(Application no. 4225/02)
2 November 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 Olenik v. Slovenia,
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Mr J. Hedigan, President,
Mr B.M. Zupančič,
Mr C. Bîrsan,
Mr V. Zagrebelsky,
Mrs A. Gyulumyan,
Mr David Thór Björgvinsson,
Mrs I. Ziemele, judges,
and Mr V. Berger, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 12 October 2006,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
On 28 June 1994 the Convention entered into force with respect to Slovenia.
On 19 July 1994 the applicant requested that a date be set for a hearing.
On 14 October 1994 the court held a hearing and heard the applicant.
On 28 November 1994 the court held a hearing. Since the witness, a police officer, summoned to the hearing did not appear and because a reform of the judicial system was planned, the hearing was adjourned sine die.
On 1 January 1995 the Koper Local Court (Okrajno sodišče v Kopru) gained jurisdiction in the case due to the reform of the Slovenian judicial system.
On 17 February 1995 the court held a hearing, heard a witness, the police officer, and decided to appoint a medical expert.
On 2 March 1995 the court appointed a medical expert and gave him a period of thirty days to deliver an opinion.
On 13 June and 3 July 1995 the court urged the expert to deliver the opinion which he did on 10 July 1995.
On 25 August 1995 the court held a hearing and, upon the request of the applicant, decided to seek an additional opinion from the appointed expert.
On 1 December 1995 the expert submitted an additional opinion.
At an undetermined time, but before 12 August 1996, and for an unknown reason, the case was transferred to a different judge.
On 5 May 1999 the court held a hearing. At the hearing the applicant increased her claim. For this reason, the court decided that the case was no longer within its jurisdiction and it was accordingly transferred to the Koper District Court (Okrožno sodišče v Kopru).
On 11 November 1999 the court held a hearing.
On 16 December 1999 the court held another hearing and heard the appointed expert. The court decided to deliver a written judgment.
On 22 December 1999 the court delivered a judgment dismissing the applicant's claim.
On 9 March 2000 the applicant requested the court to consider that she lodged an appeal of 12 January 2000 herself and that she had no legal representation.
On 30 January 2001 the court dismissed the appeal. The judgment was served on the applicant on 6 September 2001.
The applicant did not lodge further remedies against the Koper Higher Court judgment.
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW AND PRACTICE
A. The 1991 Constitution
“Everyone shall have the right to compensation for damage caused by the unlawful acts of a person or body when performing a function or engaged in an activity on behalf of a state or local authority or as a holder of public office. ...”
B. The Code of Obligations 2001
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLES 6 § 1 AND 13 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...”
“Everyone whose rights and freedoms as set forth in [the] Convention are violated shall have an effective remedy before a national authority notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity.”
1. Article 6 § 1
There has accordingly been a breach of Article 6 § 1.
2. Article 13
II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLES 3 AND 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ..., everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing... by [a] ... tribunal...”
“No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
It follows that the domestic remedies were not exhausted within the meaning of Article 35 § 1 of the Convention.
This part of the application must be rejected as manifestly ill-founded in accordance with Article 35 § 4 of the Convention.
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.”
Accordingly, her claim for pecuniary damage must be declared inadmissible.
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 210 (two hundred and ten euros) in respect of costs and expenses, 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 2 November 2006, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Berger John Hedigan