 2001 the enforcement proceedings were discontinued.
       22.  In August 2001 the applicant learned that the Town Council
   had refused to give him the housing certificate.
   
                II. Relevant domestic law and practice
                                   
                      A. Enforcement proceedings
   
       23.  Section 9 of the Enforcement Proceedings Act (Law No. 119-
   FZ  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. Pursuant to  section
   13,  the  enforcement  proceedings must  be  completed  within  two
   months of the receipt of the writ of execution by the bailiff.
   
                           B. Court judgment
   
       24.  Article 197 ("The contents of a judgment") of the Code  of
   Civil  Procedure of 1964, in force at the material  time,  provided
   as follows with regard to the operative provisions of judgments:
       "The  operative  provisions of a judgment  should  contain  the
   conclusion  of  the court as to whether to allow or reject  a  suit
   fully  or  partly, an instruction on the distribution of costs  and
   directions  concerning  the term and the  procedure  for  appealing
   against the judgment."
       Article 209 of the Code ("The enforcement of a judgment") read:
       "A judgment shall be enforced after its entry into force except
   in cases of immediate enforcement."
       25. Paragraph 10 of Resolution No. 7 of the Plenary Session  of
   the   Supreme  Court  of  the  USSR  of  9  July  1982  ("On  court
   judgments"),  in force at the material time, provided  that  courts
   should   set   forth   the   operative  provisions   of   judgments
   particularly  precisely  in  order  to  avoid  ambiguity  in  their
   enforcement.  The  delivery  of  judgments  whose  enforcement  was
   subject  to the fulfilment or non-fulfilment of a certain condition
   was not allowed.
       26.  Paragraph 7 of Resolution No. 9 of the Plenary Session  of
   the  Supreme  Court of the RSFSR of 26 September  1973  ("On  court
   judgments"),  in force at the material time, provided  that  courts
   should  bear  in  mind that a judgment was an  instrument  for  the
   administration  of justice by which a case was finally  determined,
   and   that  its  operative  provisions  should  contain  exhaustive
   conclusions   derived   from  established  factual   circumstances.
   Judgments  should therefore contain clear and precise  formulations
   as  to, inter alia, who should do what, so that there would not  be
   any controversy in the course of their enforcement.
       27.  The review of the Russian Federation Supreme Court's case-
   law  for the first quarter of 1998, approved by a resolution of the
   Presidium  of the Supreme Court of 6 May 1998, contains  a  summary
   of  the  following  case  which applied the  principle  that  court
   judgments  whose  enforcement  is subject  to  fulfilment  or  non-
   fulfilment  of  a certain condition are not allowed.  A  number  of
   servicemen  brought  proceedings  against  their  military   unit's
   administration, which had not paid them part of their  remuneration
   owing  to  a  lack of funds. A court gave judgment in their  favour
   and, at the same time, ordered that the payment be made as soon  as
   the  money  was  received by the military unit  from  the  relevant
   State  budget.  The case-law review noted that  in  this  case  the
   court,  in  essence, had postponed the enforcement of its  judgment
   for  an  indefinite period, which had contravened the  requirements
   of  the  Code  of  Civil Procedure by which a  time-limit  for  the
   enforcement  of judgments was set by law or, in some  cases,  by  a
   court.  In  decision No. 2n-31497 of the Military  Section  of  the
   Supreme  Court  the  direction that payment  should  be  made  upon
   receipt  of  the relevant funds was removed from the judgment.  The
   review underlined that the time-limit fixed for the enforcement  of
   a judgment had to be specific.
       28. In decision No. 111pv-01pr of 25 July 2001 the Presidium of
   the  Supreme Court upheld a decision delivered by the Civil Section
   of the Supreme Court on 14 November 2000 in the following case.
       After  the  completion of his military service Mr R.  moved  to
   Moscow  as his place of permanent residence. He brought proceedings
   against  the local housing authority, which had refused to  provide
   him  with  a flat to which, he claimed, he was entitled  under  the
   law  as  a  former serviceman. In a final judgment in the case  the
   Civil  Section  of  the  Supreme Court ordered  the  local  housing
   authority to place him on the waiting list and to provide him  with
   a  flat.  The  defendant  authority placed  the  applicant  on  the
   waiting  list  and  stated that it was impossible  to  enforce  the
   remaining  part  of  the judgment since it had not  received  funds
   from  the  federal budget for that purpose. The applicant requested
   the   Supreme  Court  to  define  the  procedure  for  the  further
   enforcement  of  the  judgment. The Civil Section  of  the  Supreme
   Court  ruled  in its decision of 14 November 2000 that the  housing
   authority  should provide the applicant with a flat  regardless  of
   federal   financing.  The  deputy  prosecutor  general  lodged   an
   application  for  that decision to be quashed in supervisory-review
   proceedings.  It  was  examined by the  Presidium  of  the  Supreme
   Court,  which  held that the decision had lawfully  clarified  that
   the  provision of a flat to the applicant, in compliance  with  the
   judgment, should not be subject to federal financing.
   
