Blokhin v. Russia (Application no. 47152/06)

A selection of key paragraph(s) can be found below the document.


169. In the Court’s view, and contrary to the Government’s claims, the applicant’s placement in the temporary detention centre cannot be compared to a placement in a closed educational institution, which is a separate and long-term measure intended to try to help minors with serious problems (compare A. and Others v. Bulgaria, no. 51776/08, §§ 66-74, 29 November 2011). As noted above, placement in a temporary detention centre is a short-term, temporary solution and the Court fails to see how any meaningful educational supervision, to change a minor’s behaviour and offer him or her appropriate treatment and rehabilitation, can be provided during a maximum period of thirty days.

170. As concerns the Government’s submission that the applicant did receive schooling in the temporary detention centre, the Court finds that the documents relied on by the Government show that an agreement existed with a local school to provide education to the juveniles at the temporary detention centre during the time that the applicant was there. In this connection, the Court considers that schooling in line with the normal school curriculum should be standard practice for all minors deprived of their liberty and placed under the State’s responsibility, even when they are placed in a temporary detention centre for a limited period of time, in order to avoid gaps in their education. This is also supported by international instruments dealing with the deprivation of liberty of minors (see, for instance, the 2008 European Rules for juvenile offenders subject to sanctions and measures, Rules 77, 78.3 and 78.5; the Council of Europe Guidelines on child friendly justice, Guidelines 21 and 28; the Beijing Rules, Rule 26.2; and the Havana Rules, Rule 38. All of these sources are cited above in paragraphs 79, 80, 86 and 87 respectively). Consequently, while the Court accepts that some schooling was provided in the centre, it considers that this does not substantiate the Government’s argument that the applicant’s placement was “for the purpose” of educational supervision. On the contrary, the centre was characterised by its disciplinary regime rather than by the schooling provided.

171. The Court further considers it to be of importance that none of the domestic courts examining the applicant’s detention order stated that the placement was for educational purposes. Instead, they referred to “behaviour correction” and the need to prevent him from committing further delinquent acts, neither of which is a valid ground covered by Article 5 § 1 (d) of the Convention. In fact, the Court observes that the purpose of “behaviour correction” coincides with the aims of criminal punishment found in Article 43 § 2 of the Criminal Code and in Article 87 § 2 of the Code for minors between 14 and 18 years of age (see paragraphs 57-58 above).

172. In view of the foregoing, the Court finds that the applicant’s placement in the temporary detention centre did not fall under Article 5 § 1 (d) of the Convention. Since it has already established that the detention did not fall within the ambit of any of the other sub-paragraphs of this provision, it follows that there has been a violation of Article 5 § 1.


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