Newsletter no.11 (17 March 2016) - Round-up of the ECtHR case-law (February 2016)

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Summary

Van Zandgerben v. Belgium (no. 4258/11) – preventive detention / lawful detention. The applicant complained that his detention had been prolonged in the absence of a new expert report (no violation of Article 5§1).

Drăgan v. Romania (no. 65158/09) – material conditions of detention / overcrowding / health / access to care. The applicant complained of the inhuman conditions of detention in which he had been held (violation of Article 3), and of the lack of adequate medical treatment for the disease he was suffering of (violation Article 3).

Isenc v. France (no. 58828/13) – right to life / suicide. The applicant complained that the authorities failed to comply with their positive obligation to protect his son’s life in detention (violation of Article 2).

Mescereacov v. The Republic of Moldova (no. 61050/11) – material conditions of detention / overcrowding / systemic problem. The applicant complained of his material conditions of detention (violation of Article 3).

Meier v. Switerland (no. 10109/14) – forced labour / work. The applicant complained that despite the fact he was of retirement age he had been required to work in prison (no violation of Article 4).

Kaprylenko v. Ukraine (no. 15509/12) – right to life / health / ill-treatments / violence by guards / effective investigation. The applicant blamed the authorities for her son’s death submitting that he had not been with adequate medical care (violation of Article 2), and for the ill-treatments her son had been subjected to (violation of Article 3). The applicant also complained that for both of these events the responsive investigation had been inadequate.

Paluch v. Poland (no. 57292/12) / Świderski v. Poland (no. 5532/10) – security measures / strip searches / handcuffs and shackles / special regime / video monitoring / visits. The applicants complained about the special high-security regime to which they had been subjected following their classification as dangerous detainees (violation of Article 3).

Yevdokimov and Others v. Russia (no. 27236/05) – right to a fair trial. The applicant complained that they had been denied an opportunity to appear in person before the court in the civil proceedings to which they were parties (violation of Article 6§1).

Blühdorn v. Germany (no. 62054/12) – preventive detention / lawful detention. The applicant complained that his continued confinement in a psychiatric hospital had been ordered in the absence of a causal connection of his first conviction (no violation of Article 5§1).

Doherty v. The United Kingdom (no. 76874/11) – life imprisonment / recall to prison / right to a tribunal / right to a speedy hearing. The applicant complained that he did not have the lawfulness of his detention reviewed speedily by a tribunal (violation of Article 5§4).

[GC] Mozer v. The Republic of Moldova and Russia (no. 11138/10)  – health / access to care / material conditions of detention/ overcrowding / visits / religion / effective remedy. The applicant complained that he had not been given the requisite medical assistance and he had been held in inhuman conditions of detention (violation of Article 3); he complained further that he had bee denied visits by his parents (violation of Article 8) and by a priest (violation of Article 9); he complained also that he had no effective remedy in respect of his complaints (violation of Article 13).

Klinkenbuß v. Germany (no. 53157/11) – preventive detention / lawful detention. The applicant complained that his continued detention for more than 28 years was in violation of Article 5§1 (no violation of Article 5§1).

Adiele and Others v. Greece (no. 29769/13) / Papadakis and Others v. Greece (no. 34083/13) – material conditions of detention / overcrowding / effective remedy / preventive remedy. The applicant complained of their conditions of detention in Diavata prison and about the lack of effective remedy in this regard (violation of Article, violation of Article 13).

2 February 2016

Van Zandgerben v. Belgium (no. 4258/11)

In 1992 the Malines court ordered the psychiatric confinement of the applicant, who had been arrested following a murder he had committed. The domestic court’s declared, on the basis of a psychiatric expert report, that the applicant could not be held responsible for this crime. In 2010, the applicant application for release was rejected. The applicant complained that his continued detention had been ordered in the absence of a new expert report in breach of Article 5§1.

The main question the Court had to answer was whether the domestic courts had enough information to conclude that the detention’s applicant had to be prolonged on the ground of his state of health (§42). The Court observed that the 2010 decision was based on psychological and psychiatric reports dated 2010, written following examinations conducted between 2009 and 2010 (§44). The Court further declared it is not its role to assess the overall scientific quality of these examinations; and that the contracting States enjoy a wide margin of appreciation in the matter (§47 – see also Graz v. Germany).

