In the case of Giulia Manzoni v. Italy (1),

      The European Court of Human Rights, sitting, in accordance with
Article 43 (art. 43) of the Convention for the Protection of
Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("the Convention") and the
relevant provisions of Rules of Court B (2), as a Chamber composed of
the following judges:

      Mr R. Ryssdal, President,
      Mr C. Russo,
      Mr A. Spielmann,
      Mr N. Valticos,
      Mr R. Pekkanen,
      Mr L. Wildhaber,
      Mr B. Repik,
      Mr P. Kuris,
      Mr U. Lohmus,

and also of Mr H. Petzold, Registrar, and Mr P.J. Mahoney, Deputy

      Having deliberated in private on 22 February and 2 June 1997,

      Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on the
last-mentioned date:
Notes by the Registrar

1.  The case is numbered 70/1996/689/881.  The first number is the
case's position on the list of cases referred to the Court in the
relevant year (second number).  The last two numbers indicate the
case's position on the list of cases referred to the Court since its
creation and on the list of the corresponding originating applications
to the Commission.

2.  Rules of Court B, which came into force on 2 October 1994, apply
to all cases concerning the States bound by Protocol No. 9 (P9).


1.    The case was referred to the Court by the European Commission of
Human Rights ("the Commission") on 28 May 1996 and by the applicant,
an Italian national, Mrs Giulia Manzoni, on 7 June 1996, within the
three-month period laid down by Article 32 para. 1 and Article 47 of
the Convention (art. 32-1, art. 47).  It originated in an application
(no. 19218/91) against the Italian Republic lodged with the Commission
under Article 25 (art. 25) by Mrs Manzoni on 2 December 1991.

      The Commission's request referred to Articles 44 and 48
(art. 44, art. 48) and to the declaration whereby Italy recognised the
compulsory jurisdiction of the Court (Article 46) (art. 46), and the
applicant's application referred to Article 48 (art. 48) as amended by
Protocol No. 9 (P9), which has been ratified by Italy.  The object of
the request and of the application was to obtain a decision as to
whether the facts of the case disclosed a breach by the respondent
State of its obligations under Article 5 para. 1 (c) of the Convention
(art. 5-1-c).

2.    On 7 June 1996 the applicant designated the lawyer who would
represent her (Rule 31 of Rules of Court B).  He was given leave by the
President to use the Italian language (Rule 28 para. 3).

3.    The Chamber to be constituted included ex officio Mr C. Russo,
the elected judge of Italian nationality (Article 43 of the Convention)
(art. 43), and Mr R. Ryssdal, the President of the Court (Rule 21
para. 4 (b)).  On 10 June 1996, in the presence of the Registrar, the
President drew by lot the names of the other seven members, namely
Mr F. Gölcüklü, Mr N. Valticos, Mr R. Pekkanen, Mr J.M. Morenilla,
Mr L. Wildhaber, Mr B. Repik and Mr U. Lohmus (Article 43 in fine of
the Convention and Rule 21 para. 5) (art. 43).  Subsequently
Mr A. Spielmann and Mr P. Kuris, substitute judges, replaced
Mr Morenilla and Mr Gölcüklü, who were unable to take part in the
further consideration of the case (Rules 22 para. 1 and 24 para. 1).

4.    As President of the Chamber (Rule 21 para. 6), Mr Ryssdal, acting
through the Registrar, consulted the Agent of the Italian Government
("the Government"), the applicant's lawyer and the Delegate of the
Commission on the organisation of the proceedings (Rules 39 para. 1
and 40).  Pursuant to the order made in consequence, the Registrar
received the applicant's memorial on 22 November 1996 and the
Government's memorial on 18 December 1996.

5.    On 13 December 1996 the Commission had produced the file on the
proceedings before it, as requested by the Registrar on the President's

6.    In accordance with the President's decision, the hearing took
place in public in the Human Rights Building, Strasbourg, on
19 February 1997.  The Court had held a preparatory meeting beforehand.

      There appeared before the Court:

(a) for the Government

    Mr  G. Raimondi, magistrato, on secondment
        to the Diplomatic Legal Service,
        Ministry of Foreign Affairs,                        co-Agent,
    Mrs M.T. Saragnano, magistrato, on secondment
        to the Ministry of Justice,                          Counsel;

(b) for the Commission

    Mr  A. Weitzel,                                         Delegate;

(c) for the applicant

    Mr  P. Iorio, of the Rome Bar,                           Counsel.

      The Court heard addresses by them.


