Case No 2009-07-0103

Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia
2 December 2009


The applicant, Mr. Mutulis, was serving a prison sentence. During his imprisonment he was placed in the solitary confinement for a violation of prison rules.


Mr. Mutulis complained that the law did not allow persons placed in solitary confinement to send letters to his friends and relatives thus violating his right to a private and family life.

Court’s ruling

The Court agreed that the particular legal norm interfered with the applicant’s right to private and family life. It also found that the ban on sending letters to private persons is applied only to prisoners placed in solitary confinement. Observing that the placement in solitary confinement is aimed at guaranteeing the security and order in prison, the Court agreed that additional restrictions related to regime in solitary confinement also pursue a legitimate aim – to ensure the regime in prisons and to ensure public safety.

The Court further noted the prisoners in solitary confinement are allowed to communicate with their relatives via other means of communication (telegrams and phone calls), receive letters. In addittion, the prohibition to send letters could only be applied for a limited period of time (maximum 15 days). The prisoners placed in solitary confinement could still maintain contact with the outside world, therefore the Court concluded that the interference was proportional and the legal norm was compatible with the right to private and family life.

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Last updated 08/11/2023