THE FACTS

The facts of the case as submitted by the applicant may be summarised
as follows:

The applicant is a German citizen born in 1912 in Leipzig and at
present serving a life sentence for murder in prison in Munster.

From the voluminous statements and numerous documents submitted by the
applicant it seems that in 1949 he was convicted for having murdered
his wife and sentenced to life imprisonment. Although at first he
confessed to this crime, he revoked his confession later during his
trial; finally, he was convicted on the basis of circumstantial
evidence. Since then he has tried to obtain a retrial, but he has
refused to make a petition for pardon for what he calls fundamental
reasons which he does not disclose.

1.   On .. July and .. August 1968 the applicant filed several
petitions and made proposals to various people and agencies regarding
working conditions and employment of prisoners. He proposed that
working groups of five or six prisoners should be formed within the
prison which would work preferably during normal working hours, as in
free enterprise and sell their products to merchants and people outside
the prison. Furthermore, the applicant proposed that any profit made
by a working group should be used by an individual member to pay his
debts, counsel fees and the cost of the criminal proceedings, a part
of the profits going to the prisoner's family.

The part of the petition concerning the applicant's proposal to allow
these groups to work during the normal working hours of the prison was
rejected by the Ministry of Justice of North-Rhine-Westphalia on ..
July 1968. A decision on the possibility of performing the work in the
inmates' spare time was left open. On .. February 1969, however, this
part of the petition was also refused by the Attorney General. In the
meantime the applicant had requested the Hamm Court of Appeal to decide
by "Beschluß" on his claims since the Attorney General had not replied
formally to this request. He also applied for legal aid. During that
time no steps were taken by the applicant to promote his projects. On
.. June 1969 the Hamm Court of Appeal refused the applicant's request
for legal aid and the request for a decision by the Court (Antrag auf
gerichtliche Entscheidung). The applicant's request to work during his
leisure time was also refused by the Court since the Attorney General's
decision was within his discretion and no abuse thereof was found by
the Court.

On .. November 1969 the applicant lodged a constitutional complaint
(Verfassungsbeschwerde) against this decision to the Constitutional
Court of North-Rhine-Westphalia (Verfassungsgerichtshof) alleging
violations of his basic and human rights. Moreover, the applicant
challenged the integrity of the judges in general. This constitutional
complaint was declared inadmissible on .. June 1970 because the
Constitution of North-Rhine-Westphalia does not provide for individual
appeals. The Court could not refer this matter to another court since
no relevant legal provision existed.

The applicant lodged a constitutional complaint (Verfassungsbeschwerde)
with the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht)
against this decision and against the above decision of the Hamm Court
of Appeal. By decision of .. November 1970, however, the complaint was
declared inadmissible; as regards the decision of the Hamm Court of
Appeal, on the ground that the applicant had failed to complain within
the statutory period of one month against this decision:  with regard
to the decision of the Constitutional Court of North-Rhine-Westphalia
it was declared manifestly ill-founded since the applicant did not
explain how his right under Article 103 of the Basic Law had been
violated.

2.   In July 1968 the applicant filed a petition to the prison
authorities to receive 150 DM from his private money. He indicated that
it was senseless for him, under a sentence of life imprisonment, to
save his money in a reserve fund for his release, and he intended to
use this money to obtain new evidence for his retrial, to provide some
financial help for his sick sister in Leipzig, to obtain legal
assistance in connection with an invention he had made and in other
legal matters. This was refused by the prison authorities. On .. August
1970 the Hamm Court of Appeal confirmed this decision of the prison
authorities and the Attorney General. The Court stated that according
to No. 97 of the Standing Order concerning the execution of sentences
(Dienst- und Vollzugsordnung) the reserve fund saved by a prisoner was
intended to ensure that the prisoner had some funds at his disposal
after his release in order to prevent his falling into misery. In the
case of the applicant, the Court continued, this fund amounted only to
130 DM and even the fact of his life sentence did not justify the
applicant spending all this money. The Appeal Court finally held that
no indications could be found of the Prison Governor's abusing his
discretion when refusing the applicant's request. A constitutional
appeal (Verfassungsbeschwerde) to the Federal Constitutional Court, in
which the applicant alleged violation of his human rights, was rejected
as being manifestly ill-founded on .. November 1970.