Accordingly, the Court declared there had been no violation of Article 5§1. In their common Dissenting Opinion, Judges Karakaş, Vučinić and Kūris voiced their concern that no independent expertise had been conducted since 1999, since from that date psychiatric expertise had been conducted by the prison medical staff (§7 – see also Ruiz Rivera v. Switzerland, §§60-64).

Drăgan v. Romania (no. 65158/09)

The applicant first complained of the inhuman conditions in which he had been detained for a period of one year and three months. The Court observed that the statistics provided by the Government show that most of the time the applicant’s personal space was significantly less that that required by its case-law (§74). The Court further observed that the domestic courts confirmed the applicant’s allegation concerning the poor quality of drinking water (§75). The Court went on to note that the applicant had not been provided with enough toiletries to maintain adequate personal hygiene (§76). Lastly, the Court noted that the applicants allegation concerning his conditions of detention “correspond to the specific findings of the Romanian Helsinki Committee […] as well as to the general findings of the CPT in respect of Romanian prisons” (§77). Accordingly, the Court conclude that “cumulatively, all the above-mentioned conditions of the applicant’s detention caused him harm that exceeded the unavoidable level of suffering inherent in detention” and therefore that there had been a violation of Article 3 (§79).

The applicant also complained that the prison authorities failed to provide him with adequate medical treatment for his periodontitis. The Court first noted that “no comprehensive record was kept of the progression of the disease” and that “no therapeutic strategy was set up” (§87). The Court also noted that the applicant was prescribed a specific diet – a recommendation that “was entirely overlooked by the prison authorities who only gave the applicant this type of diet for limited periods of time” (§93). The Court insisted on the fact that the applicant could not be reproached for not having lodged “more specific requests as suggested by the Government” (§92): first because the applicant did complain of toothache on numerous occasions before the prison authorities and the post-sentencing judge; second because the Government had not proven the effectiveness of the request of co-payment of the cost of the prosthetic treatment (§90); and third because “having in mind the applicant’s psychiatric pathology” (§91) the Court considered that “the applicant should have never been placed in prison but rather committed to a psychiatric hospital” (§91) and  that his vulnerability should have been  taken  into account by the Government.

Accordingly, and given the long period concerned and the consequences on the applicant’s health, the Court concluded that there had been a violation of Article 3.

 

4 February 2016

Isenc v. France (no. 58828/13)

The case concerned the applicant’s son’s suicide 12 days after he was admitted to prison. The applicant complained that the authorities failed to comply with their positive obligation to protect his son’s life.

The Court observed that the suicide occurred during the initial period of detention “known to be a delicate one”, after the applicant’s son left the “new arrivals” wing. The Court further observed that both the investigating judge and a police officer had warned the prison administration of suicidal risks; and that the applicant’s son “spontaneously described himself as having suicidal inclinations”  (§40).

Against this backdrop, the Court considered that the prison administration did not take all measures necessary to protect the applicant’s son’s life.  First, the Court observed – in accordance with domestic law – that “care of an inmate in distress could not be reduced to monitoring measures alone” (§44). Second, the Court noted that the Government failed to furnish any document corroborating that the applicant’s son had had a medical consultation – whether in the “new arrivals wing” or after he was placed in a cell with two other inmates (§§43-44). The Court concluded that “although provided for in the domestic law, the arrangements for collaboration between the prison and medical services in supervising inmates and preventing suicides had not worked” (§46), and declared accordingly that there had been a violation of Article 2.

 

9 February 2016

Mescereacov v. The Republic of Moldova (no. 61050/11)

The applicant complained that he had been detained in inhuman and degrading conditions. In particular he submitted that “due to the overcrowding each inmate only had between 1.5 and 2 sq. m. of available space in the cells” (§8), that there was no ventilation systemor natural light, that inmates could shower only once a week and take a walk only for one hour a day, that the toilets were not enough separated from the rest of the cell and were located at a distance of 1.5 m. from the table were the inmates served their meals.

The Court recalled that it had examined on numerous occasions the issue of domestic remedies in respect of poor conditions of detention in Moldova and had concluded on each occasion that the preventive remedies suggested by the Government were ineffective (§15, see i.a. Sarban v. Moldova, §§57-62), and therefore rejected the Government objection for non-exhaustion of domestic remedies.

