CASE OF LOMBARDO v. ITALY
(Application no. 42353/98)
14 December 1999
In the case of Lombardo 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. FRIBERGH, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 2 December 1999,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
1. The case originated in an application (no. 42353/98) against Italy lodged with the European Commission of Human Rights (“the Commission”) under former Article 25 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by an Italian national, Mr Vincenzo Lombardo (“the applicant”), on 1 June 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 a set of criminal proceedings. On 22 October 1998 the Commission (First Chamber) decided to give notice of the application to the respondent Government and invited them to submit their observations on its admissibility and merits.
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 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 Court), and Mr C. L. 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 (Rule 26 § 1 (b)).
5. The Government submitted their observations on 12 January 1999, to which the applicant replied on 2 February 1999.
6. On 15 June 1999 the Court declared the application admissible.
7. On 11 October 1999, after an exchange of correspondence, the Section Registrar suggested to the parties that they should attempt to reach a friendly settlement within the meaning of Article 38 § 1 (b) of the Convention. On 15 October 1999 and on 4 November 1999 the applicant’s representative and the Agent of the Government respectively submitted formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case.
AS TO THE FACTS
8. On 30 November 1991 the applicant was committed for trial before the Magistrate's Court of Reggio Calabria, charged with infringing the town-planning regulations and with entering into premises which had been sealed by the police. On 18 February 1992 he was found guilty of both charges. The judgment was filed with the registry on 3 March 1992.
9. On 2 April 1992 the applicant filed an appeal with the Reggio Calabria Court of Appeal.
10. On 3 November 1997 the court set the date for the trial at 23 December 1997. On the latter date the Reggio Calabria Court of Appeal ruled that the proceedings against the applicant be discontinued as being time-barred. The judgment was filed with the court registry on 30 December 1997 and became final, at the latest, on 6 February 1998.
AS TO THE LAW
11. On 5 November 1999 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I declare that the Government of Italy offer to pay 22,000,000 ITL to Mr Vincenzo Lombardo with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the application registered under No. 42353/98. This sum shall cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage (17,000,000 ITL) 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.
The Government further undertake not to request the reference of the case to the Grand Chamber under Article 43 § 1 of the Convention.”
12. On 3 November 1999 the Court received from the applicant’s representative the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I note that the Government of Italy are prepared to pay 22,000,000 ITL (17,000,000 ITL for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage and 5,000,000 ITL for legal costs) to Mr Vincenzo Lombardo with a view to securing a friendly settlement of application No. 42353/98 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.”
13. 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 Court).
14. 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 rehearing of the case before the Grand Chamber.
Done in English, and notified in writing on 14 December 1999, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Erik FRIBERGH Christos ROZAKIS