AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF
Application no. 39023/97
by the Supreme Holy Council of the Muslim Community
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting on 13 December 2001 as a Chamber composed of
Mr C.L. Rozakis, President,
Mrs F. Tulkens,
Mr G. Bonello,
Mr E. Levits,
Mrs S. Botoucharova,
Mr A. Kovler,
Mrs E. Steiner, judges,
Mr E. Fribergh, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged with the European Commission of Human Rights on 9 September 1997 and registered on 18 December 1997,
Having regard to Article 5 § 2 of Protocol No. 11 to the Convention, by which the competence to examine the application was transferred to the Court,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The Supreme Holy Council (Висш духовен съвет) of the Muslim community headed by Mr Nedim Gendzhev was the officially recognised leadership of Muslims in Bulgaria, at least between 1995 and 1997. In reality, at all relevant times it was one of the two rival Muslim religious leaderships in Bulgaria and thus represented an organisation supported by a part of the Muslim believers. Mr Nedim Gendzhev, a Bulgarian citizen born in 1945 and residing in Sofia, is its leader. He was the Chief Mufti at least between 1988 and 1992 and the Chairman of the Supreme Holy Council at least between 1995 and 1997.
The application is brought on behalf of the Supreme Holy Council as the organisation of a part of the Muslim believers in Bulgaria. The applicant organisation is represented before the Court by Mrs Svetla Marguaritova-Vutchkova, a lawyer practising in Sofia.
A. The circumstances of the case
The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicant organisation, may be summarised as follows.
1. The removal of Mr Gendzhev in 1992
At the end of 1989 a process of democratisation commenced in Bulgaria. Soon thereafter some Muslim believers and activists of the Muslim religion in the country sought to replace the leadership of their religious organisation. They considered that Mr Gendzhev, who was the Chief Mufti at that time, and the members of the Supreme Holy Council had collaborated with the communist regime. The old leadership, with Mr Gendzhev as Chief Mufti of Bulgarian Muslims, also had supporters. This situation caused divisions and internal conflict within the Muslim community in Bulgaria.
Following general elections held in Bulgaria in October 1991 a new government, formed by the Union of Democratic Forces (СДС) and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (ДПС), took office towards the end of 1991. For the first time since the beginning of democratisation the Bulgarian Socialist Party (БСП), which was the successor of the Bulgarian Communist Party, did not participate in the Government.
On 10 February 1992 the Directorate of Religious Denominations (Дирекция по вероизповеданията), a governmental agency attached to the Council of Ministers, declared the election of Mr Gendzhev in 1988 as Chief Mufti of the Muslims in Bulgaria null and void and proclaimed his removal from that position. This decision and another decision of 21 February 1992 declaring “illegitimate” ten regional Muftis, were based on findings that the Statute of the Muslim religious community of 1986 had not been adopted in accordance with the law and that Mr Gendzhev’s election in 1988 and certain appointments of Regional Muftis had been politically motivated and not in conformity with the valid 1951 Statute of the Muslim religious community.
The Directorate, acknowledging that the law did not provide for a procedure to be followed in such situations, considered, “on the basis of customary law”, that the appointment of a three-member Interim Holy Council as a temporary governing body of the Muslims’ religious organisation was “the only possible means of preventing the organisational disintegration of the Muslim denomination”.
Mr Gendzhev, who claimed that he remained the Chief Mufti of the Bulgarian Muslims, challenged the decision of 10 February 1992 before the Supreme Court. On 28 April 1992 the Supreme Court rejected his appeal. The court found that the decision of the Directorate of Religious Denominations was not subject to judicial appeal.
A national conference of Muslims, organised by the interim leadership, took place on 19 September 1992. It elected Mr Hasan as Chief Mufti of Bulgarian Muslims and also approved a new Statute which was registered in accordance with sections 6 and 16 of the Religious Denominations Act.
In the proceedings against the decision of 10 February 1992, the petition for review submitted by Mr Gendzhev against the Supreme Court’s decision of 28 April 1992 was examined by a five-member Chamber of the Supreme Court. On 7 April 1993 the Chamber dismissed the petition. While confirming the rejection of Mr Gendzhev’s appeal, the Chamber also discussed the merits. It found inter alia that the Directorate’s decision to declare Mr Gendzhev’s election null and void had been within its competence. Insofar as the impugned decision had also proclaimed “the removal” of Mr Gendzhev from his position of Chief Mufti, this had been ultra vires. However, it was unnecessary to annul this part of the Directorate’s decision as in any event it had no legal consequences.