The Court then noted that “poor conditions of detention in this particular detention facility were found to prevail in the years 2008, 2009 and 2010” (§20) and that “the Government adduced no evidence […] that considerable improvements […] had taken place during recent years” (§20). Therefore the Court considered it saw no reason to depart from its previous judgments (see i.a.Hadji v. Moldova, §20),  declared there had been a violation of Article 3, and urged “the authorities to take appropriate measures in order to put an end to what seems to be a systemic problem” (§21).

 

Meier v. Switerland (no. 10109/14)

The applicant complained that despite the fact he was of retirement age he had been required to work while in detention. He complained that this requirement can be considered to be forced labour since he would have been subjected to a stricter regime of detention in retaliation for his refusal to comply with it.

First-of-all the Court observed that not only its case-law related to work in prison is scarce (§66) but it’s the very first time that it had to examine the issue of requirement to work in detention beyond the retirement age (§68). Moreover, the Court noted that the rule no. 105.2 of the Europe prison rules could not be interpreted has a prohibition for contracting States to impose a obligation to work on prisoners of retirement age to work (§78). Lastly, the Court observed that it emerged from a comparative survey covering 28 countries that there was no consensus among the member States on the issue – and concluded therefore that the Swiss authorities should enjoy a considerable margin of appreciation in the matter (§77).

Second, the Court accepted the Government’s argument that the duty of prisoners to continue working even beyond retirement age was part of the drive to reduce the harmful effects of incarceration (§73). The Court further noted that both the nature and the extent of the obligation to work were tailored to the applicant’s personal situation, abilities and state of health: the applicant had to work about three hours a day and he was not imposed to perform physical tasks (§§74-77).

As a result of the foregoing, the Court concluded that the obligation the applicant was subjected could be considered to be a “work required to be done in the ordinary course of detention” in the meaning of Article 4§3(a), and that there had been no violation of Article 4.

 

 11 February 2016

Kaprylenko v. Ukraine (no. 15509/12)

Relying in particular on Article 2, the applicant blamed the authorities for her son’s death, submitting that he had not been provided with adequate medical care in detention. Relying on Article 3 the applicant also alleged that her son had been ill-treated in detention. For both of these events, she also alleged that the responsive investigation had been inadequate.

Complaint under Article 2

Given the delays and serious deficiencies in the diagnosisand treatment of the applicant’s son’s HIV, tuberculosis and concomitant illnesses, the Court did not consider that the authorities adequately discharged their positive obligation to protect the applicant’s son’s health and life (§92, see also i. a. Yakovenko v. Ukraine, §§97-102). The Court therefore concluded that there had been a violation of the substantive limb of Article 2 of the Convention (§93). The Court also concluded that the authorities failed to carry out a thorough and effective investigation into the allegations that the applicant’s son’s death was caused by inadequate medical treatment following almost two years in detention (§99) and found that there had also been a violation of Article 2 of the Convention under its procedural limb (§100).

Complaint under Article 3

The Court said that it is an established fact in the present case that the applicant’s son sustained serious injuries in detention. The absence of any explanation by the Government for those injuries constituted sufficient grounds for the Court to conclude that they were the result of ill‑treatment while in detention (§122). Accordingly, there had been a violation of Article 3 of the Convention under its substantive limb (§123). The Court also concluded that the domestic authorities failed to ensure an effective and independent investigation into the circumstances in which the applicant’s son sustained serious injuries while in detention. The Court thus found that there had also been a violation of Article 3 of the Convention under its procedural limb (§130).

 

16 February 2016

Paluch v. Poland (no. 57292/12) / Świderski v. Poland (no. 5532/10)

The applicants complained under Article 3 about the special high-security regime to which they had been subjected following their classification as dangerous detainees – on different legal basis. Namely they complained about their solitary confinement, their isolation from their families, the outside world and other detainees, their shackling whenever they were taken out of their cells, the routine daily strip searches and constant monitoring of their cells and sanitary facilities via closed-circuit television (see Piechowicz v. Poland, §§166 et s.).

The authorities justified their decision to subject M. Paluch to this regime arguing that their activities in prison had put the prison’s security at risk, on account “of his alleged participation in a planned collective protest in prison” (§41 – many prisoners, including the applicant, refused to eat their breakfast). The Court declared itself “not convinced” that for the sake of ensuring prison security the applicant should have been “indiscriminately subjected to the full range of measures that were available” to the Government under the dangerous detainee regime (§41) for a period of nine months. The Court further observed that “in extending the regime in respect of the applicant the commission gave no new reasons for its decisions, referring the reasons originally given in previous decisions” (§46). Therefore, the Court concluded that “the authorities failed to sufficiently justify the extension of the regime and that the procedure for review of the […] dangerous detainee status was a pure formality” (§46). As a result the Court found that there had been a violation of Article 3.

