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Gasparyan v. Armenia, Application No. 35944/03

THIRD SECTION

CASE OF GASPARYAN v. ARMENIA (NO. 1)

(Application no. 35944/03 )

JUDGMENT

STRASBOURG

13 January 2009

FINAL

13/04/2009

This judgment may be subject to editorial revision. C O N SEIL
D E L’EU R O PE
C O U N C IL
O F EU R O PE
C O U R EU R O PÉEN N E D ES D RO ITS D E L’H O M M E
EU R O PEA N CO U RT O F H U M A N R IG H TS

GASPARYAN v. ARMENIA (NO. 1 ) JUDGMENT 1

In the case of Gasparyan v. Armenia (no. 1) ,
The European Court of Human Rights ( Third Section ), sitting as a
Chamber composed of:
Josep Casadevall , President,
Elisabet Fura -Sandström ,
Corneliu Bîrsan ,
Boštjan M. Zupančič ,
Alvina Gyulumyan ,
Egbert Myjer ,
Ineta Ziemele , judges,
and Stanley Naismith, Deputy Section Registrar ,
Having deliberated in private on 9 December 2008 ,
Delivers th e following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
PROCEDURE
1. The case originated in an application (no. 35944/03) against the
Republic of Armenia lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
(“the Convention”) by an Armenian national, Mr Maksim Gasparyan (“the
applicant”), on 30 October 2003 .
2. The applicant was represented by Mr M. Muller, Mr T. Otty,
Mr K. Yildiz, Ms A. Stock and Ms L. Claridge, lawyers of the Kurdish
Human Rights Project (KHRP) based in London, Mr T. Ter -Yesayan , a
lawyer practising in Yerevan , and Mr A. Ghazaryan . The Armenian
Government (“the Government”) were represent ed by their Agent,
Mr G. Kostanyan , Representative of the Republic of Armenia at the
European Court of Human Rights .
3. On 6 September 2005 the President of the Third Section decided to
give notice of the application to the Gove rnm ent. I t was also decided to
examine the merits of the application at the same time as its admissibility
(Article 29 § 3) .
THE FACTS
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
4. The applicant was born in 1948 and lives in Ye revan .
5. In 2003 a presidential election was held in Armenia with its first and
second rounds taking place on 19 February and 5 March respectively . The

2 GASPARYAN v. ARMENIA (NO. 1) JUDGMENT

applicant acted as an authorised election assistant ( վստահված անձ ) for
the main oppos ition candidate in this election. Following the first and
second rounds of the election, a series of protest rallies were organised in
Yerevan by the opposition parties.
6. According to the materials of the case, the applicant atte nded one of
these rallies on 23 February 2003. The applicant denied this fact and alleged
that he had n ot attended the rallies.
7. On 26 February 2003 at 8 a.m. the applicant was visited at home by
two police officers f rom the Shen gavit District Police Department (ՀՀ
ոստիկանության Շենգավիթի բաժին ). He was informed that the chief
of the police department wished to speak to him and was t aken to the police
station.
8. At the police station an administrative case was initiated against the
applicant who was charged under Article 172 of the Code of Administrative
Offences ( Վարչական իրավախախտումների վերաբերյալ ՀՀ
օրենսգիրք – “the CAO”) with minor hooliganism on the ground that he
had participated in the unauthori sed demonstration of 23 February 2003 and
had violated public order.
9. On the same date, several hours later, the applicant was taken to the
Kentron and Nork -Marash District Court of Yerevan ( Երևան քաղաք ի
Կենտրոն և Նորք -Մարաշ համա յնքների առաջին ատյանի
դատարան ). There he was brought before Judge H. who, after a brief
hearing , found the applicant guilty as charged and sentenced him to ten days
of administrative detention, finding that:
“On 23 February 2003 on Mashtots Avenue in Yerevan [the applicant] participated
together with a group of people in an unauthorised demonstration and march , and
violated public order.”
10 . The decision stated that it could be protested against by the
prosecutor un der Article 289 of the CAO .
11 . The applicant was taken to a detention facility to serve his sentence .
12 . The applicant alleged that o n 1 March 2003 he was taken from his
cell to another room. On the table in this room there were two sample
applications, one of which was handed to him with the instruction to write
and sign his name on it. The content of the application was a statement
which declared: “I regret what I have done and request a review of my
cas e.” This request was addressed to the President of the Criminal and
Military Court of Appeal (ՀՀ քրեական և զինվորական գործերով
վերաքննիչ դատարանի նախագահ ). The applicant alleged that he had
to sign this document, even though he disagree d with its contents, in order
to be released and to be able to perform his authorised election assistant
duties in the second round of the presidential ele ction .