Nevertheless, after September 1992 the supporters of Mr Hasan obtained full control over the property and activities of the Muslim community
2. The reinstatement of Mr Gendzhev in 1995
The leadership dispute between Mr Gendzhev and Mr Hasan continued throughout 1993 and 1994. The official position of the Directorate of Religious Denominations remained that Mr Hasan was the legitimate Chief Mufti of Bulgarian Muslims. At the same time the Directorate apparently sought to “resolve” the dispute by a “unification” of the two factions under a common leadership.
On 2 November 1994 the supporters of Mr Gendzhev held a national conference which proclaimed itself the legitimate representative of Muslim believers. The conference elected a leadership and adopted a statute. Mr Gendzhev was elected President of the Supreme Holy Council. After the conference the newly elected leaders applied to the Directorate of Religious Denominations for registration as the legitimate leadership of Muslims in Bulgaria.
At the end of 1994 parliamentary elections took place in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian Socialist Party obtained a majority in Parliament and formed a new government, which took office in January 1995.
On 22 February 1995 Deputy Prime Minister Shivarov, who had been assigned the task of supervising the work of the Directorate of Religious Denominations, issued a decree approving the statute of the Muslim denomination as adopted by the supporters of Mr Gendzhev on 2 November 1994. On 23 February 1995 the Directorate of Religious Denominations registered the leadership elected at that conference and effectively removed Mr Hasan and his supporters. In the following months the faction led by Mr Gendzhev assumed full control over the property and activities of the Muslim community in Bulgaria.
Mr Hasan appealed to the Supreme Court against the decision of the Directorate registering Mr Gendzhev’s leadership. Mr Hasan submitted, inter alia, that the conference of 2 November 1994 had been organised by people outside the Muslim religious organisation presided over by him. Accordingly, they could register their own religious organisation but could not claim to replace the leadership of another. Mr Hasan asked the Supreme Court either to proclaim the February 1995 decision null and void as contrary to the law or to declare that it constituted registration of a new religious community, the existing Muslim organisation being unaffected. The State did not have the right to impose a single leadership on the Muslims.
On 27 July 1995 the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal. The court stated that under the Religious Denominations Act the Council of Ministers enjoyed full discretion in its decision as to whether or not to register the statute of a given religion. The Supreme Court’s jurisdiction was therefore limited to an examination of whether the impugned decision had been issued by the competent administrative organ and whether the procedural requirements had been complied with. In that respect the decision of February 1995 was lawful.
As regards the request for interpretation of the February 1995 decision, it was not open to the Supreme Court, in the framework of those particular proceedings, to state its opinion as to whether it had the effect of creating a new legal person, or introducing changes, and whether after this decision there existed two parallel Muslim religious organisations.
3. Judicial proceedings instituted by Mr Hasan in 1996 and 1997
Following the removal of Mr Hasan, in 1995 the Muslim believers who supported him held their own national conference and re-elected him Chief Mufti, while introducing changes in the organisation’s statute and leadership. Mr Hasan then applied to the Directorate of Religious Denominations for registration of the amended statute and the new leadership. Not having received any response, Mr Hasan appealed to the Supreme Court against the tacit refusal.
On 14 October 1996 the Supreme Court delivered its judgment. It noted that in 1992 the Chief Mufti’s Office as represented by Mr Hasan had been duly registered as a religious denomination under section 6 of the Religious Denominations Act and had thus obtained legal personality of which it had not been subsequently deprived. Therefore the Council of Ministers was under an obligation, pursuant to sections 6 and 16 of the Act, to examine a request for registration of a new statute or of changes in the leadership in the existing religious denomination. Accordingly, the Supreme Court ruled that the tacit refusal of the Council of Ministers had been unlawful and ordered the transmission of the file to the Council of Ministers, which was required to examine it.
