Case of European Court of Human Rights, October 22, 2020 (case KARAPAS AND OTHERS v. UKRAINE)

Resolution Date:October 22, 2020

Violation of Article 5 - Right to liberty and security (Article 5-1 - Lawful arrest or detention);Violation of Article 5 - Right to liberty and security (Article 5-5 - Compensation)




(Applications nos. 54575/12 and 4 others)



22 October 2020

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

In the case of Karapas and others v. Ukraine,

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

Gabriele Kucsko-Stadlmayer, President,Latif Hüseynov,Lado Chanturia, judges,and Anne-Marie Dougin, Acting Deputy Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 29 September 2020,

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


The case concerns the applicants’ allegations that their continued detention had been in breach of Article 5 § 1 of the Convention after the relevant grounds for the detention had ceased to exist. It also concerns the first applicant’s complaint under Article 5 § 5 of the Convention that he did not have an enforceable right to compensation for his unjustified detention.


  1. The applicants’ details are set out in the appended table.

  2. The Government were represented by their Agent, Mr I. Lishchyna, of the Ministry of Justice.

  3. The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.

  4. The applicants were serving prison sentences for various crimes.

  5. On the dates indicated in the appended table, the domestic courts allowed petitions by the prison authorities seeking the early release of the applicants. No appeal having been lodged against those decisions, they became final on the dates indicated in the appended table. The applicants were released from prison on various dates ranging from three to six days after the respective court decisions ordering their early release had become final.

  6. According to the material in the case file, the decisions concerning the early release of the second, third, fourth and fifth applicants were handed down by Judge K. In their submissions concerning the applications of the above-mentioned applicants, the Government provided documents stating that Judge K. had been on sick leave from 29 June to 7 July 2017 and could not notify the parties to the proceedings that the relevant court decisions had become final during that time.


  7. Article 153 § 5 of the Code of Execution of Sentences provides that the early release of a prisoner is to be carried out by the prison authorities on the day of receipt of the relevant documents. If the relevant documents arrive outside business hours, the release is to be carried out the following morning.


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

  9. The applicants complained that their continued detention after the relevant grounds had ceased to exist had been unlawful. The first applicant complained furthermore that he had not had an enforceable right to compensation for his unlawful detention. The applicants relied on Article 5 of the Convention, the relevant parts of which read as follows:

    “1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure...

To continue reading