European Court of Human Rights, Kolyadenko & others v. Russia, 12 February 2012

Description

This case law summary was developed as part of the Disaster Law Database (DISLAW) project, and is not an official record of the case.

Date
Geographical Area
Europe and Central Asia
Countries
Russia
Jurisdiction
European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)
Case Name
Kolyadenko & others v. Russia
Case Reference
Application nos. 17423/05, 20534/05, 20678/05, 23263/05, 24283/05 and 35673/05
Key Facts
This case originated in six applications against the Russian Federation. The applicants were Russian nationals who lived in Vladivostok near a river reservoir, and were all victims of a flash flood which occurred in 2001. They alleged that the authorities
Decision and Reasoning
The Court held there had been violations of: Article 2 (right to life) on account of the State’s failure to protect the first, third and sixth applicants’ right to life, and on account of the lack of adequate judicial response; Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life and the home); and Article 1, Protocol No.1 (protection of property).

The Court held that the authorities had failed to establish legislative and administrative frameworks to assess risks correctly. There was no supervisory system to ensure adequate protection of the population living in the area. The Court noted that the authorities had remained inactive even after the flood of 7 August 2001, and concluded that the Government had failed in its positive obligation to protect the lives of those individuals.

In relation to the procedural aspects of Article 2, the Court held that the judicial system must make provision for an independent and official investigation that satisfies a certain standard of effectiveness. The Court noted that authorities “must act with exemplary diligence and promptness”.

In relation to Article 8, the Court held that a causal link was established between the negligence of the state and the lives which were endangered and so the damage done to the properties. The authorities had failed to do everything in their power to protect the applicants under Article 8.

The Court found no violation of Article 13.
Outcome
Under Article 41 (just satisfaction) of the Convention, the Court held that Russia was to pay the applicants sums ranging from €1,500 to €20,000 in respect of pecuniary damage and also in respect of non-pecuniary damage.
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