On 19 November 1996 Deputy Prime Minister Shivarov refused to register the 1995 statute and leadership of the Chief Mufti’s Office as represented by Mr Hasan. He sent him a letter stating inter alia that the Council of Ministers had already registered a leadership of the Muslim community in Bulgaria, which was that elected by the November 1994 conference with Mr Gendzhev as President of the Supreme Holy Council. The Deputy Prime Minister concluded that the first applicant’s request “[could not] be granted as it [was] clearly contrary to the provisions of the Religious Denominations Act”.
On 5 December 1996 Mr Hasan appealed to the Supreme Court against the refusal of 19 November 1996.
Mr Gendzhev, having learned about the case, requested to be admitted as a third party in the proceedings. That request was supported by the Council of Ministers, the defendant, but was not granted.
On 13 March 1997 the Supreme Court quashed the refusal of the Deputy Prime Minister to register the 1995 statute and leadership headed by Mr Hasan on the ground that it was unlawful and contrary to Article 13 of the Constitution. That refusal was moreover “an unlawful administrative intervention into the internal organisation of [a] religious community”. The Supreme Court again ordered the transmission of the file to the Council of Ministers for registration.
Despite the Supreme Court judgments of 1996 and 1997 the Council of Ministers did not grant registration to the religious leadership headed by Mr Hasan.
4. The removal of Mr Gendzhev in 1997
In February 1997 the government of the Bulgarian Socialist Party stepped down and an interim cabinet was appointed. At the general elections that followed in April 1997 the Union of Democratic Forces obtained a majority in Parliament and formed a new government.
The new Deputy Prime Minister in charge of supervising the Directorate of Religious Denominations and the Directorate urged the two rival leaderships, of Mr Hasan and of Mr Gendzhev, to negotiate a unification.
On an unspecified date in September 1997 the Supreme Holy Council headed by Mr Gendzhev appointed a contact group for the negotiations.
On 30 September 1997 the two contact groups signed an agreement to convene a national conference of all Muslim believers on 23 October 1997. The agreement was also signed by the competent Deputy Prime Minister and the Director of Religious Denominations. It provided inter alia:
1. The all-Muslim conference shall be organised on the basis of full representation of the Mulsim denomination. It shall not be based on the two existing statutes [of the rival leaderships]. Deputy Prime Minister Metodiev and the Director of Religious Denominations undertake to guarantee the implementation of this principle.
2. ... The [rival groups] undertake not to obstruct the unification spirit of the conference, failing which the Directorate would take appropriate administrative measures against the persons suspected of [obstruction].
3. Pending the conference, the [leadership headed by Mr Gendzhev] undertakes to refrain from any administrative decisions, [such as] appointments ...
4. The [leadership headed by Mr Gendzhev] consents to a freeze on all bank accounts of the Chief Mufti Office, the Regional Mufti Offices, and the Mosque Councils and declares that pending the conference it will not enter into any transaction ...
7. The joint committee shall elaborate rules and a procedure for the organisation of the conference...”
On an unspecified date the joint committee ruled that the assembly of each local community attending a mosque should elect two representatives to the national conference. The minutes from the assemblies’ proceedings had to be made on a form provided by the Directorate of Religious Denominations and certified by the local mayor.
Local assemblies for the election of delegates were held on 17 October 1997 throughout the country. The applicant organisation alleges that irregularities occurred in many localities.
On 21 and 22 October 1997 Mr Gendzhev and those who had signed the unification agreement on behalf of the Supreme Holy Council headed by him wrote to the Prime Minister and the Directorate of Religious Denominations stating that the conference planned for 23 October was not organised in accordance with the statute of the Muslim religious organisation and that it was unlawful. Those who had signed the agreement of 30 September 1997 stated that they had been forced to do so by the Director of Religious Denominations and declared the withdrawal of their support for that agreement. The letters further described the participation of the Directorate in the preparation of the conference as an unacceptable State interference in the Muslims’ internal affairs.
On 23 October 1997 more than one thousand delegates attended the conference. Only those whose election had been certified by the mayors were allowed to participate. According to the press, the verification of the delegates’ credentials was carried out by employees of the Directorate of Religious Denominations. Its Director addressed the conference stating, inter alia, that Mr Gendzhev, who did not appear, had “failed the test”. In these words the Director apparently blamed Mr Gendzhev for having withdrawn from the unification process.