I.    The particular circumstances of the case

7.    On 25 September 1991 at about 11 p.m. Mrs Manzoni was arrested
in Rome for insulting, threatening and assaulting
two municipal police officers in the execution of their duty and taken
into police custody.

8.    The Rome public prosecutor's office, which was immediately
informed by telephone, confirmed the police custody and the applicant
was taken to Rebibbia Prison.

9.    On 26 September 1991 the police forwarded the report on the
arrest to the public prosecutor's office, which that same day arranged
a hearing for the following morning in the Rome District Court, seeking
to have the arrest confirmed (convalida dell'arresto).

10.   On 27 September 1991 at 11 a.m. the public prosecutor's office
also applied for Mrs Manzoni to be detained at her home pending trial
(Article 284 of the New Code of Criminal Procedure).

11.   After satisfying itself that the relevant statutory formalities
in respect of arrest had been complied with (including bringing the
applicant before the public prosecutor's office within
twenty-four hours of her arrest, drawing up and sending on the
police report within the same period and requesting the
public prosecutor's office to confirm the arrest within
forty-eight hours), the court confirmed the arrest.  However, it did
not consider it necessary to detain Mrs Manzoni pending trial and
ordered that she be released immediately.

12.   At the end of proceedings known as "patteggiamento" (a shortened
form of procedure whereby, at the request of the public prosecutor's
office or, as in the present case, of the defendant, the court imposes
a sentence agreed on by the public prosecutor's office and the
defendant) the court sentenced the applicant to three months and
eleven days' imprisonment, suspended.

13.   The hearing ended at 11.45 a.m.  At about 1.30 p.m. the police
escorted Mrs Manzoni to Rebibbia Prison.  At 3.10 p.m. the record of
the hearing was served on her by the prison management.  That afternoon
the prison authorities completed the statutory formalities (accounts,
return of effects, notification of release to the police, entry in the
prison register).  At 6.30 p.m. the applicant gave the
prison management her address for notification purposes, and at
6.45 p.m. she left the prison.

II.   Relevant domestic law

14.   The New Code of Criminal Procedure has several provisions that
are applicable in the instant case, as set out below:

                              Article 386

      "1.  Police officers who have effected an arrest ... shall
      immediately inform the public prosecutor's office of this...

      3.   ... the police officers shall place the person arrested ...
      at the disposal of the public prosecutor's office within
      twenty-four hours of the arrest ...  They shall send the
      police report to the public prosecutor's office within
      twenty-four hours unless the latter grants an extension of time."

                              Article 390

      "1.  Within forty-eight hours of the arrest ..., if the
      public prosecutor's office does not consider it necessary to
      release the defendant immediately, it shall ask the judge
      responsible for the preliminary inquiry to confirm the arrest...

      2.   The judge shall hold the hearing to confirm the arrest as
      soon as possible, and in any event not more than
      forty-eight hours after the request for confirmation..."

                          Article 391 para. 4

      "If the arrest is lawful and the time-limits laid down in
      Articles 386 para. 3 and 390 para. 1 have been observed, the
      judge shall confirm the arrest in an order.  An appeal on points
      of law shall lie against that decision..."

      Article 121 of the implementing provisions of the
New Code of Criminal Procedure provides:

      "... the public prosecutor's office shall order in a reasoned
      decision the immediate release of the person arrested ... where
      it does not envisage applying [to the judge] for a preventive


15.   Mrs Manzoni applied to the Commission on 2 December 1991.
Relying on Article 5 para. 1 (a) of the Convention (art. 5-1-a), she
complained of the unlawfulness of her detention following her arrest
and after a suspended sentence had been imposed on her.

16.   The Commission (First Chamber) declared the application
(no. 19218/91) admissible on 25 June 1995 after considering it under
sub-paragraph (c) of Article 5 para. 1 (art. 5-1-c).  In its report of
11 April 1996 (Article 31) (art. 31), it expressed the opinion that
there had been no violation of that provision (art. 5-1-c) as regards
either the first complaint (unanimously) or the second (eleven votes
to four).  The full text of the Commission's opinion and of the
dissenting opinion contained in the report is reproduced as an annex
to this judgment (1).
Note by the Registrar

1.  For practical reasons this annex will appear only with the printed
version of the judgment (in Reports of Judgments and
Decisions 1997-IV), but a copy of the Commission's report is obtainable
from the registry.


17.   The Government requested the Court to hold that there had been
no violation of Article 5 of the Convention (art. 5).


(art. 5-1-c)

18.   Mrs Manzoni alleged that she had been detained unlawfully
following her arrest and the Rome District Court's judgment of
27 September 1991.  She relied on Article 5 para. 1 (c) of the
Convention (art. 5-1-c), which provides:

      "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 prescribed by law:


      (c) the lawful arrest or detention of a person effected for the
      purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority on
      reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence ..."

