Case Karwowski v. Poland

Importance Nature Application Number Case language State Date (dd/mm/yyyy)
3 Judgement 29869/13 English Poland 19/04/2016

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Karwowski v. Poland -  29869/13

Article 3

High security measures : violation


Relying on Article 3, the applicant complained about the special high-security measures to which he had been subjected during his classification as a dangerous detainee, namely his solitary confinement, routine daily strip searches and constant monitoring of his cell via closed-circuit television.

The authorities had justified their decision to subject the applicant to this regime on the fact that “he had been charged with many violent offences” (§36). The Court considered that such a decision was “not unreasonable on the part of the authorities” (§36). However, the Court recalled it “cannot accept that the continued, routine and indiscriminate application of the full range of measures […] for almost eight years was necessary in order to maintain prison security” (§37). Moreover, the Court noted that the authorities made no effort “to counteract the effects of the applicant’s isolation” (§38).What’s more, the Court pointed the fact that the authorities’ decisions extending the applicant’s special regime relied on the fact that the reasons relied on previously had not ceased to exist. Consequently “the procedure for review of the applicant’s dangerous detainee status became a pure formality, being limited to the repetition of the same grounds in succession decisions” (§42, see also Piechowicz v. Poland, §177). Accordingly, the Court concluded that there had been a violation of Article 3.