CASE OF SZWAGRUN-BAURYCZA v. POLAND
(Application no. 41187/02)
24 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 Szwagrun-Baurycza v. Poland,
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Mr J. Casadevall,
Mr G. Bonello,
Mr M. Pellonpää,
Mr K. Traja,
Mr S. Pavlovschi,
Mr L. Garlicki, judges,
and Mr T.L. Early, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 3 October 2006,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on the last mentioned date:
7. By a decision of 18 October 2005, the Court decided to join to the merits the question of the exhaustion of domestic remedies in respect of the applicant’s complaint about the alleged lack of access to a court and declared the application partly admissible.
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
It appears that the applicant did not file with the court the addresses requested and on 2 February 2000 the trial court rendered a decision discontinuing the proceedings. The applicant appealed. On an unspecified date her appeal was allowed.
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW AND PRACTICE
§ 1. Any person, whose rights and obligations are affected by the outcome of the proceedings, is an interested person; he or she may participate in the proceedings at any stage. If the person decides to participate, he or she becomes a party to the proceedings. An appeal is available against a refusal to be admitted as a party to the proceedings.
§ 2. If it turns out that a person concerned is not a party to the proceedings, the court will summon him or her to participate in them. Following the summons, a person becomes a party to the proceedings. If a need arises to appoint a court officer (curator absentis) to represent a party whose address is unknown, such appointment is made ex officio.
An interested person who has not participated in the proceedings terminated by a final decision on the merits, may request that these proceedings be reopened. Provisions on the reopening on the grounds of being deprived of the possibility to act shall apply.
If a person who files a motion (for a declaration that property has been acquired by prescription) fails to indicate other interested persons, the decision (on the merits) may only be rendered after such persons are summoned by a press notice. A press notice may also be published in other circumstances where the court finds this necessary.
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION
“1. In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ... everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. ...
A. The Government’s preliminary objection
B. The merits of the case
1. The parties’ submissions
2. The Court’s assessment
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 8,000 (eight thousand euros) in respect of non-pecuniary damage, to be converted into the national currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement, together with any tax that may be applicable;
(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 24 October 2006, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
T.L. Early Nicolas