by Longin MAKARCZUK
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 23 September 2008 as a Chamber composed of:
David Thór Björgvinsson,
Päivi Hirvelä, judges,
and Lawrence Early, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 6 September 2001,
Having regard to the decision to apply the pilot-judgment procedure and to adjourn its consideration of applications deriving from the same systemic problem identified in the case of Broniowski v. Poland (no. 31443/96),
Having regard to the decisions to strike the applications Wolkenberg and Others v. Poland (no. 50003/99) and Witkowska-Toboła v. Poland (no. 11208/02) out of the Court's list of cases,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Longin Makarczuk, is a Polish national who was born in 1930 and lived in Wrocław.
On 11 October 2004 the applicant's wife, Mrs Urszula Makarczyk, informed the Court's Registry that the applicant had died on 4 October 2004. She stated that she and her children wished to continue the proceedings before the Court in her late husband's stead.
A. Historical background to Bug River cases before the Court
(See E.G. v. Poland, no. 50425/99, §§ 2-5).
B. Particular circumstances of case no. 27578/02
The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicant, may be summarised as follows.
On 11 March 2003 the Mayor of Wrocław (Prezydent Miasta) issued a decision confirming that the applicant had the right to compensation for the property abandoned by his family, valued at 97,500 Polish zlotys (PLN).
The applicant's attempts to acquire State property were unsuccessful. The only possibility of enforcing the claim was to participate in competitive bids for the sale of State property. However, the State authorities throughout Poland officially acknowledged the acute shortage of State-owned land designated for the realisation of the Bug River claims.
This fact and the fact that at the material time it was the authorities' common practice to desist from organising auctions for Bug River claimants or to openly deny them the opportunity to enforce their entitlement through the statutory bidding procedure was established by the Court in the Broniowski judgment (see Broniowski, cited above, §§ 48-61, 69-87 and 168-176).
On 9 May 2006 the Wrocław District Court (Sąd Rejonowy) gave a decision declaring that the applicant's wife had acquired her late husband's estate.
The applicant and his family did not inform the Court whether they had initiated proceedings under the Law on the realisation of the right to compensation for property left beyond the present borders of the Polish State (Ustawa o realizacji prawa do rekompensaty z tytułu pozostawienia nieruchomości poza obecnymi granicami państwa polskiego) (“the July 2005 Act”) in order to obtain compensation for the Bug River property.
C. Relevant domestic law and practice in respect of Bug River claims
(See E.G. v. Poland, no. 50425/99, §§ 16-17).
(See E.G. v. Poland, no. 50425/99, § 18).
A. The standing of the late applicant's wife
The applicant, Mr Longin Makarczuk, died after he had lodged his application with the Court. His wife confirmed to the Court that she wished to continue the Convention proceedings in his stead. The Court, having regard to its established case-law on the matter, concludes that she has standing to pursue the application in his stead.
B. Application of the pilot-judgment procedure
(See E.G. v. Poland, no. 50425/99, §§ 19-20).
C. Application of Article 37 of the Convention
(See E.G. v. Poland, no. 50425/99, §§ 21-24).
D. Consequences for the application of the pilot-judgment procedure
(See E.G. v. