Application no. 19772/02
by Vadim Mikhaylovich SMIRNOV
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting on 1 June 2006 as a Chamber composed of:
Mr L. Loucaides,
Mrs F. Tulkens,
Mrs N. Vajić,
Mr A. Kovler,
Mrs E. Steiner,
Mr K. Hajiyev, judges,
and Mr S. Nielsen, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 3 May 2002,
Having regard to the decision to apply Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and examine the admissibility and merits of the case together.
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Vadim Mikhaylovich Smirnov, is a Russian national, who was born in 1965 and lives in St. Petersburg. He is represented before the Court by Ms T. Zagorovskaya, a lawyer practising in St. Petersburg. The respondent Government are represented by Mr P. Laptev, the Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
1. Proceedings concerning compensation for damage
The applicant is a former military officer. He sued the military unit no. 21744 for compensation for damage. He claimed that the unit had delayed sending documents to the pension department of the St. Petersburg military commission for calculation of his pension.
On 27 February 2002 the Military Court of the Sertolovo Garrison granted the applicant’s action and awarded him 11,340.62 Russian roubles (RUR, approximately 424 euros) in pecuniary damages, RUR 2,000 (approximately 75 euros) in non-pecuniary damages, RUR 100 (4 euros) in compensation for court expenses and RUR 3,000 (112 euros) in legal fees.
The judgment was not appealed against and became final.
On 29 March 2002 a writ of execution was issued.
On 12 April 2002 the Sertolovo Town Department of the Federal Treasury informed the applicant that the judgment could not be enforced due to the lack of funds.
In his letter of 12 February 2005 the applicant informed the Court, without providing details, that the judgment of 27 February 2002 had been enforced in part.
2. Proceedings concerning payment of military benefits
In 2000-2001 the applicant was a party to civil proceedings concerning payments of military benefits.
On 23 November 2000 the Military Court of the Leningrad Command, in the final instance, awarded the applicant’s action in part.
1. The applicant complained under Article 13 of the Convention about non-enforcement of the judgment of the Military Court of the Sertolovo Garrison of 27 February 2002.
2. The applicant complained under Article 6 of the Convention that the proceedings concerning payment of military benefits were unfair.
On 4 April 2005 the application was communicated to the respondent Government.
On 1 September 2005 the Government’s observations on the admissibility and merits of the application were received. The Government informed the Court that the judgment of 27 February 2002 had been enforced in full on 5 July 2005.
The Court asked the applicant to submit written observations by 7 November 2005.
On 30 September 2005 the English version of the Government’s observations was forwarded to the applicant. The time-limit for the submission of the applicant’s observations remained unaffected.
As the applicant’s observations on the admissibility and merits had not been received by 7 November 2005, on 12 December 2005 the applicant’s representative was advised by registered mail that the failure to submit observations might result in the strike-out of the application. No response followed.
The Court recalls Article 37 of the Convention which, in the relevant part, reads as follows:
“1. The Court may at any stage of the proceedings decide to strike an application out of its list of cases where the circumstances lead to the conclusion that
(a) the applicant does not intend to pursue his application;
However, the Court shall continue the examination of the application if respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and the Protocols thereto so requires.”
The Court notes that the applicant was requested to submit written observations on the admissibility and merits of the case. He subsequently received a reminder thereof. The applicant was also informed about a consequence of his failure to submit the observations. No response has been received to date. The Court infers therefrom that the applicant does not intend to pursue his application. Furthermore, the Court considers that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols does not require it to continue the examination of the case.
In these circumstances it considers that Article 29 § 3 of the Convention should no longer apply to the case and it should be struck out of the list in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to discontinue the application of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Søren Nielsen Christos Rozakis
SMIRNOV v. RUSSIA DECISION
SMIRNOV v. RUSSIA DECISION