THE FACTS

A. Whereas the basic facts originally presented by the applicant
may be summarised as follows:

The applicant who is a stateless person holding a Swedish alien's
passport, was born in 1925 and is at present detained in Portlaoise
Prison.

On 6th November, 1966, the applicant was arrested in Scotland on
suspicion of having murdered in Ireland in October, 1965, one James
MacPartland. The applicant was then delivered into the custody of the
Gárda Síochána and taken to Ireland. He complained that being a
stateless person he could not lawfully be "extradited" from Scotland
to Ireland.

On 21st April, 1967 the applicant was convicted of murder at the
Central Criminal Court in Dublin and sentenced to penal servitude for
life. The applicant claimed that his trial was "rigged and fixed" as
a result of a conspiracy between the judge, Mr. Justice K, his own
counsel and the prosecution counsel, in order to obtain a conviction
although the applicant was innocent. He accused the judge of bias and
of having gravely misconducted the proceedings and alleged that his
conviction was based on insufficient and perjured evidence.

His application for leave to appeal was refused by the Court of
Criminal Appeal on 26th July, 1967. On 25th October, 1967, the Court
of Criminal Appeal considered an application from the applicant for a
certificate pursuant to Section 9 (29) of the Courts of Justice Act,
1924, to enable the applicant to take an appeal to the Supreme Court
on the grounds that the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeal of
26th July, 1967, involved a point of law of exceptional public
importance and that it was desirable in the public interest that an
appeal should be taken to the Supreme Court. The point of law concerned
was that the cause of death had not been proven at the trial and that
the trial judge had misdirected the jury on one part of his charge. The
Court of Criminal Appeal refused, however, to grant the certificate.

On 24th November, 1967, the applicant appeared before the Supreme Court
claiming a right of appeal against the decision of the Court of
Criminal Appeal, but was informed by the Supreme Court that no such
right of appeal existed in the absence of a certificate.

On the same date the applicant appeared in the High Court seeking an
order of habeas corpus pursuant to Article 40, Section 4, sub-section
(2), of the Constitution. This application was refused by the High
Court and later on the same day the applicant appealed to the Supreme
Court against this refusal on the grounds that he had not been properly
brought before the trial court which therefore had not jurisdiction to
try him and that he had not been tried in due course of law because of
the alleged conspiracy. On 11th November, 1968 the Supreme Court held
that the applicant was being detained in accordance with the law and
dismissed his appeal.

The applicant submitted that when he tried to raise arguments before
the Supreme Court relating to his trial, he was informed that the Court
was only interested in hearing arguments concerning the lawfulness of
his detention. Nevertheless, the Court in its judgment discussed his
complaints regarding the trial but found that the applicant had not
produced any evidence to support his allegations though he had in fact
been prevented from producing such evidence.

In May, 1968, the applicant applied to the Court of Criminal Appeal to
re-hear his application for leave to appeal on the ground of new
evidence. On  26th May, 1968 the Court held that it had no jurisdiction
to re-open these proceedings. The applicant contended that the Court,
in fact, was competent to do so, and he referred in that respect to an
English precedent.

On 26th March, 1968, the applicant handed to the prison authorities an
appeal addressed to the President of the Republic. When it had been
photocopied by the Prison Governor, the petition was according to the
applicant transmitted to the "Prison Secretary". When the applicant
asked to see the registration slip to ascertain that the appeal had
been properly dispatched, he was informed on 5th April, 1968, by the
Governor that his appeal had been returned and permission to have it
transmitted to the President's Office refused by the Prison Secretary.
The applicant complained that he had a right under Article 13 of the
Constitution to appeal to the President and that the Prison Secretary
had no authority to interfere with this right.

In April, 1968, the applicant applied to the High Court for a writ of
certiorari and an order of mandamus against the Prison Governor and the
Prison Secretary for stopping his letter to the President. He submitted
that he then wrote two further letters requesting the result of his
previous complaints without receiving any reply.