GASPARYAN v. ARMENIA (NO. 1 ) JUDGMENT 3

13 . On the same date the President of the Criminal and Military Court of
Appeal reviewed the applicant ’s conviction, finding that:
“[The applicant, according to the decision of the District Court, was subjected to
administrative detention] … for attending an unauthorised demonstration in the
Kentron District of Yerevan on 23 February 2003 and violating public order .
Having familiarised myself with [the applicant ’s] appeal and the materials
concerning the administrative offence, I find that the penalty imposed on [the
applicant] must be changed.”
14 . The President changed the penalty to an administrative fine of
2,000 Armenian drams (AMD) (approximately 3 euros (EUR) at the
material time) and ordered the applicant ’s release.
15 . On t he same evening the applicant was released from detention after
having served about three days of his sentence .
16 . On 26 March 2003 the applicant sent applications to the Ministry of
Justice ( ՀՀ արդարադատության նախարարություն ), the Court of
Cassation ( ՀՀ վճռաբեկ դատարան ) and the Presidential Human Rights
Commission ( ՀՀ նախագահին առընթեր մարդու իրավունքների
հարցերի հանձնաժողով ), arguing that he had never participated in any
demonstrations , and in particular the one held on 23 February 2003 , and
seeking a review of his case .
17 . By a letter of 3 April 2003 the Court of Cassation forwarded the
applicant ’s application to be dealt with by the Criminal and Military Court
of Appeal.
18 . By a letter of 11 April 2003 the Ministry of Justice informed the
applicant that the rights of persons charged with an administrative offence
were defined in Article 276 of the CAO and should have been invoked by
the applicant during the examination of his case. The letter further stated
that the dec ision of 26 February 2003 could be protested against by the
prosecutor.
19 . By a letter of 16 April 2003 the President of the Criminal and
Military Court of Appeal informed the applicant that his application of
26 March 2003 could not be examined, since the applicant had missed the
prescribed 10 -day time -limit for appeal.
20 . By a letter of 17 April 2003 the General Prosecutor ’s Office gave a
similar reply to the applicant ’s application addressed to the Huma n Rights
Commission.
21 . On 27 April 2003 the applicant again complained to the Ministry of
Justice that the decision of 26 February 2003 had been unlawful since he
had not par ticipated in any demonstration.
22 . By a letter of 6 May 2003 the Ministry of Justice gave the same
reply.
23 . On 10 June 2003 the Department for the Enforcement of Judicial
Acts ( Դատական ակտերի հարկադիր կատարման ծառայություն –

4 GASPARYAN v. ARMENIA (NO. 1) JUDGMENT

“the DEJA”) instituted enforcemen t proceedings on the basis of an
execution writ issued by the District Court on 15 May 2003.
24 . The applicant alleged that , around that period , he was visit ed at
home by an officer of the DEJA who informed him that the decision of
26 February 2003 had been reviewed on 1 March 2003 and a fine had been
imposed. He further alleged that only then did he become aware of the
existence of the decision of the President of the Criminal and Military Court
of Appeal of 1 March 2003. The appli cant paid the fine.
25 . On 12 June 2003 the DE JA decided to terminate the enforcement
proceedings since t he terms of the execution writ had been complied with.
II. RELE VANT DOMESTIC LAW
26 . For a summary of the relevant domestic provisions and international
documents and reports see the judgment in the case of Galstyan v. Armenia
(no. 26986/03, §§ 25 -32, 15 November 2007).
THE LAW
I. COMPLIANCE WITH THE SIX -MONTH RULE AS REGARDS THE
DECISION OF 2 6 FEBRUARY 2003
27 . The applicant raised a number of complaints under Article 5 §§ 1, 2,
3 and 4, Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (a -d), Article 11, Article 13 and Article 14 of
the Convention and Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 thereto in c onnection with
his conviction of 2 6 February 2003.
28 . The Court reiterates that, pursuant to Article 35 § 1 of the
Convention, it may only deal with a matter where it has been introduced
within six months from the date of the fina l decision in the process of
exhaustion of domestic remedies (see, among other authorities, Danov v.
Bulgaria , no. 56796/00, § 56, 26 October 2006). However, the obligation
under Article 35 requires only that an applicant should have normal
recourse to the remedies likely to be effective, adequate and accessible (see,
among other authorities, Sejdovic v. Italy [GC], no. 56581/00, § 45, ECHR
2006 -II). Where no effective remedy is available to the applicant, the time –
limit expires six months after the date of the acts or measures complained
of, or after the date of knowledge of that act or its effect or prejudice on the
applicant (see Younger v. the United Kingdom (dec.), no. 57420/00, ECHR
2003 -I). Thus, the pursuit of remedies which fall short of the above
requirements will have consequences for the identification of the “final
decision” and, correspondingly, for the calculation of the starting point for

