(Application no. 29759/04)
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 Mačinković v. Croatia,
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Mr C.L. Rozakis, President,
Mrs N. Vajić,
Mr A. Kovler,
Mrs E. Steiner,
Mr K. Hajiyev,
Mr D. Spielmann,
Mr S.E. Jebens, judges,
and Mr S. Nielsen, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 16 November 2006,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW AND PRACTICE
“(1) The Constitutional Court shall examine a constitutional complaint even before all legal remedies have been exhausted in cases when a competent court has not decided within a reasonable time a claim concerning the applicant's rights and obligations or a criminal charge against him ...
(2) If the constitutional complaint ... under paragraph 1 of this Section is accepted, the Constitutional Court shall determine a time-limit within which a competent court shall decide the case on the merits...
(3) In a decision under paragraph 2 of this Article, the Constitutional Court shall fix appropriate compensation for the applicant in respect of the violation found concerning his constitutional rights ... The compensation shall be paid from the State budget within a term of three months from the date when the party lodged a request for its payment.”
“The Constitutional Court shall institute proceedings pursuant to a constitutional complaint lodged under section 63 of the Constitutional Act [on the Constitutional Court] for the length of proceedings only in cases where the court has not decided within a reasonable time on the merits of the rights and obligations of the complainant, that is, where it has failed to deliver a decision on the merits within a reasonable time.
In the present case the constitutional complaint has been lodged for non-enforcement of a final decision by which the party's rights and obligations had already been decided.
Taking into consideration the above cited provisions of the Constitutional Act [on the Constitutional Court] ..., the Constitutional Court is of the opinion that in this case the conditions for applicability of section 63 were not met.”
In its decision no. U-IIIA/781/2003 of 14 May 2004 the Constitutional Court provided further interpretation of section 63:
“Taking into consideration the above cited provisions of the Constitutional Act [on the Constitutional Court] and the fact that the constitutional complaint was not lodged for a failure to deliver a decision within a reasonable time but rather because the enforcement was not carried out, the Constitutional Court is of the opinion that in this case the conditions for applicability of section 63 were not met.”
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...”
There has accordingly been a breach of Article 6 § 1.
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
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 according to Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, the following amount which should be converted into Croatian kunas at the rate applicable at the date of settlement:
(i) EUR 3,000 (three thousand euros) in respect of non-pecuniary damage;
(ii) EUR 1,500 (one thousand and five hundred euros) in respect of costs and expenses; and
(ii) any tax that may be chargeable on the above amounts;
(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amount 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 7 December 2006, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Søren Nielsen Christos Rozakis