The applicant  complained that numerous submissions by him, inter alia,
to the High Court or the Supreme Court had remained without reply. By
way of example, he maintains that between 10th September, 1967 and 27th
July, 1968, he wrote 17 times to the High Court without his letters
being answered. In this connection, the applicant made a number of
allegations concerning the President of the High Court who also acted
as trial judge in his case.

It appeared that most of these submissions concerned proceedings
relating to the applicant's attempts to obtain by way of writs for
habeas corpus, certiorari or mandamus, a finding that he was being
unlawfully detained. According to the applicant most of these
applications had simply remained unanswered or refused without the
applicant having been allowed to appear before Court. However, one
application seeking an order of habeas corpus was heard by the Supreme
Court on 31st January, 1969. The applicant complained that the judgment
was not delivered until July, 1969.

The applicant also complained that his repeated attempts to have one
of the trial witnesses summoned to a District Court to answer charges
for perjury had been unsuccessful.

The applicant complained of the conduct of certain proceedings
concerning his request that certain property retained by the police
should be returned to him. On 21st May, 1968, the Circuit Court
dismissed the applicant's appeal against an order issued by the
Middleton District Court in this respect. The applicant alleged that
the courts were unduly influenced by the prosecution during these
proceedings.

The applicant also complained of his treatment in the Portlaoise Prison
and, in particular, that he did not receive food in accordance with the
requirements of the Buddhist faith. When he protested he was subjected
to disciplinary punishment.

Before these measures were imposed the applicant had hunger strike for
three days, to protest against the prison food and the prison doctor's
behaviour towards him. The doctor declared him, however, fit to undergo
the punishment imposed. The applicant alleged that he was punished as
a reprisal for having attempted to complain about the conditions at the
prison. He further complained that certain letters of complaint, inter
alia, to the Irish Medical Association had been suppressed and this
decision had been upheld by the Ministry of Justice. According to the
applicant he suffered from a skin disease (psoriasis) but his requests
for treatment had been unsuccessful. In this respect the applicant
submitted that eight months after he applied to the Minister of Justice
for such treatment his letter had remained without reply.

The applicant alleged violation of Articles 6, paragraphs (1) and (3)
(b) and (c), and 14 of the Convention.

B. Proceedings before the Commission

The Commission examined the application on 1st October, 1969, and by
partial decision declared the application inadmissible insofar as the
applicant's complaints related to:
- his arrest in Scotland and his subsequent detention and delivery into
  the custody of the Irish authorities;
- his conviction and sentence at the Central Criminal Court and the
  court proceedings concerned;
- applications for an order to habeas corpus and for rehearing of his
  appeal;
- attempts to have a witness prosecuted for perjury;
- proceedings relating to the restitution of certain property;
- his treatment in prison and, in particular, alleged denial of food
  in conformity with his Buddhist faith.

In regard to the applicant's complaints concerning the refusal to
transmit his petition to the President of Ireland, the Commission found
that this complaint gave rise to a question as to whether there had
been an interference with the right to respect for correspondence
guaranteed under Article 8, paragraph (1), of the Convention, and that
an examination of the file did not give the information required for
determining the question of admissibility. It therefore decided, in
accordance with Rule 45, paragraph (3) (b), of the Rules of Procedure
to give notice thereof to the respondent Government and to invite the
Government to submit its observations in writing on the question of
admissibility. The Commission also decided, in the meanwhile, to
adjourn its examination of that part of the application.

The respondent Government submitted its observations on 11th December,
1969. These were communicated to the applicant who submitted his
observations in reply on 12th January, 1970.

C. Submissions of the parties

It is first to be noted that the applicant's observations of 12th
January, 1970, which comprise 18 handwritten foolscap sheets, are not
limited to the only issue on the applicant of which the respondent
Government was invited to submit written observations. In his
observations and in several letters to the Commission received
subsequently to the partial decision on admissibility of 1st October,
1969, he has made further complaints, reverted to previous complaints
and raised various questions of procedure.