GASPARYAN v. ARMENIA (NO. 1 ) JUDGMENT 5

the running of the six -month rule (see Prystavska v. Ukraine (dec.),
no. 21287/02, 17 December 2002).
29 . Turning to the circumstances of the present case, the Court notes that
the applicant raised a number of complaints in his application in connection
with the decision of the Kentron and Nork -Marash District Court of
Yerevan of 2 6 February 2003. This decision, however, was final and there
were no further sufficiently accessible and effective remedies to exhaust,
including the extraordinary remedies which could be initiated under
Article 294 of the CAO with a prosecutor or the pres ident of a higher court
(see Galstyan , cited above, §§ 40 -42). The applicant nevertheless tried one
of these avenue s for review by submitting a request for review to the
President of the Criminal and Military Court of Appeal (see paragraph 12
above). On 1 March 2003 the President of the Criminal and Military Court
of Appeal decided to review the final decision of the District Court of
26 February 2003, on the basis of the applicant ’s extraordinary appeal. The
applicant lodged his application with the Court on 30 October 2003, which
is more than six months from the date of the District Court ’s decision but
less than six months from the date on which the applicant alleged that he
became aware of the decision of the Court of Appeal. It is therefore
necessary to determine whether the decision of the Court of Appeal taken on
the basis of the applicant ’s extraordinary appeal restarted the running of the
six -month period as far as the final decision of the District Court is
concerned.
30 . Th e Court observes that it has consistently rejected applications in
which the applicants have submitted their complaints within six months
from the decisions rejecting their requests for reopening of the proceedings
on the ground that such decisions could n ot be considered “final decisions”
for the purpose of Article 35 § 1 of the Convention (see, among other
authorities, Berdzenishvili v. Russia (dec.), no. 31697/03, ECHR 2004 -II;
Riedl -Riedenstein and Others v. Germany (dec.), no. 48662/99,
22 January 2002 ; and Babinsky v. Slovakia (dec.), no. 35833/97,
11 January 2000). However, the Court has also accepted that situations in
which a request to reopen the proceedings is successful and actually results
in a reopening may be an exception to this rule (see Puf ler v. France ,
no. 23949/94, Commission decision of 18 May 1994, Decisions and Reports
77 -B, p. 140; Korkmaz v. Turkey (dec.), no. 42576/98, 17 January 2006; and
Atkın v. Turkey , no. 39977/98, § 33, 21 February 2006 ).
31 . It appear s that the situation in the present case may be regarded as
falling into the category of exceptional cases, given that the applicant ’s
extraordinary remedy actually led to a review of the final decision on his
administrative case. The Court, however, does not consider that the mere
fact of reopening proceedings will restart the running of the six month
period. It cannot be exclude d that a case may be reopened on grounds
unrelated to the Convention complaints which an applicant may later lodge

