Thursday, 18 November 2010

18 November: View From The Court

TramStrasbourg lineE DroitsHomme panneau2Image via Wikipedia
On 18 November, the European Court of Human Rights made known its decision in the following complaints. 
Baudoin v. France (no. 35935/03)*

The applicant, Claude Baudoin, is a French national who was born in 1945 and is currently confined in the difficult patients’ unit at Plouguernével Specialist Hospital (France). In 1975 he was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for murder and attempted murder. In 1983 he was compulsorily admitted to hospital on account of his psychiatric problems and violent conduct; since then, he has been in hospital on an almost uninterrupted basis. He submitted that his continued involuntary confinement had been in breach of Article 5 §§ 1 (e) and 4 (right to liberty and security) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Violation of Article 5 § 1 (e)

Two violations of Article 5 § 4

Just satisfaction: EUR 20,000 (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 3,000 (costs and expenses)

Boutagni v. France (no. 42360/08)*

The applicant, Hassan Boutagni, is a Moroccan national who was born in 1966 in Morocco and has lived in France since 1978. In 2007 he received a prison sentence and an additional penalty of exclusion from French territory for taking part in the preparation of the bombings in Casablanca on 16 May 2003. Relying on Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the Convention, the applicant alleged that if returned to his country of origin he would be at risk of inhuman and degrading treatment and acts of torture. Relying on Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), he also submitted that his enforced return to Morocco, a country in which he no longer has any family ties, would breach his right to respect for his private and family life. On 5 September 2008, the Court indicated to the French Government under Rule 39 (interim measures) of its Rules of Court that it would be better not to return the applicant before the Court had decided on the case.

No violation of Article 3

No violation of Article 8

The Court held that France should not lift the interim measure indicated on 5 September 2008 until such time as this judgment had become final or the Court had delivered another decision on the issue.

Tunnel Report Limited v. France (no. 27940/07)*

The applicant, Tunnel Report Limited, is a United Kingdom company based in Farnborough (United Kingdom). It stated that it is the successor of another company, Combined Transport Limited (CTL), whose object had been the organisation of “piggyback” transport (combined rail/road transport) between the United Kingdom and the continent via the Channel Tunnel. CTL’s activities declined significantly when in 2001 the French National Railway Company (SNCF) reduced the level of rail traffic through the tunnel, citing force majeure, namely the security problems created by the illegal immigrants detained at the Sangatte holding centre, large numbers of whom were attempting to climb on board freight trains travelling to the United Kingdom. By the time the rail traffic was able to return to normal after security measures had been put in place by the French authorities, CTL’s financial position had drastically deteriorated, and it had eventually gone into liquidation. Relying on Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property), Tunnel Report Limited submitted that France had been responsible for CTL’s demise.

No violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1

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