According to the applicant organisation, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, a political party whose members are in their large majority ethnic Turks, was involved in the organisation of the conference. That party was allegedly very close to the ruling Union of Democratic Forces and was implementing the political decision to replace the leadership of the Muslim community. According to the applicant organisation, about one hundred of the delegates on 23 October 1997 were mayors elected on the Movement of Rights and Freedoms ticket.
The conference adopted a new statute of the Muslim denomination in Bulgaria and elected a new leadership comprising six members of the leadership of Mr Hasan and other persons. The conference voted a resolution authorising the new leadership to conduct an audit and seek the prosecution of Mr Gendzhev for alleged unlawful transactions.
On 28 October 1997 the Government registered the newly elected leadership.
5. Judicial appeals by the Supreme Holy Council led by Mr Gendzhev
Mr Gendzhev, who claimed that he remained the President of the Supreme Holy Council, appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court against the Government’s decision to register the new leadership.
On 16 July 1998 the Supreme Administrative Court, sitting in a composition of three judges, rejected the appeal as being inadmissible. It found that the Supreme Holy Council of Mr Gendzhev had no locus standi to lodge an appeal as it had never been validly registered. The registration acts of 22 and 23 February 1995 had been based on a decision by Deputy Prime Minister Shivarov who, however, had not been duly authorised in express terms by the Council of Ministers to approve the statutes of religious denominations. As a result the Supreme Holy Council of Mr Gendzhev had never legally existed and all its acts between 1995 and 1997 were null and void.
Upon the applicant’s appeal, on 9 October 1998 a five-member chamber of the Supreme Administrative Court quashed the decision of 16 July 1998 and remanded the case for examination on the merits. The chamber noted that by judgment of 27 July 1995 the Supreme Court had found that the 1995 registration of the Supreme Holy Council headed by Mr Gendzhev had been lawful. That finding was final and binding. Therefore, the applicant’s appeal could not be rejected for lack of locus standi.
In the renewed proceedings the three-member composition of the Supreme Administrative Court examined the appeal on the merits and dismissed it on 23 May 1999. The presiding judge was the same person who presided in the previous examination of the case, when the appeal was declared inadmissible on 16 July 1998. He had also been one of the three judges who delivered judgment on 28 April 1992 in the case concerning Mr Gendzhev’s removal in 1992.
The court found that the acts of the authorities did not constitute an interference with the internal organisation of the Muslim community. The decision to hold a unification conference had been taken freely by representatives of the two rival groups. The rules and procedures for the election of delegates and for the holding of the October 1997 conference had been elaborated by the joint committee. The Directorate of Religious Denominations had only contributed to the organisation of the conference and had acted in accordance with the agreement between the two leaderships and the decisions of the joint committee. The Directorate had acted pursuant to its task to contribute to and guarantee tolerance and respect in inter-religious relations as well as in the relations between different groups belonging to one and the same religion. The fact that the Supreme Holy Council presided over by Mr Gendzhev had withdrawn in the last minute did not call into question the validity of the conference which had taken place in accordance with the negotiated rules. It was true that these rules derogated from the statute of the Muslim community as in force at the relevant time but the derogation had been decided upon freely by the two leaderships in order to resolve the conflict in the community. It followed that the impugned act, the decision of 28 October 1997 registering the newly elected leadership of the Muslim community, was in accordance with the law.
The applicant submitted a cassation appeal against the judgment of 23 May 1999.
That was dismissed by a five-member chamber of the Supreme Administrative Court on 15 March 2000 which upheld the reasoning of the impugned judgment.
B. Relevant domestic law and practice
The relevant provisions of the 1991 Constitution read as follows:
“(1) Religions shall be free.
(2) Religious institutions shall be separate from the State.
(3) Eastern Orthodox Christianity shall be considered the traditional religion in the Republic of Bulgaria.
(4) Religious institutions and communities, and religious beliefs shall not be used for political ends.”
“(1) The freedom of conscience, the freedom of thought and the choice of religion or of religious or atheistic views shall be inviolable. The State shall assist in the maintenance of tolerance and respect between the adherents of different denominations, and between believers and non-believers.
(2) The freedom of conscience and religion shall not be exercised to the detriment of national security, public order, public health and morals, or of the rights and freedoms of others.”
