CASE OF ERRIGO v. Italy
(Application no. 39789/98)
2 November 1999
In the case of Errigo v. Italy,
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of
Mr C. ROZAKIS, President,
Mr M. FISCHBACH,
Mr B. CONFORTI,
Mr G. BONELLO,
Mrs V. STRážNICKá,
Mr P. LORENZEN,
Mrs M. TSATSA-NIKOLOVSKA, Judges,
and Mr E. M. FRIBERGH, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 21 October 1999,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
1. The case originated in an application (no. 39789/98) against Italy lodged with the European Commission of Human Rights (“the Commission”) under former Article 25 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by an Italian national, Mr Raffaele Errigo (“the applicant”), on 26 January 1998. The applicant is represented by Mr Domenico Callea, a lawyer practising in Reggio Calabria. The Italian Government (“the Government”) are represented by their Agent, Mr U. Leanza.
2. The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the length of the criminal proceedings brought against him. On 27 October 1998 the Commission (First Chamber) decided to give notice of the application to the Government and invited them to submit their observations on its admissibility and merits. The Government submitted their observations on 26 February 1999 to which the applicant replied on 11 March 1999.
3. Following the entry into force of Protocol No. 11 to the Convention on 1 November 1998 and in accordance with the provisions of Article 5 § 2 thereof, the application was transferred to the Court.
4. In accordance with Rule 52 § 1 of the Rules of the Court, the President of the Court, Mr L. Wildhaber, assigned the case to the Second Section. The Chamber constituted within the Section included ex officio Mr B. Conforti, the judge elected in respect of Italy (Article 27 § 2 of the Convention and Rule 26 § 1 (a) of the Rules of the Court), and Mr C. Rozakis, the President of the Section (Rule 26 § 1 (a)). The other members designated by the latter to complete the Chamber were Mr M. Fischbach, Mr G. Bonello, Mrs V. Strážnická, Mr P. Lorenzen and Mrs M. Tsatsa-Nikolovska.
5. On 25 May 1999, the Court declared the application admissible.
6. On 17 August 1999, after an exchange of correspondence, the Section Registrar proposed to the parties to reach a friendly settlement within the meaning of Article 38 § 1 (b) of the Convention. On 24 August and 13 September 1999 respectively the applicant and the Government submitted formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case.
AS TO THE FACTS
7. On 11 October 1990, a criminal complaint for theft was lodged against the applicant. He was committed for trial for aggravated theft before the Reggio Calabria District Judge on 10 October 1991. The first hearing was fixed at 11 March 1992. On the same day the Reggio Calabria District Judge sentenced the applicant to one month imprisonment and to a fine. The applicant lodged an appeal with the Reggio Calabria Court of appeal. On 5 January 1998 the Court of Appeal ruled that the proceedings be discontinued, the offence being time-barred.
AS TO THE LAW
8. On 15 September 1999 the Court received the following declaration by the Government:
“I declare that the Government of Italy offer to pay 22,000,000 Italian lire to Mr Raffaele Errigo with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the application registered under No. 39789/98. This sum shall cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage (17,000,000 LIT) as well as legal costs (5,000,000 ITL) and it will be payable immediately after the notification of the judgment delivered by the Court pursuant to Article 39 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This payment will constitute the final resolution of the case.
This declaration does not entail any acknowledgement by the Government of a violation of the European Convention on human Rights in the present case.
The Government further undertake non to request the reference of the case to the Grand Chamber under Article 43 § 1 of the Convention.”
9. On 2 September 1999, the Court received the following declaration, signed by the applicant’s representative:
“I note that the Government of Italy are prepared to pay 22,000,000 Italian lire (covering both pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage and legal costs) to Mr Raffaele Errigo with a view to securing a friendly settlement of application No. 39789/98 pending before the Court.
I accept the proposal and waive any further claims in respect of Italy relating to the facts of this application. I declare that the case is definitely settled.
This declaration is made in the context of a friendly settlement which the Government and the applicant have reached.
I further undertake not to request the reference of the case to the grand Chamber pursuant to Article 43 § 1 of the Convention after the delivery of the Court’s judgment.”
10. The Court takes note of the agreement reached between the parties (Article 39 of the Convention). It is satisfied that the settlement is based on respect for human rights as defined in the Convention or its Protocols (Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention and Rule 62 § 3 of the Rules of the Court).
11. Accordingly, the case should be struck out of the list.
FOR THESE REASONS THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
1. Decides to strike the case out of the list.
2. Takes note of the parties’ undertaking not to request a re-hearing of the case before the Grand Chamber.
Done in English, then sent as a certified copy on 2 November 1999, according to Rule 77 § 2 and 3 of the Rules of the Court.
Erik FRIBERGH Christos ROZAKIS