(Application no. 54330/00)
12 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 PreloZník v. Slovakia,
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Sir Nicolas Bratza, President,
Mr G. Bonello,
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 21 November 2006,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
A. Proceedings concerning business premises (Bratislava I District Court file no. 12C 190/93)
B. Divorce and custody proceedings (Bratislava III District Court file no. 9C 161/94)
C. Custody and maintenance proceedings (Bratislava III District Court file no. Nc 47/94)
D. Action for outstanding rent (Bratislava III District Court file no. 18Cb 268/98)
E. Enforcement proceedings (ultimately Bratislava III District Court file no. E 577/97)
F. Proceedings concerning lease contract (Bratislava I District Court file no. 26Cb 258/99)
G. Action for damages (Bratislava I District Court file no. 26Cb 260/99)
H. Proceedings concerning a public auction (Bratislava II District Court file no. 10C 169/00)
I. The applicant’s submissions to the Constitutional Court
J. Correspondence with the Court’s Registry
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ..., everyone is entitled to a fair ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal...”
1. Fairness of the proceedings in the action file no. 12C 190/93
It follows that, in so far as domestic remedies have been exhausted pursuant to Article 35 § 1 of the Convention, the present complaint is manifestly ill-founded and must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 §§ 3 and 4 of the Convention.
2. Length of the proceedings
(a) Action file no. 12C 190/93
It follows that this complaint is manifestly ill-founded and must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 §§ 3 and 4 of the Convention.
(b) Divorce and custody proceedings file no. 9C 161/94
It follows that the complaint of the length of the divorce and custody proceedings cannot be rejected for non-exhaustion of domestic remedies.
(c) Custody and maintenance proceedings file no. Nc 47/94
(d) Action for outstanding rent file no. 18Cb 268/98
It follows that this complaint must be rejected under Article 35 §§ 1 and 4 of the Convention for non-exhaustion of domestic remedies.
(e) Enforcement proceedings file no. E 577/97
The Government’s plea of incompatibility ratione materiae therefore cannot be sustained.
The period in question ended on 31 May 2000. It thus lasted more than 8 years and 3 months for two levels of jurisdiction.
(f) Proceedings concerning lease contract file no. 26 Cb 258/99
(g) Action for damages file no. 26Cb 260/99 and proceedings concerning public auction file no. 10C 169/00
There has accordingly been a breach of Article 6 § 1.
II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 13 OF THE CONVENTION
“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. Action file no. 12C 190/93
2. Action file no. 18Cb 268/98, proceedings file no. 26 Cb 258/99, action file no. 26Cb 260/99 and proceedings file no. 10C 169/00
3. Divorce and custody proceedings, custody and maintenance proceedings and enforcement proceedings
III. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 17 OF THE CONVENTION AND OF ARTICLE 5 OF PROTOCOL NO. 7
It follows that the remainder of the application is manifestly ill-founded and must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 §§ 3 and 4 of the Convention.
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
(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 2,600 (two thousand six hundred euros) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 600 (six hundred euros) in respect of costs and expenses, the above amounts to be converted into the currency of the respondent State 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 12 December 2006, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
T.L. Early Nicolas Bratza