Judgment (Merits and Just Satisfaction) of Court (Grand Chamber), July 17, 2014 (case CASE OF CENTRE FOR LEGAL RESOURCES ON BEHALF OF VALENTIN CÂMPEANU v. ROMANIA)

Resolution Date:July 17, 2014
Issuing Organization:Court (Grand Chamber)

Preliminary objection dismissed (Article 34 - Locus standi) ; Violation of Article 2 - Right to life (Article 2 - Positive obligations ; Article 2-1 - Life) (Substantive aspect) ; Violation of Article 2 - Right to life (Article 2-1 - Effective investigation) (Procedural aspect) ; Violation of Article 13+2 - Right to an effective remedy (Article 13 - Effective remedy) (Article 2 - Right to life) ; ... (see full summary)


  GRAND CHAMBER     CASE OF CENTRE FOR LEGAL RESOURCES ON BEHALF OF VALENTIN CÂMPEANU v. ROMANIA (Application no. 47848/08)         JUDGMENT   STRASBOURG 17 July 2014  This judgment is final but may be subject to editorial revision.In the case of Centre for Legal Resources on behalf of Valentin Câmpeanu v. Romania,The European Court of Human Rights, sitting as a Grand Chamber composed of:              Dean Spielmann, President,
              Guido Raimondi,
              Ineta Ziemele,
              Isabelle Berro-Lefèvre,
              Alvina Gyulumyan,
              David Thór Björgvinsson,
              Ján Šikuta,
              Päivi Hirvelä,
              Luis López Guerra,
              Ledi Bianku,
              Nona Tsotsoria,
              Kristina Pardalos,
              Vincent A. de Gaetano,
              Angelika Nußberger,
              Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque,
              Paul Mahoney,
              Johannes Silvis, judges,
and Michael O’Boyle, Deputy Registrar,Having deliberated in private on 4 September 2013 and on 26 May 2014,Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on the
last-mentioned date:PROCEDURE

1. The case originated in an application (no. 47848/08) against Romania lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by a Romanian non-governmental organisation, the Centre for Legal Resources (“the CLR”), on behalf of Mr Valentin Câmpeanu, on 2 October 2008.

2. Interights, acting until 27 May 2014 as adviser to counsel for the CLR, was represented by Mr C. Cojocariu, a lawyer practising in London. The Romanian Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Ms C. Brumar, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

3. The CLR alleged on behalf of Valentin Câmpeanu that the latter had been the victim of breaches of Articles 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 and 14 of the Convention.

4. On 7 June 2011 the application was communicated to the Government. It was also decided to rule on the admissibility and merits of the application at the same time (Article 29 § 1).

5. Third-party comments were received from Human Rights Watch, the Euroregional Center for Public Initiatives, the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and the Mental Disability Advocacy Center, all of which had been given leave by the President to intervene in the proceedings (Article 36 § 2 of the Convention and Rule 44 § 3 of the Rules of Court). The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights exercised his right to intervene in the proceedings and submitted written comments (Article 36 § 3 of the Convention and Rule 44 § 2).The Government replied to those comments (Rule 44 § 5).

6. A hearing took place in public in the Human Rights Building, Strasbourg, on 4 September 2013 (Rule 59 § 3).There appeared before the Court:(a)  for the Government
Ms              C. Brumar,              Agent,
Mr              G. Caian,              Counsel,
Mr              D. Dumitrache,              Co-Agent;(b)  for the CLR
Ms              G. Iorgulescu, Executive Director, CLR,
Ms              G. Pascu, Programme Manager, CLR,
Mr              C. Cojocariu, Lawyer, Interights,               Counsel;(c)  for the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
Mr              N. Muižnieks, Commissioner for Human Rights,
Ms              I. Gachet, Director, Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights,
Ms              A. Weber, Advisor, Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights. The Court heard addresses by Ms Brumar, Mr Caian, Mr Cojocariu, Ms Iorgulescu and Mr Muižnieks. Ms Brumar, Mr Cojocariu and Ms Iorgulescu subsequently gave their answers to questions put by the Court.



A.  The death of Valentin Câmpeanu

1. Factual background

7. Valentin Câmpeanu, a man of Roma ethnicity, was born on 15 September 1985. His father was unknown, and his mother, Florica Câmpeanu, who died in 2001, abandoned him at birth. Mr Câmpeanu was therefore placed in an orphanage, the Corlate Centre, where he grew up.In 1990 Mr Câmpeanu was diagnosed as HIV-positive. He was later diagnosed with “profound intellectual disability, an IQ of 30 and HIV” and was accordingly classified as belonging to the “severe” disability group. In time, he also developed associated symptoms such as pulmonary tuberculosis, pneumonia and chronic hepatitis.In March 1992 he was transferred to the Craiova Centre for Disabled Children and at a later moment to the Craiova no. 7 Placement Centre (“the Placement Centre”).