As regards M. Świderski, he was classified as a ‘dangerous detainee’ because of the gravity of the crime he had been convicted for. The Court acknowledged that “it was not […] unreasonable on the part of the authorities to consider that, for the sake on ensuring prison security” to subject the applicant to tighter security controls (§57). However, the Court observed that these measures were routinely usedwithout any assessment of their necessity, and that the regime lasted more than four years. What’s more the circumstance relied on by the authorities could “justify the imposition of the regime […] for a certain time” and could not “suffice as the sole justification for extending the regime of such a long period” of four years (§62). The Court therefore added that “the procedure for review of the applicant’s dangerous detainee status became a pure formality” (§62). As a result of the foregoing, the Court found there had been a violation of Article 3.

 

Yevdokimov and Others v. Russia (no. 27236/05)

The applicants complained in particular under Article 6§1 that they had been denied an opportunity to appear in person before the court in the civil proceedings to which they were parties on the ground that there was no domestic legal provisions for bringing detainees to courts. For seven applicants, these proceedings concerned the inhuman conditions of their detention for which they had sought compensation.

The Court recalled that no provision of domestic law should be interpreted and applied in a manner incompatible with the State’s obligation under the Convention. Accordingly, the mere fact that there was no domestic legal provision for bringing detainees to court could not be a justification for failing to give full force to the Convention standards. In using that justification, the domestic courts failed to properly assess the nature of the civil claims brought by the applicant, with a view to deciding whether their presence was necessary. The Court added that “the domestic courts must assess whether the nature of the dispute is such as to require the incarcerated litigant’s appearance before the bench” (§35); and that “if the domestic courts contemplate dispensing with the litigant’s presence, they must provide specific reasons why they believe that [his] absence from the hearing will not be prejudicial for the fairness of the proceedings as a whole” (§36). In the instant cases, the domestic courts did not go beyond a reference to deficiencies in the legal framework. The Court further declared that domestic courts should also consider “appropriate procedural arrangements enabling the applicants to be heard” in particular when the claim “involves his or her personal experience” (§41) – i.e. the use of videolinks or videoconferencing equipment (§43), the organization of a court session outside the courtroom (§44), the taking of evidence on commission (§45).

The Court found that domestic courts failed to properly assess the nature of the civil claims brought by the applicants, and to consider appropriate procedural arrangements enabling the applicant to be heard. The Court concluded that in doing so they had deprived the applicants of the opportunity to present their cases effectively and failed to meet their obligation to ensure respect of the principle of a fair trial – in breach of Article 6§1.

 

18 February 2016

Blühdorn v. Germany (no. 62054/12)

In 2002 the Darmstadt Regional Court sentenced the applicant to four years and six months’ imprisonment and ordered his detention in a psychiatric hospital on the basis of the applicant’s previous convictions and of the conclusions of a psychiatric expert opinion stating that “the applicant had acted with diminished criminal responsibility owing to a disturbance of his sexual preference in the form of sadism” (§53). The applicant’s detention had been reviewed at regular intervals and had been extended annually following expert opinions concluding that the applicant was likely to re-offend. The applicant complained that his continued confinement in a psychiatric hospital had been in breach of Article 5§1, mainly because further expertise concluded that it remained doubtful whether a diagnosis of sexual sadism could be made.

As regards the ground for deprivation of liberty, the Court observed that “there remained sufficient causal connection between the applicant’s conviction and his continuing detention in a psychiatric hospital” (§57) since the objective behind the decision of the enforcement courts “was to continue to protect the public as long as [the applicant] remained a danger to them” (§59) and since the domestic courts, whatever their diagnosis was, “considered it likely that the applicant would re-offend” (§55, see also §57 for a comparison with Radu v. Germany). Moreover the Court noted that the fact that the diagnosis lacked certainty was to be attributed to the “applicant’s refusal to allow himself to be examined by an expert” (§61, see also Constancia v. the Netherlands, §30).