6 GASPARYAN v. ARMENIA (NO. 1) JUDGMENT

with the Court and the Court doubts that such a reopening will affect the
calculation of the six month period. Since Article 35 § 1 cannot be
interpreted in a manner which would require an applicant to seize the Court
before his position in connection with his complaint has been finally settled
at the domestic level (see Petrie and Others v. the United Kingdom (dec.),
no. 29703/05, 6 February 20 07), it means that an applicant is required under
that Article to seize the Court once his position in connection with his
complaint has finally been settled and the reopening of a case on unrelated
grounds will not affect the finality of the settlement in respect of that
particular issue. The Court therefore considers that, in cases where
proceedings are reopened or a final decision is revie wed , the running of the
six month period in respect of the initial set of proceedings or the final
decision will be i nterrupted only in relation to those Convention issues
which served as a ground for such a review or reopening and were the
object of examination before the extraordinary appeal body. A different
approach would also be contrary to the principle of subsidia rity, on which
the Convention machinery is founded and which requires that the
complaints intended to be made at the international level should first be
aired in substance before the domestic courts (see Azinas v. Cyprus [GC],
no. 56679/00, § 38, ECHR 2004 -III).
32 . In the present case, the Court notes that the applicant did not raise in
his extraordinary appeal to the Court of Appeal , either explicitly or in
substance, any of the complaints which he is currently raising before the
Court (see paragraph 27 above) . It further notes that the Court of Appeal did
not address of its own motion any of those issues either, apart from
upholding the applicant ’s conviction under Article 1 72 of the CAO and
modifying the penalty imposed by the Di strict Court. Thus, the complaints
raised by the applicant before the Court in connection with the decision of
the District Court were not the object of examination before the Court of
Appeal and the grounds on which the Court of Appeal decided to review t he
final decision of the District Court cannot be seen as being in any way
related to those complaints. The Court therefore concludes that the review
of the final decision of the District Court by the Court of Appeal upon the
applicant ’s extraordinary appeal did not re -start the running of the six –
month period in respect of those complaints.
33 . It follows that the applicant ’s complaints concerning the decision of
26 February 2003 were lodged out of time and must be rejected in
accordance with Article 35 §§ 1 and 4 of the Convention.

GASPARYAN v. ARMENIA (NO. 1 ) JUDGMENT 7

II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 11 OF THE CONVENTION
AS REGARDS THE DECISION OF 1 MARCH 2003
34 . The applicant complained that his conviction had unlawfully
interfered with his rights guaranteed by Article 11 of the Convention which,
in so far as relevant, provides:
“1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly…
2. No restrictions sha ll be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as
are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of
national security or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the
protection of health or morals or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of
others…”
A. Admissibility
35 . The Government submitted that, by lodging his application on
30 October 2003, the applicant had failed to comply with the six -month rule
in respect of the decision of the Criminal and Military Court of Appeal of
1 March 2003. The applicant ’s claim that he was not aware of that decision
until June 2003 was unfounded because he was released from detention on
the same date by virtue of that dec ision. Furthermore, that decision was
taken on the applicant ’s own appeal of 1 March 2003. The six months
should therefore be calculated from that date .
36 . The applicant submitted that he had not been informed of the
decision of 1 March 2003 until June 2003, when he was visited by a DEJA
official for the purpose of enforcement of that decision. The Government
had failed to submit any evidence that he had been informed of the reasons
for his release at the time of release. Furthermore, he had not been present at
the hearing before the Court of Appeal. It was therefore the Court of
Appeal ’s obligation to inform him about the outcome of his appeal. As
regards the latter, he had not even been aware that an appeal to the Court of
Appeal was being made. All that he was able to recall was signing a
declaration to the effect that he regretted his actions. Finally, none of the
replies to his subsequent letters requestin g a review of his case mentioned
the fact that an appeal had already been heard.
37 . The Court reiterates the basic principles established in its case -law
concerning the six -month rule (see paragraph 28 above) . It further observes
that it is for the Government pleading non -respect of the six -month rule to
demonstrate the date on which the applicant became aware of the final
decision ( see Ali Sahmo v. Turkey (dec.), no. 37415/97, 1 April 2003). In the
present case, the Government arg ued that the applicant became aware of the
decision of 1 March 2003 on that very day , because that decision resulted in
his release from detention . The Court, however, is not convinced by this

