Case of European Court of Human Rights, March 26, 2020 (case BOKOV AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA)

Defense:RUSSIA
Resolution Date:March 26, 2020
SUMMARY

Violation of Article 6 - Right to a fair trial (Article 6 - Criminal proceedings;Article 6-1 - Fair hearing)

 
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THIRD SECTION

CASE OF BOKOV AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA

(Applications nos. 7779/17 and 5 others -

see appended list)

JUDGMENT

STRASBOURG

26 March 2020

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

In the case of Bokov and Others v. Russia,

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

Alena Poláčková, President,Dmitry Dedov,Gilberto Felici, judges,and Liv Tigerstedt, Acting Deputy Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 5 March 2020,

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

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 Russian Government (“the Government”) were given notice of the applications.

    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 that they had been unfairly convicted of drug offences following entrapment by State agents.

    THE LAW

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

  6. The applicants complained that they had been unfairly convicted of drug offences which they had been incited by State agents to commit and that their plea of entrapment had not been properly examined in the domestic proceedings. They relied on Article 6 § 1 of the Convention, which reads as follows:

    Article 6 § 1

    “In the determination of ... any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair ... hearing ... by [a] ... tribunal ...”

  7. The Court reiterates that absence in the national legal system of a clear and foreseeable procedure for authorising test purchases of drugs remains a structural problem which exposes applicants to an arbitrary action by the State agents and prevents the domestic courts from conducting an effective judicial review of their entrapment pleas (see Veselov and Others v. Russia, nos. 23200/10 and 2 others, § 126, 2 October 2012).

  8. The Court has consistently found a violation of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention on account of the deficient existing procedure for authorisation and administration of test purchases of drugs in the respondent State, an issue similar to that in the present case (see Veselov and Others, cited above, §§...

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