View Adopted: 2022.11.04
The author is a national of Latvia who lost his job and was recognized by the State party as a person living in poverty and with a disability. His apartment’s management company brought a civil action against the author at a later date to recover unpaid expenses for service bills and issued an eviction order against him. The author filed a complaint before a domestic court, but it was rejected along with his subsequent appeals. The author claims the State party has violated his rights under articles 3 (equal enjoyment of rights), 6(1) (right to life), 7 (torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment), 14(1) (equality before courts), 26 (equality before the law) of the Covenant.
The Committee noted that the author failed to provide sufficient information to indicate that, as a result of his inability to pay the expenses, he faces homelessness or a situation that would pose an imminent risk to his life or of exposure to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Therefore, it considered the claims under articles 6(1) and 7 inadmissible.
With regard to the author’s claim of right of appeal under article 14(1), the Committee recalled, under General Comment No. 32 (2007), that access to courts involves access to courts of first instance and not appeals or other remedies, and that the right to review by a higher tribunal under article 14(5) applied only to a criminal appeal process, not to procedures determining rights and obligations in a suit. As a result, the author’s claim of denial of access due to lack of appeal under article 14 is inadmissible rationae materiae. Lastly, it noted that the author had failed to demonstrate that the domestic courts unfairly disregarded arguments or evidence Therefore, the Committee concluded that the author’s claim regarding fairness of the trial were also inadmissible and that his claims on articles 3 and 26 relating to poverty and unequal treatment were unsubstantiated, and the communication was decided as inadmissible.
By: Smrithi Ramakrishnan