z dnia 20 stycznia 2015 r.
Application no. 51397/13
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting on 20 January 2015 as a Committee composed of:
Dragoljub Popović, President,
Valeriu Griţco, judges,
and Marialena Tsirli, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 2 August 2013,
Having regard to the declaration submitted by the respondent Government on 17 September 2014 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
The applicant, Mr Bela Antonya, is a Romanian national, who was born in 1959 and lives in Braș ov.
The Romanian Government ("the Government") were represented by their Agent, Ms C. Brumar, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the length of civil proceedings in which he was involved. The proceedings lasted for eight years and three months for three levels of jurisdiction.
On 14 February 2014, the complaint was communicated to the Government.
After the failure of attempts to reach a friendly settlement, by a letter of 17 September 2014 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 declare, by way of this unilateral declaration, their acknowledgment of the violation of Article 6 § 1, as regards the length of civil proceedings.
The Government are prepared to pay to Mr. Antonya Bella, as just satisfaction, the sum of 1,080 EUR (one thousand and eighty Euros), amount they consider reasonable in the light of the Court's case-law. This sum is to cover all damage as well as the costs and expenses and will be free of any taxes that may be applicable. This sum will be payable in Romanian lei at the rate applicable at the date of payment to the personal account of the applicant within three months from the date of the notification of the decision pursuant to Article 37 § 1 of the Convention. In the event of failure to pay this sum within the said 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 period plus three percentage points. Therefore, the Government respectfully invite the Court rule that the examination of the present application is no longer justified and to strike the application out of its list of cases, pursuant to Article 37 § 1 (c) of the Convention."
By a letter of 6 November 2014, the applicant indicated that he was not satisfied with the terms of the unilateral declaration on the ground that the compensation offered by the Government was not satisfactory.
The Court recalls 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 if:
"for any other reason established by the Court, it is no longer justified to continue the examination of the application".
It also recalls 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.
To this end, the Court will examine carefully the declaration in the light of the principles emerging from its case-law, in particular the Tahsin Acar judgment (Tahsin Acar v. Turkey, [GC], no. 26307/95, §§ 75-77, ECHR 2003-VI; WAZA Spółka z o.o. v. Poland (dec.), no. 11602/02, 26 June 2007).
The Court has established in a number of cases, including those brought against Romania, its practice concerning complaints about the violation of one's right to a hearing within a reasonable time (see, for example, Frydlender v. France [GC], no. 30979/96, § 43, ECHR 2000-VII and Vlad and Others v. Romania, nos. 40756/06, 41508/07 and 50806/07, §§ 131-133 and 161, 26 November 2013).
Having regard to the nature of the admissions contained in the Government's declaration, as well as the amount of compensation proposed, the Court considers that it is no longer justified to continue the examination of the application (Article 37 § 1(c)).
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).
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 6 § 1 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 12 February 2015.