I. Arguments of the parties as to the stopping of the petition to the
President

1. Restrictions on a prisoner's correspondence

The respondent Government submits that, in accordance with the
recognised principles of international law, the provisions of Article
8 of the Convention, insofar as they relate to the rights of prisoners
and detained persons, should not be interpreted in isolation but in
conjunction with Article 5 of the Convention which foresees that in
certain circumstances there may be interference by the State with "the
right to liberty and security of person". In particular, the exceptions
set out in paragraph (2), of Article 8 should not be considered as
exhaustive insofar as they relate to prisoners and detained persons.
To put the case another way, the Government would view Article 8 as
intending to relate to the rights to respect for private life and
family life, home and correspondence of persons living in ordinary
circumstances but should not be regarded as absolute in its application
to persons subject to the various forms of detention recognised as
lawful by Article 5. Otherwise, for example, the normal restrictions
on non-essential or social letters of prisoners would not seem to be
permitted by Article 8.

The Government does not consider, therefore, that the right to respect
of correspondence in Article 8 is interfered with by the State when
prison regulations provide in a reasonable manner for security of
correspondence, limitation of the number of letters, non-transmission
of letters in certain necessary circumstances, etc. The applicant was
given considerable facilities for correspondence, both outgoing and
incoming. In this connection the Government refers to a list according
to which the applicant submitted, between 24th May, 1967 and 25th
November, 1969, 46 applications to the Department of Justice, and
between 24th April, 1967 and 18th December, 1969, sent more than 400
letters to various courts, authorities and private individuals. In
addition, he was said to have received 283 letters while in Portlaoise
Prison, non of which had, according to the records, been withheld from
him.

The applicant argues that Article 5 has no application to his complaint
which should only be considered under Article 8. He describes the
Government's arguments in this respect as being neither proper nor
lawful. The applicant calls the Government's reference to the prison
rules a "downright lie" as, in his opinion, the right of the prison
authorities to withhold a letter which is "objectionable" should only
apply to letters "which bear abuse or has any dirty words as remarks".

2. Purpose of the letter concerned

The Government submits that it appeared from the applicant's letter to
the President, copy of which was enclosed with the Government's
observations, that the purpose of the letter was to ask for a "retrial"
and not to "petition for pardon". In fact the applicant was at some
pains in his letter to emphasise that his purpose was to look for a
retrial. He says in line six:  "I am not asking to be set free, all I
am asking is a retrial". The President of Ireland has no powers or
functions under the Irish Constitution or law to arrange for a retrial
in these circumstances or, indeed, in any circumstances. Irish law and
procedure relating to appeals in criminal cases, including requests for
retrials, had already been exhausted by the applicant as appears both
from the letter in question and from the various letters which he has
transmitted to the Commission. The applicant had made several
applications both to the Court of Criminal Appeal and to the Supreme
Court and was given every assistance by these bodies to enable him to
pursue any valid complaint which he might have. Accordingly, no purpose
could have been served by transmitting to the President of Ireland a
letter requesting a retrial since the President could not have taken
any action on the matter. As the Commission is aware, the applicant has
also appeared before the Irish Supreme Court since the date of the
letter in question.

The applicant submits that whether or not his letter contained a
petition for pardon or a request for retrial, it was addressed to the
President. Accordingly, the only person entitled to reply would be the
President's Secretary. Under the Irish Constitution the prison
authorities or the Department of Justice have no right to stop or
refuse an appeal either for pardon or retrial.

As regards the Government's statement that he had exhausted all
remedies in respect of his conviction and sentence, the applicant
submits that it is true that he had made many applications to the
Supreme Court. He alleges, however, that he has not been granted the
rights of an accused person. In this connection he complains of the
proceedings relating to his application for leave to appeal on 26th
July, 1967. He agrees that the Supreme Court has heard his case but
complains that it has not been willing to see the evidence and that its
judgment is contrary to the arguments presented to it.