                                THE LAW
                                   
                         I. Scope of the case
   
       29. Following the Court's admissibility decision, the applicant
   made  submissions on the merits in which he complained, inter alia,
   that  he  had not been informed that the Presidium of the Krasnodar
   Regional  Court  had on 2 November 2000 examined  the  prosecutor's
   application for supervisory review of the judgment of 6 April  1998
   in  his  favour, in breach of Article 6 з 1 and Article 13  of  the
   Convention  and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1, and that  the  failure
   to  enforce  a  judgment given in his favour  by  the  Pervomayskiy
   District  Court of Krasnodar on 25 June 1999 had also violated  the
   above provisions of the Convention.
       30.   The  Court  notes  that  the  applicant  introduced   new
   complaints  about the supervisory-review proceedings  resulting  in
   the  decision of 2 November 2000, which in any event were submitted
   outside the six-month period provided for in Article 35 з 1 of  the
   Convention.  It observes that, in its decision on admissibility  of
   27  May  2004,  it  declared admissible the applicant's  complaints
   under  Article  6 з 1 of the Convention and Article 1  of  Protocol
   No. 1 about the non-enforcement of the judgment of 6 April 1998  as
   amended  by  the judgment of 19 April 2000. At the same  time,  the
   applicant's complaints under Article 6 з 1 and Article  13  of  the
   Convention  and  Article 1 of Protocol No. 1  concerning  the  non-
   enforcement of the judgment delivered by the Pervomayskiy  District
   Court  of  Krasnodar  on  25 June 1999 were declared  inadmissible.
   Thus, the scope of the case now before the Court is limited to  the
   complaints which have been declared admissible.
   
                  II. Alleged violation of Article 6
           of the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1
   
       31.  The  applicant complained that the failure on the part  of
   the  domestic  authorities to enforce the final judgment  given  by
   the  Slavyansk Town Court on 6 April 1998, as amended by the  final
   judgment  delivered  by  the  same court  on  19  April  2000,  had
   violated his right to a fair trial as guaranteed by Article 6  з  1
   of  the  Convention and his right to the peaceful enjoyment of  his
   possessions  under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1. Those Articles,  in
   so far as relevant, provide as follows:
       Article 6 з 1
       "In  the  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."
   
