Application no. 249/02
by Nikolay Prokofyevich ARKHIPOV
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 23 November 2001,
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 Nikolay Prokofyevich Arkhipov, is a Russian national who was born in 1932 and lives in Smolensk. 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.
In 1998 the applicant asked the Promyshlenniy District Court of Smolensk to confirm that in 1943 he had been detained in a German concentration camp.
On 24 June 1998 the Promyshlenniy District Court of Smolensk allowed the claim and found that the applicant had remained in a German concentration camp between April and September 1943. The court also held:
“The establishment of this fact has legal meaning for Mr Arkhipov because it is decisive for the personal pecuniary rights of the plaintiff.”
On 25 June 1999 the Presidium of the Smolensk Regional Court, by way of the supervisory-review proceedings, quashed the judgment and remitted the case for a fresh examination.
In the course of the new consideration of the applicant’s claim, on 2 June 2000 the Promyshlenniy District Court again confirmed that the applicant had been in a German concentration camp. That judgment was quashed by the Presidium of the Smolensk Regional Court on 24 May 2001, by way of supervisory review. The case was remitted for a fresh examination to the District Court.
At the time the application was communicated, the outcome of the proceedings was unclear.
The applicant complained under Article 6 of the Convention that the judgment of 2 June 2000 was quashed by way of supervisory review, that the Presidium did not properly assess evidence and misinterpreted the domestic law, and that the Presidium was partial because it had twice quashed the final judgments in his favour.
On 5 September 2005 the application was communicated to the respondent Government.
On 28 November 2005 the Government’s observations on the admissibility and merits of the application were received. The Government informed the Court that on 4 March 2002 the Promyshlenniy District Court had allowed the applicant’s claim and confirmed that he had been detained in a German concentration camp. The judgment of 4 March 2002 was not appealed against and became final. The applicant was paid social benefits related to his status as a detainee during the World War II. The Government claimed that the applicant no longer intended to pursue his application because the matter had been resolved by the judgment of 4 March 2002.
The Court asked the applicant to submit written observations by 31 January 2006.
On 13 January 2006 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 31 January 2006, on 15 March 2006 the applicant was advised by registered mail that the failure to submit observations might result in the strike-out of the application.
As it follows from the acknowledgment of receipt which returned to the Court, the letter of 15 March 2006 reached the applicant on 3 April 2006.
The applicant did not reply.
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
ARKHIPOV v. RUSSIA DECISION
ARKHIPOV v. RUSSIA DECISION