(Application no. 25195/02)
30 November 2006
This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Korda v. Slovenia,
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Mr J. Hedigan, President,
Mr B.M. Zupančič,
Mr C. Bîrsan,
Mrs A. Gyulumyan,
Mr E. Myjer,
Mr David Thór Björgvinsson,
Mrs I. Berro-Lefevre, judges,
and Mr V. Berger, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 9 November 2006,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
On 15 January 1991, after the court had held four hearings, the applicant's claim was upheld in part.
On 18 July 1991 the court allowed the applicant's appeal, annulled the first-instance court's judgment and remitted the case to the first-instance court for re-examination.
On 4 May 1993 the court allowed the appeals of the applicant and his adversary, annulled the first-instance court's judgment and remitted the case to the first-instance court for re-examination.
On 14 October 1994 the court held a hearing.
The hearing scheduled for 6 December 1994 was cancelled for an unknown reason.
On 1 January 1995 the Maribor Local Court (Okrajno sodišče v Mariboru) gained jurisdiction in the present case due to the reform of the Slovenian judicial system.
On 10 October 1995 the applicant requested that a date be set for a hearing.
On 16 October 1995 the applicant lodged a request for supervision against the judge presiding over the case, but apparently to no avail.
On 17 October 1995 the court declared the case out of its jurisdiction and transferred it to the Maribor District Court (OkroZno sodišče v Mariboru).
On 9 January 1996 the applicant lodged preliminary written submissions.
There was apparently a dispute between the Maribor Local Court and the Maribor District Court concerning the jurisdiction. In this respect, the Maribor Higher Court decided on 12 January 1996 that the case fell within the jurisdiction of the Maribor District Court.
On 16 May and 20 September 1996 the court held hearings.
On 6 and 11 November 1996 the applicant lodged preliminary written submissions.
On 22 November 1996 and 10 January 1997 the court held hearings.
The judgment of 11 February 1997, dismissing the applicant's claim, was served on the applicant on 14 February 1997.
On 4 June 1998 the Maribor Higher Court allowed both appeals, annulled the first-instance court's judgment and remitted the case to the first-instance court for re-examination. The decision was served on the applicant on 27 June 1998.
On 10 November 1998 the applicant lodged preliminary written submissions.
The hearing scheduled for 19 November 1998 was cancelled for an unknown reason.
On 5 February, 25 March, 6 May and 26 August 1999 the court held hearings. At the last hearing the court upheld the applicant's request to appoint an expert in construction engineering. The applicant paid the required deposit for the costs of the expert on 3 September 1999.
On 12 January 2000 the court appointed an expert in construction engineering to determine the value of the applicant's work. The expert opinion was delivered on 29 March 2000.
On 16 February 2000 the applicant filed a rush notice.
On 12 May, 7 September and 10 November 2000 the court held hearings.
At the last hearing the court delivered an oral judgment, upholding in part the applicant's claim. On 20 November 2000 the parties to the proceedings informed the court that they would appeal against this judgment, once they receive a written copy.
In a letter of 5 March 2001 the applicant requested the court not to deliver a written judgment yet, since he attempted to settle the case with the retirement home. On 9 April 2001 the latter informed the court that a friendly settlement was in progress.
On 16 May 2001 the applicant requested the court to issue a written judgment. The written judgment was served on the applicant on 28 May 2001.
On 8 April and 22 May 2002 the applicant filed rush notices.
On 30 May 2002 the Maribor Higher Court allowed the appeal in part and amended the judgment in the part referring to costs and expenses. The decision was served on the applicant at an undetermined time, but after 5 June 2006. The applicant did not appeal.
On 16 December 2004 the court dismissed the appeal.
The proceedings are still pending.
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLES 6 § 1 AND 13 OF THE CONVENTION
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ..., everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal...”
“Everyone whose rights and freedoms as set forth in [the] Convention are violated shall have an effective remedy before a national authority notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity.”
A. As to the proceedings before 20 January 2003
a) As to the fairness of the proceedings
It follows, that the applicant failed to exhaust the domestic remedies as required by Article 35 § 1 of the Convention and that this part of the application should therefore be rejected in accordance with Article 35 § 4 of the Convention.
b) As to the length of the proceedings
a) Article 6 § 1
There has accordingly been a breach of Article 6 § 1.
b) Article 13
B. As to the proceedings after 20 January 2003
1. Applicability of Article 6 § 1
It follows that the applicant's complaints under Article 6 § 1, as far as they concern the proceedings after 20 January 2003 are incompatible ratione materiae with the provisions of the Convention within the meaning of Article 35 § 3. They must therefore be rejected in accordance with Article 35 § 4.
2. Applicability of Article 13
Accordingly, this complaint is manifestly ill-founded and must be declared inadmissible in the meaning of Article 35 §§ 3 and 4 of the Convention.
II. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION
“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”
B. Costs and expenses
C. Default interest
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 1,200 (one thousand two hundred euros) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 610 (six hundred and ten euros) in respect of costs and expenses, plus any tax that may be chargeable;
(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points;
5. Dismisses the remainder of the applicant's claim for just satisfaction.
Done in English, and notified in writing on 30 November 2006, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Berger John Hedigan