                      A. Arguments of the parties
   
       32.  In  a  letter of 20 September 2004 the Government informed
   the  Court  that the Office of the Prosecutor General  had  carried
   out  an  examination of the applicant's case and found  that  there
   had  been  no legal basis for his entitlement to State housing  aid
   for  military personnel and that a certificate (No. 155 of 8 August
   1993)   had   been  issued  to  him  unlawfully  by  the   military
   authorities.  The Government requested the Court  to  abstain  from
   taking  any procedural decisions in the applicant's case since,  in
   view  of newly discovered circumstances, the situation could change
   substantially  and the claims brought by the applicant  before  the
   domestic courts could be found to have been unlawful ab initio.
       33.  In  their  observations of 3 December 2004 the  Government
   informed  the  Court about further developments in the  proceedings
   initiated  by  the Office of the Prosecutor General. Thus,  it  had
   been  found  that on the basis of certificate No. 155 of  8  August
   1993  the Slavyansk Town Council, in a decision of 5 November 1993,
   had  put  the applicant on a preferential waiting list  of  persons
   entitled  to  free housing, in particular those who  had  completed
   the  maximum period of military service. In a decision of  21  June
   2002  the  Town  Council  excluded the  applicant  from  that  list
   because  it considered that he did not meet the relevant  statutory
   requirements since he had retired after the expiry of the  term  of
   his military service, five years short of the maximum period. In  a
   decision  of 25 October 2004 an investigator of the Office  of  the
   Public  Prosecutor  for  the Slavyansk  District  refused  to  open
   criminal  proceedings against the applicant on the ground that  the
   limitation  period  for  prosecution had  expired.  The  Government
   submitted  that by asserting a right which had arisen as  a  result
   of   his  unfair  behaviour  and  the  forgery  of  documents,  the
   applicant  had misled the domestic courts and abused his  right  of
   petition to the Court.
       34.  The applicant replied that certificate No. 155 of 8 August
   1993,  which  had  been  issued to him by the military  authorities
   after  his retirement, concerned his entitlement to receive a  free
   flat  from  the  State and not financial aid for  the  purchase  of
   housing,  which  was  a  different  privilege  offered  to  retired
   military  servicemen. He further stated that  the  certificate  had
   been  issued  to  him  in accordance with the legislation  then  in
   force,  in particular the Government's decision No. 937 of 3 August
   1996.
       35.  The  applicant submitted that the authorities' failure  to
   enforce the judgment of 6 April 1998 for a period of two years  and
   seven  months  at a time of rapid inflation following the  economic
   crisis  in  August 1998, and their failure to enforce the  judgment
   of   19  April  2000  for  seven  months,  had  been  unlawful  and
   unjustified.  The  alleged lack of financial  resources  could  not
   serve  as  an excuse. He claimed that the judgments, in so  far  as
   they  had made the payment conditional on the receipt of funds from
   the  federal  budget,  had been given on the  instructions  of  the
   authorities,  whose  persistent  interference  with   the   courts'
   activity  had ultimately resulted in the quashing of the  judgments
   in supervisory-review proceedings.
   
