Damage Claims for Improper Prison Conditions: the Jurisprudence of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania from the Perspective of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
MetadataShow full item record
Purpose-article aims to analyse the case-law of the Supreme administrative court of Lithuania (hereinafter -Supreme administrative court) concerning claims of improper detention conditions fromthe perspective of Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms(hereinafter -ECHR). Thus,this article provides an analysis of criteria applied by the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter -ECtHR) for determining the existence of an infringement of article 3 of the ECHR, prohibiting torture and inhuman or degrading treatmentandcase-law of the Supreme administrative court concerning improper detention conditions in light of the case-law of ECtHR. Finally, the author of this article studies criteria for awarding effective remedy. Design/methodology/approach-Analytic, systematic, generalisation, analogy and comparative methods are used in this article. Systematic and analytical methods are used to analyse the standards of sufficient detention conditions. Comparative and analogy methods are employed for distinguishing the similarities and differences between the practice of Lithuanian administrative courts and case-law of the ECtHR. Based on the generalisation method, conclusions are drawn.Findings-Whilethe Supreme administrative court extensively relies on the case-lawof the ECtHR, usually suchjudicial review is oflimited scope, concerning only infringements ofnational legal regulation and not infringementsof the ECHR. Like the ECtHR, the Supreme administrative courtconstitutesan infringement on a case-by-casebasis, taking into account the cumulative effect of detention conditions. In cases of an infringement,the Supreme administrative court may award monetary compensation or constitute that finding of infringement is in itself a just satisfaction. The Supreme administrative court considers atime the victim spent subjected to improper conditions, the entirety of infringements, the level of suffering, the intention for harm of the institution, the economic situation inthe country relevant criteria for determining an effective remedy. The Supreme administrative court usually concludesthat finding of an infringement is just satisfaction in cases of minor infringements.Nevertheless,the case-law regarding lack of privacy using sanitary facilities is still not consistent asin some cases the Supreme administrative court awards monetary compensation while inothercases refusesto award monetary compensation considering that finding of an infringement isjust satisfaction. However, analysis of the jurisprudence of the ECtHRreveals that eventhough administrative courts of Lithuania find that detention conditions were not adequate and thus infringe rights protectedby the ECHRor national law, remedies granted by the courts are not always sufficient.On some occasions,remedies granted by theECtHR for the same infringements are far higher than those granted by national courts. The ECtHR stipulatesthat under the principle of subsidiarity states parties of the ECHR are primarily responsible for ensuring the ECHR rights. Nevertheless,institutions or national courts in case ofan infringement of the ECHR shouldaward a remedy, whichwould be similar to oneawarded by the ECtHR in a similar case.Nonetheless, the ECtHRalreadynumerous times concluded that remedies granted by the Supreme administrative court are not sufficient. On the other hand, for the remedy itself, it is difficult to provide a clear standard, what could be considered an adequate award in an individual case.Research limitations/implications-research is limited to the analysis of the jurisprudence of the Supreme administrative court and the ECtHR. Thus,the practice of other courts and bodies of other human rights treaties is not analysed. This research is not intended to be an in-depth analysis of Lithuanian legal regulation of detention conditions since the aim of this article is to examinejurisprudence of the Supreme administrative court from theperspective of the ECtHR case-law and provide analysis in what cases remedies granted by the Supreme administrative court are notsufficient. Practical implications-the results of the research reveal the criteria applicable in the jurisprudence of the Supreme administrative court for finding infringement of article 3 of ECHR and standards for awarding effective remedy. Originality/Value-researchersof the Law institute of Lithuania researcheddetention conditions(Bieliūnienė, 2014; Wolfgan, 2017; Sakalauskas, 2015). However, the research of the Law institute of Lithuania waslimited to the national and international standards for conditions of detention. Thus, researchers did not analyse jurisprudence regarding the awards in cases of improper detention conditions. Since there is no research concerning the alignment between remedies granted by ECtHR and the Supreme administrative court, this article would be valuable for both legal practitioners and victims of infringement.