The Constitutional Court’s judgment no. 5 of 11 June 1992 provides a legally binding interpretation of the above provisions. It states inter alia that the State must not interfere with the internal organisation of religious communities and institutions, which must be regulated by their own statutes and rules. The State may interfere with the activity of a religious community or institution only in the cases contemplated in Articles 13 § 4 and 37 § 2 of the Constitution. An assessment as to whether there is such a case may also be undertaken at the time of registration of a religious community or institution.
The Religious Denominations Act came into force in 1949 and has been amended several times since then. The relevant provisions of the Act, as in force at the time of the events at issue, read as follows.
“(1) A religious denomination shall be considered recognised and shall become a legal person upon the approval of its statute by the Council of Ministers, or by a Deputy Prime Minister authorised for this purpose.
(2) The Council of Ministers, or a Deputy Prime Minister authorised for this purpose, shall revoke the recognition, by a reasoned decision, if the activities of the religious denomination breach the law, public order or morals.”
“(1) Every religious denomination shall have a leadership accountable to the State.
(2) The statute of the religious denomination shall establish its governing and representative bodies and the procedure for their election and appointment... “
“(1) The national governing bodies of the religious denominations shall register with the Directorate of Religious Denominations of the Council of Ministers, and local governing bodies with the local municipalities, and they shall submit a list of the names of all members of these governing bodies.”
The Act also lays down rules regarding the activities of a religious denomination, imposes requirements as regards its clergy and gives the Directorate of Religious Denominations certain supervisory functions. In its judgment no. 5 of 11 June 1992 the Constitutional Court, while agreeing that certain provisions of the Religious Denominations Act were clearly unconstitutional, found that it was not its task to repeal legal provisions adopted prior to the entry into force of the 1991 Constitution, the ordinary courts being competent to declare them inapplicable.
Under Decree No. 125 of the Council of Ministers of 6 December 1990, as amended, the competence of the Directorate of Religious Denominations includes “contacts between the State and religions denominations”, assistance to central and local administrative authorities in solving problems which involve religious matters and assistance to religious organisations as regards education and publications.
There are no procedural provisions under Bulgarian law specifically applicable to the examination by the Council of Ministers, or by a Deputy Prime Minister, of a petition for authorisation of a religious denomination. Section 3 of the Administrative Procedure Act (Закон за административното производство), which contains a general legal regime on the procedure for issuing of and appeal against administrative decisions, provides that the Act is not applicable as regards decisions of the Council of Ministers.
1. The applicant organisation raises complaints under Articles 6, 9, 13 and 14 of the Convention of the removal of Mr Gendzhev in 1992 and the ensuing judicial proceedings.
2. The applicant organisation complains under Article 6 of the Convention that, allegedly contrary to the requirement of equality of arms, it was not admitted as a party to the 1996 and 1997 proceedings between Mr Hasan and the Council of Ministers and that these proceedings were unfair. It further claims that the judgments of the Supreme Court of 14 October 1996 and 13 March 1997 whereby the Council of Ministers was ordered to examine the registration application of the rival leadership, that of Mr Hasan, constituted an unlawful intervention of the Supreme Court in the internal affairs of the Muslim community presided over by Mr Gendzhev and were thus contrary to Articles 9 and 14 of the Convention. Furthermore, no effective remedy was available in violation of Article 13.
3. The applicant organisation complains, invoking Articles 6, 9, 13 and 14 of the Convention, of the acts of the authorities related to the national conference of 23 October 1997, the ensuing registration of a new officially recognised leadership of the Muslim community in Bulgaria and the subsequent judicial proceedings.
It claims that the Directorate of Religious Denominations organised and manipulated the conference with the aim of favouring one of the rival leaderships and removing Mr Gendzhev, thus violating Articles 9 and 14 of the Convention.
The applicant organisation also complains that the requirement of impartiality, as enshrined in Article 6 of the Convention, was breached in the 1999 proceedings because the presiding judge decided twice in the same case, before and after its remand for renewed examination, and had also participated in another case involving Mr Gendzhev in similar circumstances. Furthermore, in the 1998-99 proceedings the Supreme Administrative Court allegedly rejected a request for a disclosure order against the Directorate of Religious Denominations in respect of all documentary material concerning the October 1997 conference, thus vitiating the fairness of the proceedings as a whole.