2. Assessments 2003-

20048. On 30 September 2003 the Dolj County Child Protection Panel (“the Panel”) ordered that Mr Câmpeanu should no longer be cared for by the State. The decision was justified on the grounds that Mr Câmpeanu had recently turned eighteen and was not enrolled in any form of education at the time.Although the social worker dealing with Mr Câmpeanu had recommended transferring him to the local Neuropsychological Recovery and Rehabilitation Centre, the Panel ordered that a competent social worker should take all measures necessary for Mr Câmpeanu to be transferred to the Poiana Mare Neuropsychiatric Hospital (“PMH”). According to the relevant law, the decision could be challenged before the Craiova District Court.Mr Câmpeanu was not present in person and was not represented at the hearing held by the Panel.

9. On 14 October 2003 Mr Câmpeanu’s health was reassessed by the Dolj County Council Disabled Adults Medical Examination Panel. The assessment resulted solely in a finding of HIV infection, corresponding to the “average” disability group. It was also mentioned that the patient was “socially integrated”.

10. Subsequently, on an unspecified date in October or November 2003, a medical and welfare assessment of Mr Câmpeanu was carried out by a social worker and a doctor from the Placement Centre as a prerequisite for his admission to a medical and social care centre. Under the heading “Legal representative” they indicated “abandoned at birth”, while the space next to “Person to contact in case of emergency” was left blank. The diagnosis indicated was “severe intellectual disability, HIV-positive”, without any reference to the previous diagnosis (see paragraph 9 above). The following information was included in the assessment report: “requires supervision and intermittent assistance with personal care”, and the report concluded that Mr Câmpeanu was able to take care of himself, but at the same time required considerable support.

11. By letter dated 16 October 2003 the PMH informed the Panel that it could not admit Mr Câmpeanu, who had been diagnosed with HIV and mental disability, as the hospital lacked the facilities necessary to treat individuals with such a diagnosis.

12. Following this refusal, between October 2003 and January 2004 the Panel and the County Department for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (“the Child Protection Department”) contacted a series of institutions, asking for assistance in identifying a social care or psychiatric establishment willing to admit Mr Câmpeanu. While stating that the PMH had refused to admit the patient because he had HIV, the Child Protection Department asked for the cooperation of the institutions concerned, mentioning that Mr Câmpeanu’s condition “did not necessitate hospitalisation, but rather continuous supervision in a specialist institution”.

3. Admission to the Cetate Medical and Social Care Centre

13. The Panel eventually identified the Cetate-Dolj Medical and Social Care Centre (“the CMSC”) as an appropriate establishment where Valentin Câmpeanu could be placed. In its request to the CMSC, the Panel mentioned only that Mr Câmpeanu was HIV-positive, corresponding to the average disability group, without referring to his learning difficulties.

14. On 5 February 2004 Mr Câmpeanu was admitted to the CMSC. According to a report issued by the CMSC and sent to the CLR on 5 March 2004 detailing his condition upon admission, Mr Câmpeanu was in an advanced state of “psychiatric and physical degradation”, dressed in a tattered tracksuit, without any underwear or shoes and without being given any antiretroviral (“ARV”) medication or information concerning his medical condition. It was noted that the patient “refused to cooperate”.In her statement to the prosecutor on 22 July 2004 in the context of the domestic proceedings (described in section B below), M.V., the doctor who had treated Mr Câmpeanu at the Placement Centre, justified the failure to provide appropriate medication or information on the basis that she did not know whether, depending on the results of the most recent investigation (see paragraph 9 above), it would be necessary to modify his treatment.A medical examination carried out upon Mr Câmpeanu’s admission to the CMSC concluded that he suffered from “severe intellectual disability, HIV infection and malnutrition”. At that time, he was 168 centimetres tall and weighed 45 kilograms. It was mentioned that “he could not orient himself in time and space and he could not eat or care for his personal hygiene by himself”.

15. During the evening of 6 February 2004 Mr Câmpeanu became agitated. According to the above-mentioned report by the CMSC (see paragraph 14 above), on the morning of 7 February 2004 he “became violent, assaulted other patients, broke a window and tore up a mattress and his clothes and sheets”. He was given phenobarbital and then diazepam to calm him down.

4. Examination at the PMH

16. On 9 February 2004 Mr Câmpeanu was taken to the PMH for examination, diagnosis and treatment, as it was the nearest psychiatric establishment. He was again diagnosed with “severe intellectual disability”. However, his condition was described as “not a psychiatric emergency”, as “he was not agitated”. Dr L.G. diagnosed him with “medium intellectual disability” and prescribed sedative medicines (carbamazepine and diazepam).According to the medical records kept at the PMH, no information regarding...

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