CASE OF DOMOKI v. HUNGARY
(Application no. 3373/11)
17 February 2015
This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Domoki v. Hungary,
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:
Helen Keller, President,
Robert Spano, judges,
and Abel Campos, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 27 January 2015,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
1. The case originated in an application (no. 3373/11) against the Republic of Hungary lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by a Hungarian national, Ms László Miklósné Domoki (“the applicant”), on 5 January 2011.
2. The applicant was represented by Mr I. Győrffy, a lawyer practising in Debrecen. The Hungarian Government (“the Government”) were represented by Mr Z. Tallódi, Agent, Ministry of Public Administration and Justice.
3. On 9 April 2013 the application was communicated to the Government.
THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
4. The applicant was born in 1954 and lives in Debrecen.
5. Between 2000 and 5 July 2010 criminal proceedings were being conducted against the applicant on charges of fraud before the Debrecen District Court, the Hajdú-Bihar County Regional Court and the Supreme Court. On the latter date, she was acquitted.
6. The applicant complained that the length of the proceedings had been incompatible with the “reasonable time” requirement of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention.
7. The Government contested that argument.
8. The period to be taken into consideration began in 2000 and ended on 5 July 2010. It thus lasted about ten years for three levels of jurisdiction.
In view of such lengthy proceedings, this complaint must be declared admissible.
9. The Court has frequently found violations of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention in cases raising issues similar to the one in the present application (see, among many other authorities, Pélissier and Sassi v. France [GC], no. 25444/94, § 67, ECHR 1999-II).
10. Having examined all the material submitted to it, the Court considers that the Government have not put forward any fact or convincing argument capable of persuading it to reach a different conclusion in the present circumstances. Having regard to its case-law on the subject, the Court considers that the length of the proceedings was excessive and failed to meet the “reasonable time” requirement.
There has accordingly been a breach of Article 6 § 1.
11. The applicant also complained under Article 6 § 3 about the alleged unfairness of the proceedings.
The Court observes that the applicant was eventually acquitted of the charges. In these circumstances, she cannot claim to be a victim of a violation of her right to a fair trial.
This complaint is therefore incompatible ratione personae with the provisions of the Convention, within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 (a), and must be rejected, pursuant to Article 35 § 4.
12. Despite warnings, the applicant did not submit a claim for just satisfaction. Accordingly, the Court considers that there is no call to award her any sum on that account.
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT, UNANIMOUSLY,
1. Declares the length complaint admissible and the remainder of the application inadmissible;
2. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention.
Done in English, and notified in writing on 17 February 2015, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Abel Campos Helen
Deputy Registrar President