(Application no. 43702/02)
17 October 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 Grabiński v. Poland,
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Sir Nicolas Bratza,
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 26 September 2006,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
A. Background to the case
B. Proceedings concerning the grant of the right of perpetual use of land
44. It appears that on an unspecified date the Mayor of Warsaw stayed the proceedings pending the conclusion of the administrative proceedings concerning the grant of the right of perpetual use of land for the benefit of the “Syrena” company (see paragraphs 54-59 below). It appears that the proceedings are pending.
C. Proceedings conducted before the Warsaw District Office up to July 2002 which concerned the grant of the right of perpetual use of the plot of land owned by the State
On 9 August 1999 the District Office requested the Warsaw-Centre Municipality to provide information relating to the use of the plot of land at issue as provided in the local development plan. The requested information was submitted on 17 August 1999.
D. Proceedings concerning the grant of the right of perpetual use of land for the benefit of the “Syrena” company
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW
A. Inactivity of the administrative authorities
Section 26 of the Law provides:
“When a complaint alleging inactivity on the part of an administrative authority is well-founded, the Supreme Administrative Court shall oblige that authority to issue a decision, or to perform a specific act, or to confirm, declare, or recognise a right or obligation provided for by law.”
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...”
The period in question has not yet ended. It has thus lasted 13 years and over 4 months.
1. Applicability of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention
2. The Government’s plea on non-exhaustion of domestic remedies
For these reasons, the Government’s plea of inadmissibility on the ground of non-exhaustion of domestic remedies must be dismissed.
1. The parties’ submissions
2. The Court’s assessment
82. The foregoing considerations are sufficient to enable the Court to conclude that the applicant’s case was not heard within a reasonable time. 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
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 10,000 (ten thousand euros) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 1,000 (one thousand euros) in respect of costs and expenses, to be converted into Polish zlotys 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 17 October 2006, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
T.L. Early Nicolas Bratza