Human Rights Guide


Cotlet v. Romania

European Court of Human Rights
3 June 2003


The applicant, Mr. Cotleţ, was serving a prison sentence. The prison authorities refused to supply him with writing paper and envelopes for the communication with the European Court of Human Rights. 


Mr. Cotleţ complained that his right to respect for his correspondence had been violated by the prison authorities by not providing him with the materials needed for the communication with the Court.

Court's ruling

The Court emphasized that the right to respect for the correspondence included also the right to the writing materials. This doesn’t mean that the state has to pay for all the prisoner’s correspondence, nor that the state has to supply the writing material that the prisoner may choose. However, the Court noted that in the particular case the prison authorities several times refused to provide Mr. Cotleţ with the materials to send letters to the Court. Therefore it ruled that the state has failed to comply with its positive obligation to ensure effective observance of the Mr. Cotleţ’s right to respect for his correspondence.

Human Rights Guide

A European platform for human rights education