                       B. The Court's assessment
                                   
                  1. Article 6 з 1 of the Convention
   
       36. The Court reiterates that Article 6 з 1 secures to everyone
   the  right  to  have  any claim relating to his  civil  rights  and
   obligations  brought before a court or tribunal;  in  this  way  it
   embodies  the  "right to a court", of which the  right  of  access,
   that  is the right to institute proceedings before courts in  civil
   matters,  constitutes  one aspect. However,  that  right  would  be
   illusory  if a Contracting State's domestic legal system allowed  a
   final,  binding  judicial  decision to remain  inoperative  to  the
   detriment of one party. It would be inconceivable that Article 6  з
   1  should describe in detail the procedural guarantees afforded  to
   litigants  -  proceedings that are fair, public and  expeditious  -
   without  protecting  the implementation of judicial  decisions;  to
   construe Article 6 as being concerned exclusively with access to  a
   court  and  the conduct of proceedings would be likely to  lead  to
   situations  incompatible with the principle  of  the  rule  of  law
   which  the  Contracting  States  undertook  to  respect  when  they
   ratified  the  Convention. Execution of a  judgment  given  by  any
   court  must  therefore  be  regarded as an  integral  part  of  the
   "trial"  for  the purposes of Article 6 (see Burdov v. Russia,  No.
   59498/00,  з 34, ECHR 2002-III, and Hornsby v. Greece, judgment  of
   19  March 1997, Reports of Judgments and Decisions 1997-II, p. 510,
   з 40).
       37. The Court further observes that a delay in the execution of
   a  judgment may be justified in particular circumstances,  but  the
   delay  may  not  be  such as to impair the  essence  of  the  right
   protected  under  Article  6  з  1. The  applicant  should  not  be
   prevented  from  benefiting from the success of the  litigation  on
   the  ground  of alleged financial difficulties experienced  by  the
   State (see Burdov, cited above, з 35).
       38.  Turning  to  the instant case, the Court  notes  that  the
   judgment of 6 April 1998 remained inoperative between the  date  of
   entry  into force of the Convention in respect of Russia on  5  May
   1998  and the date of its quashing by the supervisory-review  court
   on 2 November 2000, a total of about two and a half years.
       39.  As  regards  the Government's submissions  concerning  the
   applicant's alleged lack of entitlement to State housing  aid,  the
   Court  finds  them all irrelevant to the present case  because  the
   final   judgment  delivered  in  the  case,  which  was   due   for
   enforcement  during the above period, found that the applicant  was
   entitled to such aid. The Court does not see any indication  of  an
   abuse  of the right of application by the applicant, as claimed  by
   the  Government  on account of the alleged forgery  of  certificate
   No.  155 of 8 August 1993. Such a statement is striking because the
   applicant  has  not been proved guilty according to  the  law.  The
   Government's objection is therefore dismissed.
       40. The Court observes that the present case is similar to many
   other  cases which have been determined or are still pending before
   it,   concerning  prolonged  non-enforcement  of  final   judgments
   against  the State by which applicants were awarded various  social
   benefits  guaranteed by the domestic law. However, the  distinctive
   feature  of the present case is that the Slavyansk Town  Court,  as
   well  as  recognising the applicant's entitlement to State  housing
   aid  and  ordering  the Town Council to pay  a  certain  amount  of
   money,  ordered that the payment should be made when the money  was
   available  and when the applicant's turn came on the waiting  list,
   which  never  occurred.  The present case should  be  distinguished
   from  the cases of Fadeyeva and Ledyayeva and Others, in which  the
   operative  provisions of judgments were limited to the  requirement
   of  placing  the  applicants on a waiting  list  (see  Fadeyeva  v.
   Russia  (dec.),  No. 55723/00, 16 October 2003, and  Ledyayeva  and
   Others  v.  Russia  (dec), Nos. 53157/99,  53695/00,  53247/99  and
   56850/00, 16 September 2004). It can be noted that in the  case  of
   Malinovskiy  a  judgment originally ordered a  local  authority  to
   provide the applicant with a flat "in accordance with the order  of
   precedence  on the waiting list". That condition was  removed  from
   the  judgment  by a higher court in supervisory-review  proceedings
   (see  Malinovskiy  v. Russia, No. 41302/02, зз 8  and  12,  7  July
   2005).  In  that case the Court accepted that the judgment,  as  it
   had  been  worded  prior to the decision of the supervisory  review
   court,  "did  not require an immediate grant of a flat because  its