19.   The Government and the Commission did not accept this contention.

    A.     Deprivation of liberty following the arrest

20.   The applicant maintained that as the public prosecutor's office
had not envisaged applying to the judge for a preventive measure (her
detention in prison) at the hearing to confirm the arrest, it should
have ordered her release as soon as the police informed it of her
arrest.  She relied on Article 121 of the implementing provisions of
the New Code of Criminal Procedure.

21.    The Court has previously held that detention must be lawful.
The words "in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law"
essentially refer to domestic law; they state the need for compliance
with the relevant procedure laid down in that law.  The "lawfulness"
of the detention presupposes conformity with domestic law and also
conformity with the purpose of the restrictions permitted by Article 5
para. 1 (art. 5-1), namely the protection of individuals from
arbitrariness; it is required in respect of both the ordering and the
execution of the measures entailing deprivation of liberty (see the
Winterwerp v. the Netherlands judgment of 24 October 1979, Series A
no. 33, p. 17, para. 39).

22.   The parties disagree as to the legal classification of detention
at home.  The Court notes that Article 284 in Part II of the
New Code of Criminal Procedure classifies this measure as one of the
preventive measures against individuals, the others being a ban on
permanently leaving the country (Article 281), an obligation to report
to the police (Article 282), a ban on residing in or obligation to
reside in a particular place (Article 283) and detention pending trial
in prison or in a psychiatric hospital (Articles 285 and 286).
Although these measures are of varying degrees of severity, as the
Government and the Delegate of the Commission rightly pointed out, they
all restrict individual liberty to a greater or lesser extent.

      In the instant case the public prosecutor's office acted in
accordance with the legislation in force.  Accordingly, Article 5
para. 1 (c) (art. 5-1-c) has not been infringed in that respect.

    B.     Release following the judgment

23.   Mrs Manzoni maintained that she had been unlawfully detained for
seven hours between the end of the trial in the Rome District Court
(11.45 a.m.) and her release from prison (6.45 p.m.).

24.   The Government, pointing out that the applicant had no longer
been regarded as being in detention after 11.45 a.m., argued that the
period of time in issue had been quite normal seeing that she had been
taken to the prison (roughly an hour's drive from the court) at about
1.30 p.m. and that the staff there had served the record of the hearing
on her (at 3.10 p.m.), informed the police that she was about to
be released and waited for confirmation that there were no objections,
returned her personal effects to her, dealt with accounts and at
6.30 p.m. had taken a note of her address for notification purposes.
All those measures had necessarily taken some time.

      The Commission agreed.

25.   The Court reiterates that the list of exceptions to the right to
liberty secured in Article 5 para. 1 (art. 5-1) is an exhaustive one
and only a narrow interpretation of those exceptions is consistent with
the aim of that provision (art. 5-1), namely to ensure that no one is
arbitrarily deprived of his or her liberty (see, inter alia, the
following judgments: Van der Leer v. the Netherlands, 21 February 1990,
Series A no. 170-A, p. 12, para. 22; Wassink v. the Netherlands,
27 September 1990, Series A no. 185-A, p. 11, para. 24; and Quinn v.
France, 22 March 1995, Series A no. 311, p. 17, para. 42).

      As the Court does not have any details concerning the
circumstances of the applicant's imprisonment on 27 September 1991, it
merely notes that Mrs Manzoni was taken to Rebibbia Prison more than
an hour and a half after the end of her trial and that the record of
the hearing was served on her shortly after her arrival there; that
procedure must be regarded as a first step towards complying with the
Rome District Court's judgment.  Admittedly, the administrative
formalities mentioned by the Government could have been carried out
more swiftly, but that is not a ground for finding that there has been
a breach of the Convention; some delay in carrying out a decision to
release a detainee is often inevitable, although it must be kept to a

      In conclusion, there has been no violation of Article 5 para. 1
(c) (art. 5-1-c) in this respect either.


1.    Holds that there has been no violation of Article 5 para. 1 (c)
      of the Convention (art. 5-1-c) as regards the applicant's
      imprisonment following her arrest;

2.    Holds that there has been no violation of Article 5 para. 1 (c)
      (art. 5-1-c) as regards the applicant's release following the
      Rome District Court's judgment.

      Done in English and in French, and delivered at a public hearing
in the Human Rights Building, Strasbourg, on 1 July 1997.

Signed: Rolv RYSSDAL

Signed: Herbert PETZOLD