8 GASPARYAN v. ARMENIA (NO. 1) JUDGMENT

argument. It is true that the applicant was released from deten tion before the
expir y of his ten -day sentence. However, the Government have failed to
produce any evidence that the applicant was ever informed – through
service of a copy of the Court of Appeal ’s decision or in any other manner –
about the Court of Appeal examining and rendering a decision on his
request for review of 1 March 2003 before he was asked in June 2003 by the
DEJA to comply with the terms of that decision . The fact of the applicant ’s
release alone is not sufficient to c onclude that he was unequivocally aware
of the existence of the decision of 1 March 2003, especially in view of the
fact that the review proceedings before the Court of Appeal were not a part
of normal procedure (see Galstyan , cited above, § 41 ). Indeed, t he fact that
the applicant continued , upon his release , to make attempts seeking to
review that decision suggests that he was probably not aware that a review
had already taken place . None of the replies received by the applicant in that
period contained a ny mention of the decision of 1 March 2003. Moreover,
and quite surprisingly, the President of the Criminal and Military Court of
Appeal himself, when refus ing by his letter of 16 April 2003 to examine the
applicant ’s application for review of 26 March 200 3, did so on the ground
that this application had been submitted out of time and not on the ground
that an appeal had already been examined by him on 1 March 2003 . In view
of all the above factors , t he Court does not find the Government ’s position
to be co nvincing and their objection as to the applicant ’s failure to comply
with the six -month rule must be rejected.
38 . The Court notes that this complaint is not manifestly ill -founded
within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 of the Convention. It further notes that
it is not inadmissible on any other grounds. It must therefore be declared
admissible.
B. Merits
39 . The Government submitted that there had been no interference with
the applicant ’s right to free dom of peaceful assembly as he was convicted of
minor hooliganism under Article 172 of the CAO. In any event, even
assuming that there had been an interference, it was prescribed by law,
pursued a legitimate aim and was necessary in a democratic society si nce
the applicant was found to have committed reprehensible acts.
40 . The applicant submitted that his conviction for minor hooliganism
had been based on the fact of participation in a demonstration and therefore
interfered with hi s rights under Article 11 . In the absence of any details of
the public order offence allegedly committed by him, it was the fact of
participation itself which was qualified as a violation of public order.
Furthermore, Article 172 of the CAO was too vague, the interference did
not pursue a legitimate aim and it was not necessary in a democratic society.

GASPARYAN v. ARMENIA (NO. 1 ) JUDGMENT 9

41 . The Court observes that it has already examined a number of cases
against Armenia in which the applicants , whose actions were formally
qualified as “minor hooliganism”, were in fact convicted for their
participation in peaceful demonstrations, and found that such convictions
amounted to an interference with the right to freedom of peaceful assembly
(see Galstyan , cited above, §§ 100 -102, and Ashughyan v. Armenia ,
no. 33268/03, §§ 75 -77, 17 July 2008). The Court does not see any reasons
to reach a different finding in the present case and concludes that the
decision of the President of the Criminal and Military Court of Appeal of
1 March 2003 constituted an interference with the applicant ’s right to
freedom of peaceful assembly.
42 . Turning to the question of whether the interference was justified, the
Court reiterates that an interference will constitute a breach of Article 11
unless it is “prescribed by law”, pursues one or more legitimate aims under
paragraph 2 and is “necessary in a democratic society” for the achievement
of those aims. The Court has already found, in similar circumstances, that
an interf erence in the form of conviction under Article 172 of the CAO
complied with the requirement of lawfulness (see Galstyan , cited above,
§ 10 7, and Ashughyan , cited above, §§ 81 and 82). Furthermore, similarly to
those cases, the conviction in the present cas e pursued the legitimate aim of
the “prevention of disorder” (see Galstyan , cited above, § 110 , and
Ashughyan , cited above, § 85).
43 . As regards the necessity of the interference, the Court reiterates that
the freedom to take part in a peaceful assembly is of such importance that a
person cannot be subjected to a sanction – even one at the lower end of the
scale of disciplinary penalties – for participation in a demonstration which
has not been prohibited, s o long as this person does not himself commit any
reprehensible act on such an occasion (see Ezelin v. France , judgment of
26 April 1991, Series A no. 202, § 53; Galstyan , cited above, § 115; and
Ashughyan , cited above, § 90).
44 . In the present case, as in the cases of Galstyan and Ashughyan , the
Court of Appeal failed to provide details of any acts allegedly committed by
the applicant at the demonstration of 23 February 2003 which could be
characterised as reprehensible, including any violent or offensive acts, and
limited itself to a very abstract finding that the applicant had “violated
public order” (see, mutatis mutandis , Galstyan , cited above, § 117, and
Ashughyan , cited above, §§ 92 and 99 ). No other material before the Court
contains any such details either. Furthermore, it is not clear on what grounds
the Court of Appeal stated that the applicant had participated in an
unauthorised demonstration, taking into account that at the material tim e
there was no legal act applicable in Armenia containing rules for organising
and holding rallies and street marches, including the rules for authorising
such events (see Mkrtchyan v. Armenia , no. 6562/03, § 43,
11 January 2007). The Court has already fou nd in the above cases of