3.   On .. June 1970, during the proceedings before the Hamm Court of
Appeal the applicant challenged the judges on grounds of bias and
presumptive partiality. He alleged that since the Minister of Justice
is the "employer" both of the prison authorities and the judges, it
followed that the latter could not reach an impartial and unbiased
judgment on matters concerning the prison authorities. On .. July 1970,
this challenge was rejected by other judges of the Hamm Court of
Appeal.

A further constitutional complaint to the Federal Constitutional Court
alleging that his right to independent, unbiased and impartial judges
had been violated and that he had not had an oral hearing, was rejected
by this Court on .. November 1970.

4.   On .. June 1970 the applicant filed an application for legal aid
for his application for retrial. The Regional Court (Landgericht) of
Dortmund rejected it on legal grounds on .. December 1970. An appeal
(Beschwerde) to the Hamm Court of Appeal was also rejected, since
German law does not provide for legal aid to be granted for such
proceedings.

5.   In proceedings before the Administrative Court
(Verwaltungsgericht) in Düsseldorf and the Administrative Court of
Appeal (Oberverwaltungsgericht) in Münster the applicant filed an
application for legal aid. He wished to have examined the question
whether his human rights were respected during his detention by the
court. Legal aid was not granted because his claim had no reasonable
chance of success.

6.   On .. September 1970 the applicant filed a petition to the
Minister of Justice of North-Rhine-Westphalia to commute his life
sentence to a shorter sentence. He also wanted to be transferred to an
open prison where he could work outside the prison walls. He intended
to pay for the surgery of his sister in Leipzig with the money thus
earned and to save the rest of it for his own social welfare. In
addition, he wanted to have the opportunity of performing fully paid
work in prison in order to achieve the above-mentioned aims. This was
rejected by the Minister of Justice and the President of the prison
authorities.

7.   In June 1970 the applicant wanted to take part in the general
elections of North-Rhine-Westphalia which were held on 14 June 1970.
(A modification of the General Criminal Law -
Strafrechtsänderungsgesetz, Article 90 - granted the right to vote to
prisoners with effect from 1 April 1970). His application for a voting
permit (Wahlschein) was nevertheless refused by the corresponding
authorities on .. May 1970. (The file does not indicate the reasons
given by the authorities, but it appears that they misinterpreted the
law). On .. June 1970 the applicant filed a constitutional complaint
with the Constitutional Court of North-Rhine-Westphalia with regard to
this matter but it was declared inadmissible by decision of .. June
1970, .. days after the elections.

On .. June 1970 the applicant filed a petition to the prison
authorities to obtain permission for fifty fellow prisoners who were
also prevented from voting, to sign a petition in order to challenge
the elections. According to the law in North-Rhine-Westphalia , this
had to be done within one month of the official declaration of the
election results.

On .. July 1970 the applicant made a formal complaint to the Hamm Court
of Appeal, since his petition was not answered by the prison
authorities and the matter was urgent in view of the expiring time
limit. This was rejected by the Hamm Court of Appeal on .. July 1970
because the applicant had failed to obtain a formal decision by the
prison authorities. This formal complaint to the prison administration,
dated .. July 1970, could not be taken into account by the Court. The
subsequent constitutional complaint to the Federal Constitutional Court
was declared manifestly ill-founded on .. November 1970.

At length, on .. July 1970, the President of the prison Administration
rejected the applicant's petition to collect the fifty signatures. He
held that this procedure would endanger the security and order
(Sicherheit und Ordnung) in the prison. The consequent decision of the
Hamm Court of Appeal given on the applicant's appeal has not been
submitted, and his constitutional complaint to the Federal
Constitutional Court is apparently still pending.

The applicant also filed an election petition and challenged the
lawfulness of the election. This was examined by the Parliamentary
Committee for Election Petitions (Wahlprüfungsausschuß) and declared
inadmissible since the applicant had failed to provide the necessary
fifty signatures supporting his objections. Moreover, the Committee
ruled that although the prison Administration acted unlawfully the
exclusion of the applicant and other prisoners could have no influence
on the election results. The ballot was therefore correct. The
applicant lodged a constitutional complaint to the Constitutional Court
of North-Rhine-Westphalia. During the proceedings he applied to the
Court to provide a lawyer for him and challenged the judges on grounds
of bias, since they took part in the above decision of .. June 1970.
This was rejected by the Court on .. February 1971. The Court's final
decision concerning his challenge of the election has not, however,
been submitted by the applicant.