As regards the determination of the lawfulness of the applicant’s detention, the Court observed that eventhough the diagnosis of sexual sadism had been found to be unlikely, no expertise had excluded the possibility that the applicant suffered from it. The Court further noted that a release can be ordered only if it is “established with certainty that the circumstances justifying the measure no longer” persist (§69). As a result the Court considered that the applicant had not been arbitrarily deprived of his liberty.

In view of the foregoing, the Court concluded that there had been no violation of Article 5§1.

 

Doherty v. The United Kingdom (no. 76874/11)

In 1982 the applicant was sentenced to life imprisonment. In 1996 he was released on licence, but the former was revoked a year later following his arrest for alleged other offences. The complained that from the time of his recall in 1997 until his release on licence in 2008 he did not have the lawfulness of his detention reviewed “speedily” by a tribunal – in the meaning of Article 5§4.

As regards the period from 1997 to 2001, the Court considered the complaint inadmissible (§78), and declared that the sole issue to decide is whether the reviews of the applicant’s detention between 2001 and 2008 complied with the requirements of speediness of Article 5§4 (§83). Two panels of the Life Sentence Review Commissioners (LSRC) were appointed.

As regards the first review, the Court observed that the LSRC (Life Sentence Review Commissioners) panel only reached a decision on the applicant detention in 2005, and that the final determination of the legality of the applicant’s recall and detention was only made by the House of Lords in 2008 – so “some six years and seven month after the case was first referred to the LSRC and more than eleven years after the applicant’s recall to prison” (§103). The Court further observed that “given that at the date of the referral to the LSRC the applicant had already been detained for four and a half years without any Convention-compliant review of his detention, there were a number of periods of delay in the course of the first review which give rise to particular concern” (§105) – i. a. the seven-month delay between the referral to the LSRC and the first hearing (see §105). The Court therefore concluded that “it cannot possibly said that the first review by the LSRC was conducted speedily” (§105).

As regards the second review that started around summer 2007 and ended with the order for the applicant's release on 7 October 2008, eventhough the Court accepted that any delay was not solely attributable to the LSRC, it observed that the hearings were listed lately (see §107 for more details). Accordingly the Court did not consider that this second review was conducted speedily within the meaning of Article 5§4 of the Convention.

In view of the foregoing, the Court concluded there had been a violation of Article 5§4.

 

23 February 2016

[GC] Mozer v. The Republic of Moldova and Russia (no. 11138/10)

The applicant was sentenced and detained in Tiraspol, capital of the self-proclaimed “Moldavian Republic of Transdnestria”. The Court recalled its conclusion reached in several previous cases that complaints in respect of the Transdnestrian region fell within both States’ jurisdiction (see i.a.Ilaşcu v. The Republic of Moldova and Russia). The Court went on to consider that Russia has effective control over the unrecognized entity (§147) “by virtue of it continued economic and political support for [Transdniestria] which could not otherwise survive”, and even if it does not exercise “detailed control over the policies and actions of the local administration” (§157).  The Court therefore declared that “Russia’s responsibility under the Convention is engaged as regards the violation of the applicant’s rights” (§157). The Russian Federation rejected this interpretation (see Judge Dedov’s Dissenting Opinion). What’s more, since Moldova claims sovereignty on the disputed territory, it is subjected to a positive obligation under Article 1 “to use all the legal and diplomatic means available to it” to secure the applicant’s rights (§100).

The applicant complained in particular under Article 3 that he had not been given the requisite medical assistance and had been held in inhuman conditions of detention, under Article 8 that he had been denied visits by his parents during the six first months of his detention, under Article 9 that he had been denied a visit by a priest, and under Article 13 that he had no effective remedy in respect of his complaints. As regards the complaints under Article 3, 8 and 9, the Court found that “the Moldovan Government made a number of appeals to various intergovernmental organizations and foreign countries, notably Russia, asking them to assist in securing the applicant’s rights” (§153). As regards the complaint under Article 13, the Court observed that “Moldova has created a set of judicial, investigation and civil service authorities which work in parallel with those created by the Transdnestrian authorities” and that “have the function of enabling cases to be brought in the proper manner before the Moldovan authorities” (§215).  Therefore, the Court concluded that the Moldovan Government had fulfilled its positive obligation.