   implementation was conditional on prior allocation of flats to  the
   persons placed on the waiting list before the applicant" (ibid.,  з
   36).  The  prolonged  non-enforcement of  the  judgment  after  its
   amendment  by the supervisory-review court was sufficient  for  the
   Court  to  find a violation of Article 6 з 1 of the Convention  and
   Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 in that case.
       41.  In  the present case the judgments of 6 April 1998 and  19
   April  2000, on the one hand, ordered the Town Council to  pay  the
   applicant a specified amount of State housing aid for the  purchase
   of  housing,  having  found that the applicant  met  the  statutory
   requirements  for  that  entitlement.  On  the  other  hand,   they
   provided  for two conditions for the payment - the availability  of
   State  funds  and the payment of State housing aid  to  individuals
   placed  on  the  waiting list before the applicant.  The  judgments
   remained  in their original form during the whole period  in  which
   they  were  not  enforced. It is true that if the Court's  task  in
   such  situations  were  to  ensure the State's  compliance  with  a
   judgment  against it as it was worded, the Court would be  able  to
   conclude  that  the  non-enforcement  of  the  judgments   in   the
   applicant's  case  did  not pose any problem under  the  Convention
   since  those  two  conditions were never  fulfilled,  the  more  so
   because  the Convention does not, as such, impose on the  State  an
   obligation  to  provide housing. However, the Court considers  that
   this  would be too restrictive an interpretation of Article  6  and
   would not correspond to the object and purpose of the Convention.
       42.  The  Court notes that before the judgment of 6 April  1998
   was delivered, the Slavyansk Town Court had received letter No. 03-
   06  of  11  March 1998, addressed to its President,  in  which  the
   President  of  the  Krasnodar Regional Court recommended  that  the
   operative  provisions  of judgments in cases  brought  against  the
   local  authorities for, inter alia, the payment  of  State  housing
   aid,  specify that payments were to be made as soon as  funds  were
   received  from  the appropriate State budget and in the  order  set
   out  on  the waiting list drawn up by the defendant authority.  The
   conditions  were repeated in the judgments of 6 April 1998  and  19
   April  2000.  It should also be noted that it does not appear  that
   by  providing  for  conditions  for  the  payment,  such  as  those
   specified above, in the operative provisions of the judgments,  the
   Slavyansk Town Court complied with domestic law (see paragraphs  24
   - 28 above).
       43.  The Court reiterates that when a pecuniary claim has  been
   found  justified  by a final judgment, it is not open  to  a  State
   authority  to cite lack of funds as an excuse for not  honouring  a
   judgment  debt (see Burdov, cited above, з 35). Nor  should  it  in
   such  a  case  be  possible  to avoid execution  of  the  claim  by
   providing  without  any  statutory basis in  a  judgment  that  the
   payment  of  an award is conditional on the availability  of  money
   from  the State treasury and the prior payment to those before  the
   claimant on a waiting list. In the present case there was no  legal
   basis  for such conditions according to domestic case-law  (cf.  зз
   24   -  28  above),  and  the  Government  have  not  advanced  any
   justification  for  them. The Court therefore  considers  that  the
   conditions  for  payment  laid  down  in  the  judgments   in   the
   applicant's  case  did not relieve the State of its  obligation  to
   pay  the  sums  awarded by those final judgments within  reasonable
   time.  The Government have not given any plausible explanation  for
   the  failure  to enforce the judgment of 6 April 1998 during  about
   two  and a half years. The Court finds that by failing for  such  a
   substantial  period  of  time to take  the  necessary  measures  to
   comply  with  the  final judgment of 6 April 1998  in  the  present
   case, the Russian authorities deprived the provisions of Article  6
   з  1  of  their useful effect. It notes that the amount awarded  by
   the  judgment of 6 April 1998 was increased by way of index-linking
   in  line  with increased market prices by the judgment of 19  April
   2000,  which equally remained unenforced. However, since the  above
   considerations  concerning  the  judgment  of  6  April  1998   are
   sufficient  to find a violation of Article 6 з 1 in the applicant's
   case and since the judgment of 19 April 2000 was closely linked  to
   the  judgment  of  6  April 1998, the Court does  not  consider  it
   necessary  to  examine  separately  the  delay  in  enforcing   the
   judgment of 19 April 2000.
       44.  The  Court therefore finds that there has been a violation
   of Article 6 з 1 of the Convention.
   
