Europejskiego Trybunału Praw Człowieka
z dnia 23 października 2018 r.
This version was rectified on 3 December 2018
under Rule 81 of the Rules of Court.
Application no. 36042/16
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting on 23 October 2018 as a Committee composed of:
Aleš Pejchal, President,
Jovan Ilievski, judges,
and Abel Campos, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 17 June 2016,
Having regard to the declaration submitted by the respondent Government on 12 February 2018 requesting the Court to strike the application out of the list of cases and the applicant's reply to that declaration,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
FACTS AND PROCEDURE
1. The applicant, Mr Roman Gawroński, is a Polish national, who was born in 1952 and lives in Owińska.
2. The Polish Government ("the Government") were represented by their Agent, Ms J. Chrzanowska, and subsequently by Mr J. Sobczak, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
3. The applicant complained in particular under Article 3 of the Convention about the overcrowding and inadequate living conditions during his detention in Wronki Prison from 1 October 2007 until 8 April 2009, from 19 until 31 August 2009, from 14 until 16 September 2009, from 20 October until 16 November 2009, and from 28 April until 14 May 2010.
4. On 21 December 2017 the application was communicated to the Government.
5. The applicant complained about the overcrowding and inadequate living conditions during his detention in Wronki Prison. He relied on Article 3 of the Convention.
6. After the failure of attempts to reach a friendly settlement, by a letter of 12 February 2018 the Government informed the Court that they proposed to make a unilateral declaration with a view to resolving the issue raised by the application. They further requested the Court to strike out the application in accordance with Article 37 of the Convention.
The declaration provided as follows:
"The Government hereby wish to express - by way of the unilateral declaration - their acknowledgement of the violation of Article 3 of the Convention by failure to afford the applicant adequate conditions of his detention. Simultaneously, the Government declare that they are ready to pay the applicant the sum of PLN 10,000 (ten thousand Polish zlotys) to cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs and expenses plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicant. The Government consider the above sum to be reasonable in the light of the Court's case-law in similar cases (Ulatowski v. Poland, application no. 29848/11, decision of 6 March 2012; Jurgielewicz v. Poland, application no. 70795/11, decision of 9 October 2012). it will be payable within three months from the date of notification of the final ruling taken by the Court pursuant to Article 37 § 1 of the Convention 1 . In the event of failure to pay this sum within the said three-month period, the Government undertake to pay simple interest on it, from expiry of that period until settlement, at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default periods plus three percentage points."
7. By letter of 26 February 2018, the applicant indicated that he was not satisfied with the terms of the unilateral declaration.
8. The Court reiterates that Article 37 of the Convention provides that it may at any stage of the proceedings decide to strike an application out of its list of cases where the circumstances lead to one of the conclusions specified, under (a), (b) or (c) of paragraph 1 of that Article. Article 37 § 1 (c) enables the Court in particular to strike a case out of its list:
"for any other reason established by the Court, it is no longer justified to continue the examination of the application".
9. It also reiterates that in certain circumstances, it may strike out an application under Article 37 § 1 (c) on the basis of a unilateral declaration by a respondent Government even if the applicant wishes the examination of the case to be continued.
10. To this end, the Court has examined the declaration in the light of the principles emerging from its case-law, in particular the Tahsin Acar judgment (Tahsin Acar v. Turkey (preliminary objections) [GC], no. 26307/95, §§ 75-77, ECHR 2003-VI; WAZA Sp. z o.o. v. Poland (dec.), no. 11602/02, 26 June 2007; and Sulwińska v. Poland (dec.), no. 28953/03, 18 September 2007).
11. The Court has established in a number of cases, including those brought against Poland, its practice concerning complaints about the violation of Article 3 (see Orchowski v. Poland (no. 17885/04) and Norbert Sikorski v. Poland (no. 17599/05), which were both given on 22 October 2009); Łatak v. Poland (no. 52070/08), 12 October 2010).
12. Having regard to the nature of the admissions contained in the Government's declaration, as well as the amount of compensation proposed - which is consistent with the amounts awarded in similar cases - the Court considers that it is no longer justified to continue the examination of the application (Article 37 § 1 (c)).
13. Moreover, in light of the above considerations, and in particular given the clear and extensive case-law on the topic, the Court is satisfied that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and the Protocols thereto does not require it to continue the examination of the application (Article 37 § 1 in fine).
14. The Court considers that this amount should be paid within three months from the date of notification of the Court's decision issued in accordance with Article 37 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In the event of failure to settle within this period, simple interest shall be payable on the amount in question at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank plus three percentage points.
15. Finally, the Court emphasises that, should the Government fail to comply with the terms of their unilateral declaration, the application could be restored to the list in accordance with Article 37 § 2 of the Convention (Josipović v. Serbia (dec.), no. 18369/07, 4 March 2008).
In view of the above, it is appropriate to strike the case out of the list.
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT, UNANIMOUSLY,
Takes note of the terms of the respondent Government's declaration under Article 3 of the Convention and of the modalities for ensuring compliance with the undertakings referred to therein;
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (c) of the Convention.
Done in English and notified in writing on 15 November 2018.
Rectified on 3 December 2018: the text was: "pursuant to Article 375 1 of the Convention"