Complaint under Article 3

As regards theapplicant’s health, the Court observed that “although the doctors considered the applicant’s condition to be deteriorating and the specialists and equipment required to treat him to be lacking, the [authorities of Transdnestria] not only refused to transfer him to a civilian hospital for treatment but also exposed him to further suffering and a more serious risk to his health by transferring him to an ordinary prison” (§179). Accordingly the Court found that the medical assistance received by the applicant was not adequately secured. As regards theapplicant’s detention conditions, the Court noted that the description he made of his life conditions in his cell (namely that the “cell as very hot, humid and purely ventilated and lacked access to natural light”, that it was “overcrowded and full of cigarette smoke as well as parasitic insects”, see §180) were largely confirmed by the reports of the CPT and the UN Special Rapporteur. As a result the Court found that there had been a violation of Article 3 of the Convention by the Russian Federation.

Complaint under Article 8

As regards visits the applicant was denied during his six first months of detention, the Court first-of-all considered that given the patchy and unclear documents at her disposal concerning Transdestrian law, it was “not in a position to assess whether the interference complained of was in accordance with the law” (§193). Then it observed that the respondent Governments failed to demonstrate that the interference purused a legitimate aim or was proportionate to that aim. As regards the visits after this six-month period, the Court found “inacceptable in principle that a prison guard was present during family visits”, without explanation from the respondent States. As a result, “regardless of whether there was a legal basis for the interference with the applicant’s rights, the restriction of prison visits from his parents” amounted to a violation of Article 8 by the Russian Federation.

Complaint under Article 9

Similarly, the Court considered that the authorities’ refusal to allow the applicant to meet a priest constitutes interference with the right to freedom of religion. There too it was notclear whether there was a legal basis for this refusal, and no reasons had been advanced to justify the refusal. Therefore the Court concluded that there had been a violation of Article 9 by the Russian Federation.

Complaint under Article 13

The applicant submitted that he had no means of asserting his rights in the face of the actions of Transdnestrian authorities. As regards the responsibility of the Moldovan government, the Court declared that “the remedies [it] must offer the applicant consist in enabling him to inform the Moldovan authorities of the details of his situation and to be kept informed of the various legal and diplomatic actions taken” (§214). The Court observed that Moldova had fulfilled its positive obligations. Therefore the Court concluded that there had been no violation of this Article by Moldova. Conversely, taking into account the fact that the Russian Federation continues to exercise effective control over Transdnestria, and in the absence of any submission by the Russian Government, the Court concluded that there had been a violation of Article 13 by the Russian Federation.

 

25 February 2016

Klinkenbuß v. Germany (no. 53157/11)

In 1983 the Münster Regional Court sentenced the applicant to five years’ imprisonment and ordered his detention in a psychiatric hospital without any maximum duration, on the basis of an expert report stating that he had reduced mental capacities – and therefore acted with diminished criminal responsibility. Since then, the applicant had been detained in a psychiatric hospital. The applicant complained that his continued detention for more than 28 years was in violation of Article 5§1.

The Court observed that the sentencing court “ordered [in 1983] the applicant’s placement in a psychiatric hospital because it had to be expected that the applicant, as a result of his mental retardation and […] his sadistic tendencies […] would commit further unlawful acts” (§50), and that this decision had been confirmed at regular intervals by domestic courts dealing with the execution of sentences, in line with the objectives of the judgment of the sentencing court.

These courts based their assessment “on a sufficiently recent report by an external psychiatric expert” (§56). Therefore, their decision “not to release the applicant was […] based on an assessment which does not disclose any unreasonableness in this respect” (§56).

The Court therefore concluded that “there was still a sufficient causal connection between the applicant’s criminal conviction in 1983” and his current detention (§60), and declared that there had been no violation of Article 5§1.

Adiele and Others v. Greece (no. 29769/13) / Papadakis and Others v. Greece (no. 34083/13)

The two cases concerned the conditions of detention in Diavata Prison. Relying of Articles 3 and 13, the applicants complained about their conditions of detention and alleged that they had no effective remedy in that regard.

Complaint under Article 3

In both cases the Court observed that that the applicant’s complaints concerning a dramatic lack of personal space corresponded to the findings of the CPT and of the Ombudsman. The Court declared that the mere fact that the applicant had a personal space of less than 3 sq. m. was enough to consider that there had been a violation of Article 3.

Complaint under Article 13

The Court concluded in many other cases that there is no effective preventive remedy in the Greek legal system that would enable a prisoner to complain about general conditions of detention (see i.a.Papakonstantinou v. Greece, §51). In the present case, it saw no reason to depart from this conclusion. Accordingly the Court declared that there had been a violation of Article 13.

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