The establishment of a legal provision on non-pecuniary damages as a “weapon” to police violence
Teymurazyan v. Armenia 15.03.2018 (no. 17521/09)
No legal provision in national law for compensation for non-pecuniary damage resulting from ill-treatment or unlawful arrest and detention. Violation of protection of the right to an effective remedy and the right to redress from unlawful detention.
Article 5 § 5
The applicant, Vardan Teymurazyan, is an Armenian national who was born in 1957 and lives in Yerevan.
The case principally concerned his complaint that Armenian law had not provided for non-pecuniary compensation for ill-treatment and unlawful detention. In April 2005 a criminal case was instituted against Mr Teymurazyan for assaulting two officers of the traffic police and he was held in remand for one and half months. He was acquitted in February 2006 after the court found it was the police officers themselves who had been violent and had injured him. The court also held that his arrest and detention had been unlawful. The police officers were never prosecuted as, in November 2006, the appeal court in the case found that it was not possible under Armenian law to reopen proceedings if the prosecuting authority had previously decided not to bring charges against the officers, as it had done in June 2005.
Mr Teymurazyan’s civil claim for non-pecuniary damage was dismissed on the grounds that such compensation was not envisaged by domestic law. Mr Teymurazyan complained in particular that there had been no legal provision for compensation for non-pecuniary damage for his ill-treatment or unlawful arrest and detention, in breach of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) and Article 5 § 5 (right to liberty and security – right to compensation) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
THE DECISION OF THE COURT
Violation of Article 5 § 5
Violation of Article 13
Just satisfaction: 11,700 euros (EUR) for non-pecuniary damage and EUR 500 for costs and expenses(echrcaselaw.com editing).