Nonavailability of free legal assistance in proceedings for
administrative offences (ECHR's official press-release on the
Mikhaylova v. Russia judgment announcment)
Thursday 19 November 2015 Mikhaylova v. Russia (no. 46998/08)
The applicant, Valentina Mikhaylova, is a Russian national who was born in 1949 and lives in Saint Petersburg (Russia).
The case concerns administrative offence proceedings under Russian law and the right to free legal assistance in such proceedings.
On 25 November 2007 Ms Mikhaylova, a pensioner, was taken to the police station following her participation in a march. She was accused of administrative offences; firstly, for failing to comply with a police order for the march to disband and, secondly, for taking part in an unlawful public gathering. On 19 December 2007 Ms Mikhaylova’s requests for free legal assistance were dismissed on the grounds that the legislation governing administrative offences contained no rule concerning provision of legal assistance. On the same day she was found guilty of both offences and fined a total of 1000 Russian roubles (RUB), the equivalent of 28 euros at the time. Ms Mikhaylova appealed and sought free legal assistance for the appeal proceedings. Her appeal was ultimately rejected by the Supreme Court in 2008. Ms Mikhaylova then lodged a constitutional complaint regarding the nonavailability of free legal assistance in proceedings for administrative offences which the Constitutional Court declared inadmissible on 5 February 2015.
Relying on Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (c) (right to a fair trial /right to legal assistance), Ms Mikhaylova complains that she did not, and could not, benefit from free legal assistance in the administrative offence cases.
FROM NGO SUTYAJNIK - case materials http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/487.html