(Application no. 73841/01)
19 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 Klemeco Nord AB v. Sweden,
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Mr A.B. Baka, President,
Mr I. Cabral Barreto,
Mr R. Türmen,
Mr M. Pellonpää,
Mrs A. Mularoni,
Ms D. Jočienė,
Mr D. Popović, judges,
and Mrs S. Dollé, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 28 November 2006,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
“The Court of Appeal confirms the District Court's judgment”.
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION AS REGARDS THE LENGTH OF PROCEEDINGS
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ..., everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing ... by an independent and impartial tribunal...”
26. The Government submitted that the applicant company had failed to exhaust the domestic remedies available to it since it had not sued the Swedish State for damages on account of the length of the proceedings. They relied on a judgment of the Supreme Court, pronounced on 9 June 2005, where a plaintiff had been granted compensation for both pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage because of a breach of the “reasonable time” requirement of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention in a criminal case. Thus, according to the Government, the applicant company should have tried this venue before complaining to the Court or, in any event, should now do so.
II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION AS REGARDS THE FAIRNESS OF THE PROCEEDINGS
41. Concerning the proceedings before the Court of Appeal, the Court notes that the appellate court took separate decisions with regard to the procedural requests made by the applicant company, including allowing it to submit new evidence. Furthermore, the Court of Appeal held an oral hearing and allowed both parties to supplement their submissions before it. Thus, in these respects, the applicant company also benefited from adversarial and fair proceedings before the Court of Appeal.
III. 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.”
48. The Court finds no causal link between the violation found and the alleged pecuniary damage. However, the Court considers that the applicant company must have sustained some non-pecuniary damage because of the excessive length of the national proceedings. Ruling on an equitable basis, it awards EUR 2,000 under that head.
B. Costs and expenses
C. Default interest
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant company, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, the following amounts to be converted into Swedish kronor at the rate applicable at the date of settlement:
(i) EUR 2,000 (two thousand euros) in respect of non-pecuniary damage;
(ii) EUR 500 (five hundred euros) in respect of costs and expenses;
(iii) 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 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 19 December 2006, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
S. Dollé A.B.