The Court found a violation of Article 5 (1) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), finding that the applicant was “detained” in a social care institution, the first time that the Court has made such a finding. As Mr. Stanev was legally unable to challenge or seek compensation for his detention, Articles 5(4) and 5(5) of the ECHR had been violated. The Court also held unanimously that Mr. Stanev had been subjected to degrading treatment in violation of Article 3 of the ECHR by being forced to live for more than seven years in unsanitary and unlivable conditions and that domestic law did not provide him any remedy for such violations. This is the first case in which the Court has found a violation of Article 3 in a social care setting.
“Following this judgment, States throughout Europe must end policies and practices that unnecessarily restrict the liberty of thousands of persons with psycho-social disabilities and intellectual disabilities in the provision of social care. The Grand Chamber judgment is unanimous that consent to such placement is necessary to avoid violating the ECHR. States must develop alternatives to ensure the right to live in the community for all.”
“Bulgaria must revise its laws restricting legal capacity to bring them into line with international law and the Court’s judgment, so that people can be supported to make their own decisions, rather than having their right to make decisions stripped from them”.