8.   Numerous petitions by the applicant to receive social welfare
benefits during his detention were refused on different legal grounds.

Complaints

The applicant alleges violation of the following Articles of the
Convention:

Article 1 of the Convention because the Federal Republic of Germany is
not willing to secure the human rights set out in the Convention.

Article 2 because his right to live was denied, which he considers to
be more than a mere physical condition.

Article 3 because of his detention and since he was not allowed to help
his sister.

Article 4 in connection with the Social Charter because his right to
work had been violated.

Article 6 because no impartial and independent court acted in his case
and since he was not granted an oral hearing. Furthermore, he alleges
violation of Article 6 of the Convention because, in the proceedings
concerning his request to spend 150 DM from his private money, the
Court's decision was not given within a reasonable time (see above,
point 2).

Article 8 because he was not allowed to help his sick sister.

Article 10 because he was not allowed to listen to radio programmes of
his choice in prison.

Article 11 because he was not allowed to collect the signatures to
challenge the election and since he was not allowed to form working
groups within the prison.

Article 13 because the Constitution of North-Rhine-Westphalia does not
provide for an individual constitutional complaint against the
violation of human and basic rights, and the court did not refer the
matter to another court at his request.

Article 14 because the Hamm Court of Appeal did not reach a swift
decision on his request of .. July 1970  with regard to the challenge
of the elections (see above, point 7) although the matter was urgent.
He alleged that discrimination was thus a consequence of his detention.

Articles 1 and 2 of the First Protocol because he could not promote his
invention and because his educational standard, a part of his
possessions, is suppressed by the authorities. Article 3 because he
could not participate and cast his vote in the above-mentioned
elections.

He further alleges violations of Articles 15, 17 and 18 of the
Convention.

THE LAW

1.   The applicant has complained that his right to work has been
violated by the German authorities who refused him permission to
organise group-work of prisoners according to his ideas and
suggestions. In this respect, and in respect of the applicant's
complaints mentioned under paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8 below, Article
25 (1) (Art. 25-1) of the Convention provides that it is only the
alleged violation of one of the rights and freedoms set forth in the
Convention that can be subject of an application presented by a person,
non-governmental organisation or group of individuals. The right to
work, as invoked by the applicant, is not included among the rights and
freedoms guaranteed by the Convention and in this respect the
Commission refers to its previous decision on the admissibility of
Application No. 1028/61, Collection of Decisions, Vol. 6, p. 69. It
follows that this part of the application is incompatible ratione
materiae with the provisions of the Convention within the meaning of
Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention.

2.   The applicant has further complained that he was not given an
oral hearing on his request concerning his right to work in prison and
he has complained about other procedural aspects of these proceedings,
namely that the courts were biased against him, and thereby violated
his rights under Article 6 (Art. 6) of the Convention. The provisions
of this Article, however, apply exclusively to proceedings which deal
with "the determination of .. civil rights and obligations or .. any
criminal charge". Accordingly, they do not apply to the above mentioned
proceedings instituted by the applicant, since they determine neither
any criminal charge brought against him nor his civil rights and
obligations. As regards the latter, the Commission notes that in the
proceedings concerned the applicant requested the privilege not only
of working in prison but of having this work organised according to his
personal plans and ideas. These proceedings, therefore, are of an
essentially public law nature in view of the situation of the prisoner
who is subordinated to the prison administration and since all
privileges concerning prisoners are granted by the State in the course
of carrying out its duty to provide, in the public interest, adequate
forms of the execution of sentences which have been imposed under
criminal law on the persons concerned.

In this respect the Commission refers mutatus mutandis to its previous
decision on the admissibility of application No. 3959/69, Collection
of Decisions, Vol. 35, p. 109. This complaint is, therefore, also
incompatible ratione materiae with the provisions of the Convention.