           2. Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention
   
       45.  The  Court  reiterates  that a "claim"  can  constitute  a
   "possession" within the meaning of Article 1 of Protocol No.  1  if
   it  is  sufficiently  established to be  enforceable  (see  Burdov,
   cited   above,  з  40,  and  Stran  Greek  Refineries  and  Stratis
   Andreadis v. Greece, judgment of 9 December 1994, Series A No. 301-
   B,  p.  84, з 59). The judgment of 6 January 1998, which ordered  a
   monetary  award to the applicant, provided him with an  enforceable
   claim  and not simply a general right to receive support  from  the
   State.  The  judgment  had become final as no ordinary  appeal  was
   lodged   against   it,   and  enforcement  proceedings   had   been
   instituted.  It  follows that the applicant's inability  to  obtain
   the  enforcement of this judgment for a substantial period of  time
   constituted  an  interference  with  his  right  to  the   peaceful
   enjoyment  of his possessions, in breach of the first  sentence  of
   the  first  paragraph of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1. As  with  its
   considerations  with  regard  to Article  6,  the  Court  does  not
   consider  it necessary to examine separately the delay in enforcing
   the judgment of 19 April 2000 (see paragraph 43 above).
       46. Having found no justification for such an interference (see
   paragraph  43  above), the Court concludes that there  has  been  a
   violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention.
   
           III. Application of Article 41 of the Convention
   
       47. 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."
   
                               A. Damage
   
       48.  The applicant claimed RUR 273,116 and 140,160 euros  (EUR)
   in  respect  of pecuniary damage, covering, respectively,  expenses
   for  renting  a  flat and the potential purchase  of  housing,  and
   travel  expenses  in  the event of a hearing before  the  Court  in
   Strasbourg,  and  EUR  300,000 in respect of non-pecuniary  damage.
   The Government contested these claims.
       49.  The  Court notes, firstly, that the scope of  the  present
   case  was  limited to the failure to enforce the final judgment  in
   the  applicant's  favour over a certain period  of  time  and  that
   violations  of Article 6 з 1 and Article 1 of Protocol No.  1  were
   found  on  that  account. The compatibility with the Convention  of
   the  quashing of those judgments in supervisory-review  proceedings
   did  not  fall within the scope of the present case (see  paragraph
   30  above). The Court does not discern any causal link between  the
   violations  found  and the extensive pecuniary damage  alleged.  As
   regards  non-pecuniary damage, the Court finds that  the  applicant
   must  have  suffered some non-pecuniary damage as a result  of  the
   violations  found  which cannot be made good by the  finding  of  a
   violation. Nevertheless, the amount claimed is excessive.
       50. Making its assessment on an equitable basis, as required by
   Article  41  of the Convention, the Court awards the applicant  the
   sum  of EUR 5,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage, plus any  tax
   that may be chargeable on this amount.
   
                         B. Costs and expenses
   
       51.   The   applicant  claimed  RUR  10,000   for   his   legal
   representation  before the domestic courts and the  Court  and  RUR
   703.24  in  respect  of  postal expenses. The Government  contested
   those claims.
       52.  The Court reiterates that, in order for costs and expenses
   to  be  awarded under Article 41, it must be established that  that
   they were actually and necessarily incurred in order to prevent  or
   obtain  redress for the matter found to constitute a  violation  of
   the  Convention and were reasonable as to quantum (see  Nilsen  and
   Johnsen  v.  Norway  [GC], No. 23118/93,  з  43,  ECHR  1999-VIII).
   Having  regard to all materials in its possession, the Court awards
   the  applicant  EUR  20 under this head in respect  of  his  postal
   expenses, plus any tax that may be chargeable on this amount.
   
                          C. Default interest
   
       53.  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.  Holds that there has been a violation of Article 6 з  1  of
   the  Convention and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 in respect  of  the
   delay  in  enforcement  of the final judgment  in  the  applicant's
   favour;
       2. Holds
       (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 з 2 of the Convention,  the  following
   amounts,  to  be  converted  into  Russian  roubles  at  the   rate
   applicable at the date of settlement:
       (i) EUR 5,000 (five thousand euros) in respect of non-pecuniary
   damage;
       (ii) EUR 20 (twenty euros) in respect of costs and expenses;
       (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;
       3.  Dismisses the remainder of the applicant's claim  for  just
   satisfaction.
   
       Done  in  English, and notified in writing on  23  March  2006,
   pursuant to Rule 77 зз 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
   
                                                      Christos ROZAKIS
                                                             President
                                                                      
                                                      Santiago QUESADA
                                                      Deputy Registrar
   
   


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