The applicant, Mr. Bazjaks, was serving a prison service. He was dissatisfied with the living conditions and treatment in prison.
The applicant alleged that he did not have at his disposal an effective domestic remedy by which to complain about the treatment and conditions in prison, in violation of Article 13 of the Convention.
The Court emphasized the state’s duty to provide an effective mechanism to enforce fundamental rights and freedoms. This mechanism must be able to examine an arguable complaint in substance and if necessary award appropriate compensation. The effectiveness of this mechanism does not mean that the outcome has to be favourable to the applicant. This authority does not need to be a judicial authority; however the powers and guarantees it offers are important to determine its effectiveness. Also, even if a single remedy does not by itself entirely satisfy the requirements of an effective remedy, the aggregate of remedies provided for under domestic law may do so. The Court noted that compensation for non-pecuniary damage should as a matter of principle be available as part of the range of possible remedies for a breach of Articles 2 (right to life) and 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment), which rank as the most fundamental provisions of the Convention. In the particular case the Court found that there were no effective remedies available to Mr. Bazjaks in violation of Article 13 of the Convention.