(Application no. 23926/02)
13 July 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 Silin v. Ukraine,
The European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Mr P. Lorenzen, President,
Mr K. Jungwiert,
Mr V. Butkevych,
Mrs M. Tsatsa-Nikolovska,
Mr R. Maruste,
Mr J. Borrego Borrego,
Mrs R. Jaeger, judges,
and Mrs C. Westerdiek, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 19 June 2006,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. CIVIL COURT PROCEEDINGS
II. APPLICANTS’ CRIMINAL COMPLAINTS
I. COMPLAINT ABOUT THE LENGTH OF THE PROCEEDINGS
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ..., everyone is entitled to a ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal...”
1. Complexity of the case
2. Conduct of the applicants
3. What was at stake for the applicants
4. Conduct of the national authorities
II. OTHER COMPLAITNS
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.”
B. Costs and expenses
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT
Done in English, and notified in writing on 13 July 2006, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Claudia Westerdiek Peer Lorenzen
In accordance with Article 45 § 2 of the Convention and Rule 74 § 2 of the Rules of Court, the joint dissenting opinion of Mr Lorenzen, Mr Maruste and Mrs Jaeger is annexed to this judgment.
JOINT DISSENTING OPINION OF JUDGES LORENZEN, MARUSTE AND JAEGER
The majority has found that there has been a breach of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention because the length of the proceedings was excessive in the present case. We are not able to agree with this finding for the following reasons.
The proceedings involved court instances at three levels and lasted in total a little less than 5 years and 3 months. Furthermore the case had to be heard twice in the first instance due to the quashing of the judgment of 5 October 2000 by the Regional Court. It is true as stated by the majority that there was a period of around fifteen months in total before the first instance court for which the Government have not put forward any plausible explanation. However, the proceedings before the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court were terminated within a year and the global period for determining the case cannot be considered unreasonable. Thus in cases where several instances are involved it is in our opinion important not to consider the length of the proceedings separately because an exhaustive examination of the factual and legal issues by a first instance court may often reduce the time needed by higher courts. Furthermore it must be taken into account – as rightly stated by the majority – that the applicant to some extent contributed to the length of the proceedings and that it was a civil case of a non urgent nature.
Having regard to the circumstances of the case the period in question cannot be regarded as unacceptable if viewed in the context of the total duration of the proceedings, as it must be, cf. for example G.L. v. Italy judgment of 3 October 2002, no. 54283/00, and Hadjikostova v. Bulgaria, judgment of 4 December 2003, no. 36843/97 with further references. Accordingly there has in our opinion been no violation of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention.
1. Around 1,308 euros – “EUR”.