The applicant also alleges that he is illegally detained and complains
of the handling of his various applications for an order of habeas
corpus, an order of certiorari and his challenge of the Middleton
District Court.

3. The abusive character of the letter

The Government draws the attention of the Commission to the fact that
the letter in question contained most serious and offensive allegations
against Mr. Justice K, President of the C Court, as well as against
prosecution and defence counsel and witnesses involved in the
applicant's trial. Indeed, most of the letter is taken up with
accusations against Mr. Justice K rather than with the purported object
of the letter, namely a request for a retrial.

In these circumstances, taking into account the purpose of the letter
and having particular regard to the allegations against Mr. Justice K,
the Department of Justice, to whom the letter was referred for
consideration by the Prison Governor, decided that it should not be
transmitted.

In this connection the Government refers to the Commission's decision
on the admissibility of Application No. 1628/62 (X. v. Federal Republic
of Germany, Collection of Decisions, Vol. 12, page 61). From this case
it appears that the Commission considers that where letters of
prisoners contain statements and accusations against third persons
which, after careful enquiry, prove groundless, violation of the
applicant's right to freedom of correspondence does not occur since the
interference exercised is related to "the protection of the rights and
freedom of others" authorised by paragraph (2) of Article 8 of the
Convention. This case also refers to the constant view of the
Commission as to the rights of Governments to have "a certain margin
of appreciation in determining the limits that may be placed on the
exercise of the rights in question". It was clear that the gross
accusations against Mr. Justice K. were groundless. It was clear also
that the rights of a number of persons, and in particular Mr. Justice
K., not to be subjected to attacks upon their honour or reputation, as
described in Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
would have been infringed in the transmission of this communication to
the President of Ireland.

The applicant has submitted in reply:

"I agree that I did accuse D.K. in my appeal to the President of
Ireland. I have gone indeed further than that. I have in fact accused
K. in the Supreme Court. I have challenged the Supreme Court to bring
Mr. K. to the Supreme Court and to allow me the Court's permission to
challenge the C. Court's President in person and openly in the Supreme
Court. The results were the excuse that Mr. X. was not available as he
was on some other case right then. The Government states that I had
accused the prosecution and defence counsel, also prosecution
witnesses. I in fact, from the start of my trial, openly accused the
State's number one witness, a prisoner, F."

The applicant then makes further submissions regarding the court
proceedings concerned and argues that, if his allegations were not
true, the Government should not be afraid to investigate them.

II. Other complaints made by the applicant

The submission of the applicant on issues other than the one on which
the respondent Government has been invited to submit observations on
admissibility can be summarised as follows:

(a)  The applicant complains that a number of letters written by him
have been improperly stopped, including the following letters:

- a letter written to the Irish Medical Association in order to
  complain about the prison doctor;
- a letter of 24th May, 1967, addressed to the Glasgow Corporation
  Office, asking for a change of his name by deed poll;
- letters addressed to the British Home Secretary concerning the
  applicant's alien's papers and other personal matters;
- a letter of 18th August, 1969, addressed to Mr. B. of the United
  Nations Social Defence Section;
- a letter asking a Scottish Member of Parliament to assist him;
- a letter written to the newspaper "News of the World".

The applicant further complains that a number of applications to the
prison authorities listed in the Appendix to the Government's
observations have not been replied to, whereas three other applications
allegedly submitted in August and September, 1969 are missing in the
list.

(b)  The applicant has also in this connection complained that a letter
to the Commission of 25th September, 1969, was not received by the
Commission's Secretary until 13th October, 1969, and accordingly too
late to be considered when the Commission took its partial decision on
1st October. The applicant considers that this proves that even letters
and documents sent to the Commission are being interfered with.

(c)  The applicant complains generally of the conditions in the
Portlaoise Prison which he describes as "Belsen Camp No. 2" and refers
to the restrictions imposed on alleged misconduct. He complains of the
hostile attitude of the newly-appointed Prison Governor who only allows
him to appear before him once a week.

