(Application no. 33488/02)
7 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 Lakota v. Slovenia,
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Having deliberated in private on 16 November 2006,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
On 16 October 1995 the court held a hearing because the respondent did neither appear before the court nor send a reply to the claim.
On 4 December 1995 the court held a hearing and requested the respondent to submit some documents.
On 31 January and 13 March 1996 the court held hearings.
After the latter hearing, the court issued a partial judgment and upheld the applicant's claim, annulled the contested decision and ordered that the applicant be reinstituted to the post of head of financial department. The determination of the amount of damages was adjourned. The decision was served on the applicant on 19 August 1996.
On 7 May 1998 the court allowed the appeal in part and ordered that the applicant be reemployed and appointed to a post corresponding to his knowledge and skills. The judgment was served on the applicant on 5 June 1998.
On 22 July 1998 the applicant was withheld from work with reduced pay (čakanje na delo), because the composition proceedings (postopek prisilne poravnave) had started against IPA and the company was reducing the number of employees.
On 8 June 1998 IPA reinstituted the applicant to his post.
On 22 December 1998 the court dismissed the appeal. The decision was served on the applicant on 18 February 1999.
On 7 August 1998 the applicant was made redundant.
On 3 March 1999 the Ljubljana Labour and Social Court held a hearing and ordered the respondent to calculate the amount of unpaid salaries owed to the applicant.
On 15 April 1999 the applicant lodged preliminary written submissions.
On 16 April 1999 the court held a hearing where the applicant amended his claim. Consequently, the hearing was adjourned to give the respondent time to prepare a reply.
On 19 May 1999 the court held a hearing and decided to appoint a financial expert to calculate the amount of salaries due. The appointed expert delivered the opinion on 29 June 1999.
On 19 July 1999 the applicant lodged preliminary written submissions.
On 20 October 1999 the court held a hearing and, upon request of the respondent, sought an additional opinion from the appointed expert. The expert delivered the amended opinion on 16 November 1999.
On 26 January 2000 the court held a hearing and the applicant amended his claim.
On 18 February 2000 the court held a hearing and delivered a judgment upholding the applicant's claims in part.
On 24 November 2000 the court allowed the appeal in part and remitted the case to the first-instance court for fresh examination.
On 6 and 29 March 2002 the court held hearings and, among other things, heard the appointed expert. The court delivered a judgment reaffirming the ruling of 18 February 2000.
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 ... 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.”
1. Article 6 § 1
There has accordingly been a breach of Article 6 § 1.
2. Article 13
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.”
A. Pecuniary damage
B. Non-pecuniary damage
C. Costs and expenses
D. 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 800 (eight hundred 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 7 December 2006, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Berger John Hedigan