10 GASPARYAN v. ARMENIA (NO. 1) JUDGMENT

Galstyan and Ashughyan that the very essence of the right to freedom of
peaceful assembly would be impaired, if the State chose not to prohibit a
demonstration but subsequently impose d sanctions on its participants for the
mere fac t of attending it, without committing any reprehensible act s, and
concluded that such interferences were not “necessary in a democratic
society” (see Galstyan , cited above, § 117, and Ashughyan , cited above,
§ 93 ). It does not see any reasons to reach a di fferent conclusion in the
present case.
45 . There has accordingly been a violation of Article 11 of the
Convention.
III. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 OF THE CONVENTION
AS REGARDS THE DECISION OF 1 MARCH 2003
46 . The applicant complained that the Criminal and Military Court of
Appeal failed to adopt a reasoned decision. He invoked Article 6 § 1 of the
Convention which, in so far as relevant, provides:
“In the determination of … any cr iminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a
fair … hearing … by [a] … tribunal …”
Admissibility
47 . The Court points out at the outset that Article 6 of the Convention
applies to proceedings where a person is charg ed with a criminal offence
until that charge is finally determined. It further reiterates that Article 6 does
not apply to proceedings concerning a failed request to reopen a case. Only
the new proceedings, after the reopening has been granted, can be rega rded
as concerning the determination of a criminal charge (see Vanyan v. Russia ,
no. 53203/99, § 56 , 15 December 200 5). The Court does not, however,
consider it necessary to determine this issue in the present case, since the
applicant ’s complaint under Ar ticle 6 about the proceedings before the
Criminal and Military Court of Appeal is, in any event, inadmissible for the
following reasons.
48 . The Court reiterates that Article 6 § 1 obliges the courts to give
reasons for their judgm ents, but cannot be understood as requiring a detailed
answer to every argument. The extent to which this duty to give reasons
applies may vary according to the nature of the decision. It is moreover
necessary to take into account, inter alia , the diversit y of the submissions
that a litigant may bring before the court and the differences existing in the
Contracting States with regard to statutory provisions, customary rules,
legal opinion and the presentation and drafting of judgments. That is why
the quest ion of whether a court has failed to fulfil the obligation to state
reasons can only be determined in the light of the circumstances of the case

GASPARYAN v. ARMENIA (NO. 1 ) JUDGMENT 11

(see, among other authorities, Hiro Balani v. Spain , 9 December 1994, § 27,
Series A no. 303 -B).
49 . In the present case, the applicant was convicted under Article 1 72 of
the CAO for participatin g in an unauthorised demonstration and violating
public order . This reason was stated in the Court of Appeal ’s decision. In
such circumstances, even if this decision was not detailed, it still cannot be
said that the Court of Appeal failed to indicate the reasons for the
applicant ’s conviction.
50 . It follows that this part of the application is manifestly ill -founded
and must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 §§ 3 and 4 of the
Convention.
IV. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 14 OF THE CONVENTION
AS REGARDS THE DECISION OF 1 MARCH 2003
51 . The applicant alleged discrimination on political grounds also in
connection with the decision of the Court of Appeal of 1 March 2003. He
invoked Article 14 of the Convention which provides:
“The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in [the] Convention shall be
secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language,
religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a
national minority, property, birth or other status.”
Admissibility
52 . The Court notes that all the materials in its possession indicate that
the applicant was penalised for his participation in an unauthorised
demonstration and march, and his alleged violation of public order . There is
nothing in the case file to su ggest that he was subjected to a penalty because
of his political opinion.
53 . The Court concludes that this part of the application is manifestly ill –
founded and must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 §§ 3 and 4 of
the Con vention.

