Case of European Court of Human Rights, January 21, 2021 (case BURCICĂ AND OTHERS v. ROMANIA)

Defense:ROMANIA
Resolution Date:January 21, 2021

FOURTH SECTION

CASE OF BURCICĂ AND OTHERS v. ROMANIA

(Application no. 29536/16 and 9 others – see appended list)

JUDGMENT

STRASBOURG

21 January 2021

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

In the case of Burcică and Others v. Romania,

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

Armen Harutyunyan, President,Jolien Schukking,Ana Maria Guerra Martins, judges,and Liv Tigerstedt, Acting Deputy Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 17 December 2020,

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

PROCEDURE

  1. The case originated in applications against Romania 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 Romanian 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 of the inadequate conditions of their detention.

    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 of the inadequate conditions of their detention. They relied on Article 3 of the Convention, which reads as follows:

    Article 3

    “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

  7. The Government argued that all applicants had lost their victim status for periods of detention as indicated in the appended table. They claimed that the applicants had been afforded adequate redress based on Law no. 169/2017 amending and completing Law no. 254/2013 on the execution of sentences for those respective periods of detention.

  8. The Court has already found that the domestic remedy introduced in respect of inadequate conditions of detention in Romania and applicable until December 2019 was an effective one (see Dîrjan and Ştefan v. Romania (dec.), nos. 14224/15 and 50977/15, §§ 23-33, 15 April 2020). This remedy was available to the applicants in the present applications and they were, indeed, afforded adequate redress for certain periods of detention (for details see the appended table).

  9. Therefore, the Court accepts the Government’s objection and finds that these parts of the applications are incompatible ratione personae with the provisions of the Convention and must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 §§ 3 (a) and 4 of the Convention.

  10. Turning to the remaining periods of the applicants’ detention, the Court notes that the applicants were kept in detention in poor conditions. The details of the applicants’ detention are indicated in the appended table. The Court refers to the principles established in its case‑law regarding inadequate conditions of detention (see, for instance, Muršić v. Croatia [GC], no. 7334/13, §§ 96‑101, ECHR 2016). It reiterates in particular that a serious lack of space in a prison cell weighs heavily as a factor to be taken into account for the purpose of establishing whether the detention conditions described are “degrading” under Article 3 of the Convention and may disclose a violation, both alone or taken together with other shortcomings (see Muršić, cited above, §§ 122 ‑141, and Ananyev and Others v. Russia, nos. 42525/07 and 60800/08, §§ 149‑159, 10 January 2012).

  11. In the leading case of Rezmiveș and Others v. Romania, nos. 61467/12 and 3 others, 25 April 2017, the Court has 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...

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