The ECHR judgment of November 7, 2017 in the case of Cherednichenko and Others v. Russia (complaint No. 35082/13 and others).
In 2013, the applicants were assisted in preparing the complaint. Subsequently, the complaint was communicated to the Russian Federation.
In the case, the complaint about the uncertainty regarding the beginning of the period for appealing the decision of the district court in the absence of a system determining the date of receipt of the appealed decision was successfully considered. There has been a violation of Article 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
Five applicants wanted to appeal the decisions of the district court. All of them, with the exception of one, submitted complaints that were found to have been submitted in violation of the deadline. However, the timing of the commencement of the deadline for filing a complaint at the domestic level was interpreted in different ways: this was the date of the announcement of the operative part at the hearing, the date of the reasoned decision by the judge, the date on which the reasoned decision was submitted to the office of the court, or the date of receipt of the copy of the decision by mail . The applicants complained of a violation of their right to access to the court on the grounds that, as a result of the allegedly incorrect interpretation of the procedural rules, their complaints were declared inadmissible as being filed beyond the deadline.
ISSUES OF LAW
Concerning compliance with article 6, paragraph 1, of the Convention. The problem considered in the present case was a consequence of a systemic shortcoming resulting from the absence on the domestic level of a uniform system allowing objectively to establish the date on which the full text of the decision is available to the parties to the dispute, taking into account the fact that the deadline for filing a complaint starts from that date. The authorities of the respondent State could remedy the situation by eliminating this shortcoming in procedural law. Nevertheless, in the absence of such a system, the Court accepted, as the deadline for the commencement of the deadline for the filing of the complaint, the dates indicated by the applicants, as the authorities of the respondent State could not prove otherwise.
It follows that the three claimants exercised their right to appeal within a set time, which began to flow on the date of the actual receipt of the full copies of the court decisions. Having rejected their complaints in connection with the expiry of the term, the courts of the Russian Federation exercised an excessively formal interpretation of the legislation, and the applicants were thus bound to an obligation which they could not fulfill even with special diligence. In view of the gravity of the sanctions imposed on the applicants in connection with the failure to comply with the deadlines calculated in such a manner, the contested measure was not proportionate to the goal of legal certainty and the proper administration of justice.
As for one of the applicants, the failure to receive the text of the court decision deprived him of the right to access the court of appeal.
The violation of the requirements of Article 6 of the Convention (unanimously) was committed.
In the application of Article 41 of the Convention. The Court awarded EUR 2,500 each in respect of non-pecuniary damage to each applicant.