(Application no. 41463/02)
31 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 Földes and Földesné Hajlik v. Hungary,
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Mr J.-P. Costa, President,
Mr A.B. Baka,
Mr I. Cabral Barreto,
Mrs A. Mularoni,
Mrs E. Fura-Sandström,
Ms D. Jočienė,
Mr D. Popović, judges
and Mrs S. Dollé, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 10 October 2006,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
“in the process of imposing 'legal detriments', the courts recognised, to its full extent, the extraordinary protraction of the proceedings as an important mitigating factor, and appreciated this circumstance when determining the punishments.”
The judgment became final on the same day.
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION ON ACCOUNT OF THE LENGTH OF THE PROCEEDINGS
“In the determination of ... any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal...”
The applicants contested these views.
II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 1 OF PROTOCOL No. 1 TO THE CONVENTION
“Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law.
The preceding provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the right of a State to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest or to secure the payment of taxes or other contributions or penalties.”
This complaint is therefore likewise manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3, and must be rejected pursuant to Article 35 § 4 of the Convention.
III. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 OF THE CONVENTION (FAIR HEARING)
Article 6 § 3 provides as relevant:
“Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights: ...
(b) to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence;
(c) to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require;
(d) to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him; ...”
It follows that this complaint is similarly manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 and must be rejected pursuant to Article 35 § 4 of the Convention.
IV. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 2 § 2 OF PROTOCOL No. 4 TO THE CONVENTION
“2. Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.
3. No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as are in accordance with law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, for the maintenance of ordre public, for the prevention of crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”
The Government did not address this issue.
It follows that there has been a violation of the first applicant's right to leave his country, as guaranteed by Article 2 § 2 of Protocol No. 4.
V. 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 first applicant, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 3,000 (three 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, 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 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 31 October 2006, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
S. Dollé J.-P. Costa
1 Approximately 1,000 euros.