THE FACTS

Whereas the facts presented by the Applicant may be summarised as
follows:

The Applicant is an Italian citizen, born in 1916 at Dortmund and
residing at Dortmund.

From his statements and from documents submitted by him it appears that
he was the recipient of a pension (Rente) granted by the Ruhr Miners'
Union (Ruhrknappschaft) on account of his incapacity to undertake any
form of gainful occupation (Erwerbsunfähigkeit) owing to a heart attack
which he had suffered in 1959.

By letter of ... 1959, from the Union he was informed that this pension
would be withdrawn as from ... 1961, and that henceforth he would only
receive a pension on account of his incapacity to exercise his
profession as a miner (Berufsunfähigkeit). The Union reached this
decision after medical examinations of the Applicant had shown that he
had sufficiently recovered from his heart attack to perform light work.

The Applicant, who is of the opinion that he is still incapable of
performing any work, lodged an objection (Widerspruch) against this
decision with the Ruhr Miners' Union of Bochum. This was rejected on
... 1961.

The Applicant then instituted legal proceedings before the Social Court
(Sozialgericht) at Dortmund to obtain a judicial decision regarding the
withdrawal of his pension. The court procured another medical opinion
on the basis of which it came to the conclusion that he was capable of
performing light work. On ... 1963, the Social Court rejected his
claim. The Applicant lodged an appeal (Berufung) against this decision
with the Social Court of Appeal (Landessozialgericht). This Court
requested further medical examinations of the Applicant's state of
health, one of which certified his incapacity to perform any kind of
work for fear of a relapse. Still, the Social Court of Appeal dismissed
the appeal on ... 1964, as being ill-founded, relying on two other
medical opinions which stated that the Applicant was well capable of
performing light work. In its decision the court considered the above
medical opinion which supported the Applicant's claim.

The Applicant then lodged a further appeal (Revision) with the Federal
Social Court (Bundessozialgericht) and, at the same time, applied to
the Court for free legal aid (Armenrechtsgesuch). By decision of ...
1965, the Federal Social Court rejected his application for free legal
aid. It dismissed the appeal on ... 1965.

In his letter of ... 1967, to the Commission the Applicant states that,
in the meanwhile, he has suffered a new heart attack. Consequently, on
... 1966, the Ruhr Miners' Union again granted a pension on account of
his incapacity to undertake any form of gainful occupation
(Erwerbsunfähigkeit) as from ... 1966.

The Applicant complains:

(1) that the pension on account of his incapacity to undertake any form
of gainful occupation was unlawfully withdrawn from him in the period
from ... 1961 to ... 1966;

(2) that the courts did not sufficiently take into account the medical
opinion certifying his incapacity to perform any kind of work;

(3) that the Federal Social Court refused his request for free legal
aid.

Without referring to any specific Articles he alleges generally a
violation of the Convention.

THE LAW

Whereas, in regard to the Applicant's complaint concerning the
reduction of his pension during the period from ... 1961 to ... 1966,
and the court proceedings concerned, an examination of the case as it
has been submitted, including an examination made ex officio, does not
disclose any appearance of a violation of the rights and freedoms set
forth in the Convention and especially in the Articles invoked by the
Applicant; whereas, in respect of the judicial decisions complained of,
the Commission has frequently stated that in accordance with Article
19 (Art. 19) of the Convention its only task is to ensure observance
of the obligations undertaken by the Parties in the Convention;

Whereas, in particular, it is not competent to deal with an application
alleging that errors of law or fact have been committed by domestic
courts, except where the Commission considers that such errors might
have involved a possible violation of any of the rights and freedoms
limitatively listed in the Convention; whereas, in this respect, the
Commission refers to its decisions Nos. 458/59 (X. v. Belgium -
Yearbook III, page 233) and 1140/61 (X v. Austria - Collection of
Decisions, Volume 8, page 57); and whereas there is no appearance of
a violation in the proceedings complained of; whereas it follows that
this part of the Application is manifestly ill-founded within the
meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention;

Whereas the Applicant complains that he was refused free legal aid in
order to pursue his case before the Federal Social Court; whereas, in
examining this complaint, the Commission has had regard both to Article
6, paragraph (1), and to Article 6, paragraph (3), sub-paragraph (c)
(Art. 6-1, 6-3-c), of the Convention;

Whereas in respect of Article 6, paragraph (3), sub-paragraph (c)
(Art. 6-3-c), it is to be observed that the Convention, under the terms
of Article 1 (Art. 1), guarantees only the rights and freedoms set
forth in Section I of the Convention; and whereas under Article 25,
paragraph (1) (Art. 25-1), only the alleged violation of one of these
rights and freedoms by a Contracting Party can be the subject of an
Application presented by a person, non-governmental organisation or
group of individuals;

Whereas otherwise its examination is outside the competence of the
Commission ratione materiae; whereas it is true that, under Article 6,
paragraph (3), sub-paragraph (c) (Art. 6-3-c), of the Convention,
everyone charged with a criminal offence has the right, subject to
certain conditions, to be granted free legal assistance; whereas,
however, as the Commission has frequently stated, no right to free
legal aid in civil cases is as such included among the rights and
freedoms guaranteed by the Convention;

Whereas it follows that the Application, in so far as it relates to
Article 6, paragraph (3), sub-paragraph (c) (Art. 6-3-c), is
incompatible with the provisions of the Convention within the meaning
of Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2);

Whereas the Commission has also had regard to the general provisions
of Article 6, paragraph (1) (Art. 6-1), of the Convention; whereas it
results from this provision that, in the determination of his civil
rights, everyone is entitled to a fair hearing;

Whereas, however, Article 26 (Art. 26) of the Convention provides that
the Commission may only deal with a matter "within a period of six
months from the date on which the final decision was taken"; and
whereas the decision of the Federal Social Court, which was the final
decision of the Federal Social Court, which was the final decision
regarding his application for free legal aid was given on 1st March,
1965; whereas the present Application was not submitted to the
Commission until 29th October, 1965, that is more than six months after
the date of this decision;

Whereas, furthermore, an examination of the case does not disclose the
existence of any special circumstances which might have interrupted or
suspended the running of that period; whereas it follows that this part
of the Application has been lodged out of time (Articles 26 and 27,
paragraph (3) (Art. 26, 27-3), of the Convention).

Now therefore the Commission declares this Application INADMISSIBLE.