He also complains of the difficulty in obtaining sufficient writing
paper in order to continue his correspondence and that he has been
refused air letters without having seen the Prison Governor first.

THE LAW

Whereas, insofar as the applicant complains that the refusal of the
Department of Justice to allow transmission of his petition of 26th
March, 1968, to the President of Ireland constituted a violation of his
right to respect for his correspondence under Article 8, paragraph (1)
(Art. 8-1), of the Convention, it is to be observed that paragraph (2)
of the said Article (Art. 8-2) permits interference with a person's
correspondence by a public authority where such interference is in
accordance with the law and is necessary in a domestic society, inter
alia, for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others;

Whereas, in cases in which the rights guaranteed in Article 8 (Art. 8)
are at issue, the Commission has the competence and indeed the duty to
appreciate whether or not interference by a public authority is
justified in accordance with the provisions mentioned in paragraph (2)
of the Article (Art. 8-2);

Whereas the respondent Government has referred to the relevant prison
regulation which provides that letters from a prisoner may be stopped
if the contents are objectionable and it has submitted that the
applicant's letter contained most serious and offensive allegations
against the judge as well as against prosecution and defence counsel
and witnesses involved in the applicant's trial; whereas the Government
has further stated that the transmission of this letter to the
President would have infringed the right of the judge and the other
persons concerned not to be subjected to attacks upon their honour or
reputation;

Whereas an examination of the letter in question confirms the serious
nature of a number of allegations made in it by the applicant;  whereas
it is clear that the decision of the Department of Justice not to
forward the letter concerned was an interference with the applicant's
right to respect for his correspondence which is clearly permitted
under paragraph (2) of Article 8 (Art. 8-2), in particular, for the
protection of the rights of others; whereas, therefore, this part of
the application is manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article
27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention;

Whereas, under Article 27, paragraph (1) (b) (Art. 27-1-b), of the
Convention, the Commission may not deal with any application submitted
under Article 25 (Art. 25), if it is substantially the same as a
matter, which has already been examined by the Commission and contains
no relevant new information;

Whereas a number of the issues raised by the applicant in his
submissions subsequent to the partial decision of 1st October, 1969,
as to the admissibility of the application, merely repeat complaints
which were declared inadmissible by the said decision and to not
contain or add any relevant new information;  whereas it follows that
these complaints are, within the meaning of Articles 4, paragraph (3)
(Art. 4-3), of the Convention, 27, paragraph (1) (b) (Art. 27-1-b),
substantially the same as a matter previously examined and rejected by
the Commission;

Whereas, insofar as the applicant makes new complaints concerning
further restrictions on his correspondence and the manner in which he
is being treated by the prison authorities, 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; whereas, in particular, the
Commission has frequently held that the normal control, including in
certain circumstances a restriction of correspondence is an inherent
feature of imprisonment and does not constitute a violation of
paragraph (1) of Article 8 (Art. 8-1); whereas if follows that also
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 Commission has also considered the applicant's complaint
that the transmission of letters and documents sent by him to the
Commission have been interfered with by the prison authorities and, in
particular, that one letter was not received by the Commission's
Secretary until two weeks and four days after it had been handed by the
applicant to the prison authorities for transmission;

Whereas the Commission observes in this respect that the applicant has,
in fact, made a large number of substantial submissions and presented
his case in completely adequate manner; whereas there is no evidence
that letters sent by the applicant to the Commission have been
improperly delayed by the Irish authorities; whereas, therefore, it is
clear that the applicant has not been hindered in the effective
exercise of the right to lodge an application as guaranteed in Article
25, paragraph (1) (Art. 25-1), in fine, of the Convention;

Now therefore the Commission

1. DECLARES THE REMAINDER OF THE APPLICATION INADMISSIBLE;

2. DECIDES TO TAKE NO FURTHER ACTION IN RESPECT OF THE ALLEGED
INTERFERENCE WITH THE EFFECTIVE EXERCISE OF THE RIGHT OF INDIVIDUAL
PETITION.