(Application no. 14580/02)
5 December 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 Wiercigroch v. Poland,
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Sir Nicolas Bratza, President,
Mr J. Casadevall,
Mr M. Pellonpää,
Mr K. Traja,
Mr L. Garlicki,
Ms L. Mijović,
Mr J. Šikuta, judges,
and Mr T.L. Early, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 14 November 2006,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
On 12 May 1995 the court decided to resume the proceedings and to conduct another on-site inspection.
Subsequently, the applicant requested the court to exclude the judge from the case; he also applied to the court to have additional witnesses examined.
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW AND PRACTICE 1
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ..., everyone is entitled to a ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal...”
48. The Court notes that this complaint is not manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 of the Convention. It further notes that it is not inadmissible on any other grounds. It must therefore be declared admissible.
57. The Court reiterates that the reasonableness of the length of proceedings must be assessed in the light of the circumstances of the case and with reference to the following criteria: the complexity of the case, the conduct of the applicant and the relevant authorities and what was at stake for the applicant in the dispute (see, among many other authorities, Frydlender v. France [GC], no. 30979/96, § 43, ECHR 2000-VII; Kusmierek v. Poland, no. 10675/02, judgment of 21 September 2004, § 62; and Zynger v. Poland, no. 66096/01, judgment of 13 July 2004, § 45).
There has accordingly been a breach of Article 6 § 1.
II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 1 OF PROTOCOL NO. 1 TO THE CONVENTION
III. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 OF THE CONVENTION (LACK OF IMPARTIALITY OF THE COURT)
IV. 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
3. Holds that it is not necessary to examine separately the applicant’s complaint under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention;
(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: (i) EUR 1,800 (one thousand eight hundred euros) in respect of non-pecuniary damage, (ii) EUR 100 (one hundred euros) in respect of costs and expenses, (iii) the above sums to be converted into Polish zlotys at the rate applicable at the date of settlement, 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;
Done in English, and notified in writing on 5 December 2006, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
T.L. Early Nicolas Bratza
1 For a more detailed presentation of the relevant domestic law see Ratajczyk v. Poland (dec.), no. 11215/02, ECHR 2005; Charzyński v. Poland (dec.), no. 15212/03, ECHR 2005.