Laduna v. Slovakia (Application no. 31827/02)

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

64. In the Court’s view, neither the above provisions nor the arguments put forward by the Government [see paras 60-63] provide an objective and reasonable justification for restricting the visiting rights of persons detained on remand – who are to be presumed innocent (see paragraph 14 above) – in the above respect and in a general manner, to a greater extent than those of convicted persons. The arrangements in place were criticised by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) in its reports on visits to Slovakia which took place in 1995, 2000 and 2005 (see paragraphs 35 and 36 above).

65. As regards the lack of direct contact with visitors, the Court observes that in a previous case it held that the detention on remand ofa person who had been physically separated from his visitors throughout his detention lasting three and a half years was, in the absence of any demonstrated need such as security considerations, not justified under Article 8 § 2 (see Moiseyev, cited above, §§ 258-59). It further notes that, apart from an exception which was at the discretion of the prison governor, at the relevant time the law in force did not entitle persons detained on remand to have direct contact with their visitors regardless of their particular situation.

66. The Court concurs with the view expressed in the report of 6 December 2001 on the CPT’s visit to Slovakia, according to which in certain cases it may be justified, for security-related reasons or to protect the legitimate interests of an investigation, to have particular restrictions on a detained person’s visiting rights (see paragraph 35 above, and also Vlasov v. Russia, no. 78146/01, § 123, 12 June 2008, with further references). That aim can, however, be attained by other means which do not affect all detained persons regardless of whether they are actually required, such as the setting up of different categories of detention, or particular restrictions as may be required by the circumstances of an individual case.

69. In view of the above, the Court concludes that the restrictions on visits to the applicant by his family members during his detention on remand constituted a disproportionate measure, contrary to his rights under Article 14 taken in conjunction with Article 8 of the Convention.


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