Gasper and Hjelm v Sweden (decision), 11 July 1988 [ECtHR]

Case no 12576/86

The applicants complain of being victims of discrimination, in that they and their associates in ROYSTAXI and no one from MTEA were prosecuted for and convicted of offences allegedly committed by the taxi owners, who were members of MTEA, since the licences granted to MTEA members were illegal. The applicants submit that they have also as a result of the prosecution and conviction been victims of a breach of their right to negative freedom of association. They invoke Articles 11 and 14 (Art. 11, Art. 14) of the Convention.

The Commission notes that the applicants' complaints are directed against their prosecution and subsequent conviction by the District Court, as finally confirmed by the Supreme Court on 4 April 1986. The Commission observes that the Swedish courts, which convicted the applicants of violation of the Ordinance on Commercial Transportation, had no competence to decide on anything but the criminal charge against the applicants. They were not competent to pronounce any opinion on whether other persons had committed similar offences, whether the applicants ought to have been granted licences to operate at Sturup Airport or whether they had been discriminated against as a result of the granting of licences to other taxi drivers or in any other respect.

The Commission recalls in this context that there is no right under the Convention to have criminal proceedings instituted by the State against other persons.

The Commission notes that the conviction of the applicants was based on the fact that they did not have the requisite licence to operate traffic at Sturup Airport. There is no indication that the prosecution and conviction of the applicants for having illegally operated taxi traffic at Sturup International Airport were as such based on their membership in ROYSTAXI or on their not being members of MTEA. The applicants' allegation that Swedish law has been violated by granting the exemption to MTEA members is unsubstantiated.

Accordingly there is no appearance of a violation of the applicants' right to freedom of association under Article 11 (Art. 11) or of the prohibition of discrimination in Article 14 (Art. 14) of the Convention.

The Commission finds no issue under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1) to the Convention.

It follows that the application is manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2 (Art. 27-2) of the Convention. 

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