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Application no. 2997/03
by Yelena Vladimirovna FIRSOVA
against Russia

The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting on 9 November 2006 as a Chamber composed of:

Mr C.L. Rozakis, President,
Mr L. Loucaides,
Mrs F. Tulkens,
Mrs N. Vajić,
Mr A. Kovler,
Mr D. Spielmann,
Mr S.E. Jebens, judges,
and Mr S. Nielsen, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 30 December 2002,

Having regard to the decision to apply Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and examine the admissibility and merits of the case together.

Having deliberated, decides as follows:


The applicant, Ms Yelena Vladimirovna Firsova, is a Russian national who lives in Novocherkassk in the Rostov Region. The Russian Government (“the Government”) were represented by Mr P. Laptev, the Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights.

The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.

On 5 December 1995 criminal proceedings were instituted against the applicant on suspicion of unlawful transfer of title to immovable property. She gave a written undertaking not to leave the town. On 27 February 1997 an investigator charged her with forgery and arbitrary actions and dropped the charge of unlawful transfer of title.

On 24 June 1997 the case was sent for trial. On 19 April 2002 the Novocherkassk Town Court remitted the case back to the Novocherkassk prosecutor’s office for additional investigation.

On several occasions an investigator discontinued and re-opened the criminal proceedings. The final decision, closing the criminal proceedings, was issued on 30 June 2003. That decision stated that there was no indication of a criminal offence in the applicant’s actions. The applicant was informed about her right to rehabilitation. According to the Government, she made use of this avenue.


The applicant complained under Articles 6 and 13 of the Convention and Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 that the investigating authorities and courts had committed a number of procedural violations, that the length of the proceedings had been excessive, that the proceedings had been discontinued by a non-judicial authority, that she had not been able to move freely because she had had given a written undertaking not to leave the town and that she had had no effective remedy against those violations.


On 30 December 2002 the applicant lodged an application before the Court. On 26 February 2003 she sent a letter updating the Court on the state of the criminal proceedings against her.

On 11 October 2005 the application was communicated to the respondent Government.

On 20 January 2006 the Government’s observations on the admissibility and merits of the application were received and the applicant was invited to submit written observations in reply by 28 March 2006.

On 17 February 2006 the English version of the Government’s observations was forwarded to the applicant. The time-limit for the submission of the applicant’s observations remained unaffected.

As the applicant’s observations on the admissibility and merits had not been received by 28 March 2006, on 12 June 2006 the applicant was advised by registered mail that the failure to submit observations might result in the application being struck out of the Court’s list of cases.

The applicant did not reply.

The Court recalls Article 37 of the Convention which, in the relevant part, reads as follows:

“1. The Court may at any stage of the proceedings decide to strike an application out of its list of cases where the circumstances lead to the conclusion that

(a) the applicant does not intend to pursue his application;


However, the Court shall continue the examination of the application if respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and the Protocols thereto so requires.”

The Court notes that the applicant was requested to submit written observations on the admissibility and merits of the case. She subsequently received a reminder thereof. The applicant was also informed about the consequence of her failure to submit the observations. No response has been received to date. The Court infers therefrom that the applicant does not intend to pursue her application. Furthermore, the Court considers that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols does not require it to continue the examination of the case.

In these circumstances it considers that Article 29 § 3 of the Convention should no longer apply to the case and it should be struck out of the list in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention.

For these reasons, the Court unanimously

Decides to discontinue the application of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and to strike the application out of its list of cases.

Søren Nielsen Christos Rozakis
Registrar President