3.   The applicant has further complained that in respect of his
above-mentioned proceedings the German authorities refused to grant him
legal aid. He also complained that he was not granted such aid in
proceedings which he instituted in order to obtain a retrial and in
proceedings before the administrative courts.

It is true that, under Article 6 (3) (c) (Art. 6-3-c) of the
Convention, everyone charged with a criminal offense has the right,
subject to certain conditions, to be granted free legal assistance. In
the proceedings mentioned by the applicant, the latter was, however,
not a person "charged with a criminal offense" within the meaning of
the above-mentioned provision. Article 6 (3) (c) (Art. 6-3-c) of the
Convention is, therefore, not applicable in regard to his present
complaints. Furthermore the right to free legal aid in retrial
proceedings, administrative proceedings, and in proceedings such as
instituted by the applicant in respect to his work in prison, is not
elsewhere included among the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the
Convention. It follows that these complaints are also incompatible
ratione materiae with the provisions of the Convention.

4.   The same reasoning applies to the applicant's complaint that his
request that his life sentence should be commuted into a shorter
sentence with the Commission's established case-law, the right to a
similar measure of clemency is not as such guaranteed in the Convention
(see mutatis mutandis decision on the admissibility of application No.
2749/66, Collection of Decisions, Vol. 24, p. 85).

5.   The applicant further complained that he was not granted
permission by the prison authorities to spend 150 DM from his private
money for the purposes of assisting his sick sister, or of obtaining
new evidence for his retrial or for other legal matters. The Commission
has examined this complaint under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1)
which guarantees to everybody "the peaceful enjoyment of his
possessions". The same Article, however, also provides for the rights
of the State "to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control the
use of property in accordance with the general interest". In this
regard the Commission took note of the reasons given by the German
courts for the above refusal, namely that the applicant should not be
allowed to spend all his savings since he should have some funds at his
disposal at the time of his release. It also noted that the Court of
Appeal had carefully examined the case and had found that the prison
governor had not used his discretion unreasonably or arbitrarily when
he refused the applicant's request. The Commission is of the same
opinion and therefore considers that this complaint of the applicant
is manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27, paragraph
(2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention, since the restriction complained
of by the applicant was imposed upon him "in order to control the use
of his property in accordance with the general interest".

6.   The applicant has also complained that he was not allowed to
participate in the general elections held in the German Land
North-Rhine-Westphalia on 14 June 1970. He alleges thereby a violation
of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-3). The Commission has examined this
complaint under this Article which provides that "The High Contracting
Parties undertake to hold free elections at reasonable intervals by
secret ballot, under conditions which will ensure the free expression
of the opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature". In the
circumstances of this particular case, however, the Commission is of
the opinion that the exclusion of the applicant from the vote did not
affect the election result nor thereby the free expression of the
opinion of the people generally, consequently, this complaint is also
manifestly ill-founded under Article 27 (2) (Art. 27-2), of the
Convention, since there is not appearance of a violation of the
above-mentioned Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-3).

7.   The applicant has next complained that the judges were biased
against him in the proceedings which he had instituted before various
German courts and other authorities in order to challenge the
lawfulness of the above elections. In this respect, however, the same
reasoning applies as stated above in paragraph 2. It follows that this
complaint is incompatible ratione materiae with the provisions of the
Convention since these proceedings are of an essentially public law
nature and do not determine the applicant's civil rights or obligations
nor any criminal charge against him. Consequently, the procedural
guarantees of Article 6 (Art. 6), which provides for a "fair and public
hearing", are not applicable.

8.   The applicant's further complaint that on numerous occasions he
was refused social welfare benefits by the German authorities is also
incompatible ratione materiae with the provisions of the Convention,
since no right to such benefits is, according to the Commission's
established case-law, guaranteed thereby (see decision on the
admissibility of application No. 1241/61 of 8 May 1962.).

9.   The Commission has finally examined the applicant's various
remaining complaints as they have been submitted by him. However, after
considering them as a whole, the Commission finds that they do not
generally disclose any appearance of a violation of the rights and
freedoms set forth in the Convention.

It follows that they are as a whole manifestly ill-founded within the
meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention.

For these reasons, the Commission DECLARES THIS APPLICATION
INADMISSIBLE