The applicant organisation complains, invoking Article 13 of the Convention, that the judicial remedies it had at its disposal proved ineffective and that no other remedies were available against the arbitrary acts of the authorities.
1. Complaints under Articles 6, 9, 13 and 14 of the Convention in relation to the removal of Mr Gendzhev in 1992 and the ensuing judicial proceedings in 1992 and 1993.
Insofar as the events complained of are within its competence ratione temporis, Bulgaria having ratified the Convention on 7 September 1992, the Court notes that the application was introduced on 9 September 1997. Even assuming that a part of the above complaints may be regarded as relating to a continuous situation and that no effective remedies were available, it finds that any continuous interference with the rights of the applicant organisation under the Convention ceased not later than in February 1995, when the applicant organisation obtained full control over the official organisation of the Muslim community in Bulgaria.
It follows that these complaints have been introduced out of the six months’ time limit under Article 35 § 1 of the Convention and must be rejected under Article 35 § 4.
2. Complaints under Articles 6, 9, 13 and 14 of the Convention relating to the judgments of the Supreme Court of 1996 and 1997.
The Court need not decide whether the two sets of proceedings in question can be regarded as continuing proceedings in the same matter and, consequently, whether the complaints concerning the 1996 judgment were submitted within the six months’ time limit under Article 35 § 1 of the Convention. The complaints are in any event inadmissible in their entirety.
By challenging the judgments of 1996 and 1997 – which concerned the right of another group within the Muslim community to exist and manage its affairs –, the applicant organisation claims in substance that it was entitled to remain the only legitimate organisation of the Muslim community in Bulgaria and that that right was infringed by the courts when they mentioned the existence of another Muslim leadership.
The Court finds, however, that the right to peaceful organisational life of a religious community free from arbitrary State interference, as guaranteed by Article 9 of the Convention interpreted in the light of its Article 11 (see Hasan and Chaush v. Bulgaria [GC], no. 30985/96, ECHR 2000-XI), does not give raise to a right to official recognition as the sole organisation of a religious community, to the exclusion of others.
In any event, even assuming that the 1996 and 1997 judgments could in principle affect the internal life of the applicant organisation in a manner that would attract the application of Article 9 of the Convention, the Court notes that in the particular circumstances the impugned judgments remained unenforced and did not have any legal or practical effect.
It follows that those judgments cannot be regarded as an interference with the rights of the applicant organisation under Article 9 of the Convention and that the complaints under this provision taken alone or in conjunction with Article 14 of the Convention are manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of its Article 35 § 3.
Furthermore, insofar as the applicant organisation also invokes Article 6 of the Convention, even assuming that the 1996 and 1997 judgments could in theory affect the applicant organisation’s civil rights, in the particular circumstances it cannot claim to be a victim of a violation, within the meaning of Article 34 of the Convention, on account of the alleged deficiencies in the proceedings leading to those judgments, as they remained inoperative and did not have any legal or practical consequences.
The Court also finds that the applicant organisation did not have an arguable claim of violations of the Convention in respect of the 1996 and 1997 judgments and that therefore Article 13 did not apply.
The complaints examined above must therefore be rejected in accordance with Article 35 § 4 of the Convention.
3. Complains, raised under Articles 6, 9, 13 and 14 of the Convention, of the acts of the authorities related to the national conference on 23 October 1997, the ensuing registration of a new officially recognised leadership of the Muslim denomination and the subsequent judicial proceedings.
The Court considers that it cannot, on the basis of the case file, determine the admissibility of this complaint and that it is therefore necessary, in accordance with Rule 54 § 3 (b) of the Rules of Court, to give notice of this part of the application to the respondent Government.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to adjourn the examination of the applicant’s complaints of the acts of the authorities related to the national conference on 23 October 1997, the ensuing registration of a new officially recognised leadership of the Muslim denomination and the subsequent judicial proceedings;
Declares inadmissible the remainder of the application.
Erik Fribergh Christos Rozakis
SUPREME HOLY COUNCIL OF
THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY v. BULGARIA DECISION
SUPREME HOLY COUNCIL OF
THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY v. BULGARIA DECISION