12 GASPARYAN v. ARMENIA (NO. 1) JUDGMENT

V. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION
54 . Article 41 of the Convention provides:
“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols
thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only
partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to
the injured party.”
A. Damage
55 . The applicant claimed EUR 20,000 in respect of non -pecuniary
dama ge.
56 . The Government claimed that a finding of a violation of the
Convention should be sufficient compensation for any non -pecuniary
damage allegedly suffered by the applicant. In any event, the amount
claimed was excessive.
57 . The Court considers that the applicant has undoubtedly suffered non –
pecuniary damage as a result of being sanctioned for his participation in a
demonstration and a march. Ruling on an equitable basis, it awards him
EUR 1,000 in respect of non -pecuniary damage.
B. Costs and expenses
58 . The applicant also claimed 3,947 United States dollars (USD)
(approximately EUR 3,345 ) and 7,095 pounds sterling (GBP)
(approximately EUR 10,358 ) for the costs and expens es incurred before the
Court. These claims comprised:
(a) USD 3,900 for the fees of his domestic lawyer (total of 2 6 hours at
USD 150 per hour respectively);
(b) USD 47 for translation costs;
(c) GBP 7,000 for the fees of his three United Kingdom -based lawyers,
including two KHRP lawyers and one barrister (totals of 20 and 40 hours at
GBP 150 and 100 per hour respectively); and
(d) GBP 95 for administrative costs incurred by the KHRP.
59 . The Government submitted that these clai ms were not duly
substantiated with documentary proof, since the applicant had failed to
produce any contract certifying that there was an agreement with the
lawyers to provide legal services at the alleged rate. Furthermore, the
applicant had used the ser vices of an excessive number of lawyers, despite
the fact that the case was not so complex as to justify such a need. Finally,
the rates allegedly charged by the domestic representatives were excessive.
60 . According to the Court ’s case -law, an applicant is entitled to the
reimbursement of costs and expenses only in so far as it has been shown
that these have been actually and necessarily incurred and were reasonable

GASPARYAN v. ARMENIA (NO. 1 ) JUDGMENT 13

as to quantum. In the present case, the Court notes at the outset that no
invoice has been submitted to substantiate the translation costs. As regards
the lawyers ’ fees, it considers that not all the legal costs claimed were
necessarily and reasonably incurred, including some duplication in the work
carried out by the foreign and the domestic representatives, as set out in the
relevant time sheets. Furthermore, legal costs ar e only recoverable in so far
as they relate to the violation found (see Beyeler v. Italy [GC],
no. 33202/96, § 27, ECHR 2000 -I). The Court notes that only a violation of
Article 11 was found in the present case while the entirety of the written
pleadings, including the initial application and the subsequent observations,
concerned numerous Articles of the Convention and Protocol No. 1.
Therefore the claim cannot be allowed in full and a considerable reduction
must be applied. Making its assessment on an equ itable basis, the Court
awards the applicant a total sum of EUR 2,000 for costs and expenses, to be
paid in pounds sterling into his representatives ’ bank account in the United
Kingdom.
C. Default interest
61 . The Court considers it appropriate that the default interest should be
based on the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank, to which
should be added three percentage points.
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
1. Declares the complaint under Article 11 of the Convention concerning
the decision of 1 March 2003 admissible, and the remainder of the
application inadmissible;

2. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 11 of the Convention;

3. Holds
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applic ant, within three months
from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with
Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, the following amounts:
(i) EUR 1,000 (one thousand euros), plus any tax that may be
chargeable, in respect of non -pecuniary da mage, to be converted into the
national currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the
date of settlement;
(ii) EUR 2,000 (two thousand euros), plus any tax that may be
chargeable to the applicant, in respect of costs and expenses, to be
converted into pounds sterling at the rate applicable at the date of

14 GASPARYAN v. ARMENIA (NO. 1) JUDGMENT

settlement and to be paid into his representatives ’ bank account in the
United Kingdom;
(b) that from the expiry of the above -mentioned three months until
settlement simple interest shal l be payable on the above amount at a rate
equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during
the default period plus three percentage points;

4. Dismisses the remainder of the applicant ’s claim for just satisfaction.
Done in English, and notified in writing on 13 January 2009 , pursuant to
Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Stanley Naismith Josep Casadevall
Deputy Registrar President

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