Human dignity in the criminal process 59
The judicial body shall immediately hear the person brought by bench warrant or,
as the case may be, immediately carry out the act that has required his presence.
The persons brought on the basis of a bench warrant shall remain at the disposal of
the judicial body only for the period strictly necessary for the hearing or the
fulfilment of the procedural act, but not more than 8 hours.
Conditions in prisons
Overcrowding in prisons is one of the prisoners' most common problems
raised in front of the Court in Strasbourg. The Court ruled that where more
detainees in a room have less than 3 square meters per person, overcrowding is so
severe that such a situation constitutes, by itself, a violation of the provisions of
Art. 3 of the Convention12.
In the case of Gagiu v. Romania13, the applicant claimed violation of Article 3 of
the Convention, given the conditions of detention in the penitentiary, the applicant
having an insufficient space of 1,25 sqm. In resolving the application, the Court
reiterated that Article 3 of the Convention requires the State to ensure that any
person in detention benefits from conditions that should not harm human dignity,
that the person concerned is not subjected to suffering of an intensity exceeding the
level inevitably inherent to detention, and that the detainee's health and comfort
are adequately ensured. In the present case, the Court found from the information
obtained from the National Penitentiary Administration, that for three years, the
period covering the detention time until the time the applicant filed the application
with the Court, he shared a cell of 7.60 square meters with five other detainees,
thus the space allotted to him was only 1.25 square meters, insufficient in relation
to the criteria set by the case law of the Court.
Romania has been convicted in numerous other causes for lack of space in
cells14. We recall the cases of Mariana Marinescu against Romania15 (in which the
applicant showed that she had stayed in Târgşor Penitentiary in cells of 50 square
meters, occupied by 36 people, then in a 14-square-meter cell with 18 persons, and
a cell of 20 square meters with 12 persons), Rcreanu against Romania16 (he was
held in rooms with 10 beds together with 13 detainees), Ali against Romania17 (cell
of 30 sq.m. with 10 detainees), Porumb against Romania18 (about 2 sq. m.), Mciuc
12 Kantyrev v.Russia, no. 37213/02, pct. 50-51, 21 June 2007, Andreï Frolov v.Russia, no. 205/02, points 47-
49, 29 March 2007, Kadikis v. Latvia, no. 62393/00, pct. 55, 4 May2006.
13 ECHR, Application no.63258/00, Ruling of 24 February 2009, final on 24 May 2009.
14 Radu Chiri, Lucian Criste, Mirel Toader, Alina Ivan, Anca Stoian, Arestarea Оi detenia în
jurisprudena CEDO, Hamangiu, Printing Press Bucharest 2012, pg. 156-185.
15 ECHR, Application no. 36110/03, Ruling of 2February 2010.
16 ECHR, Application no. 14262/03, Ruling of 1 June 2010.
17 ECHR, Application no. 20307/02, Ruling of 9 November 2010.
18 ECHR, Application no. 19832/04, Ruling of 7 December 2010.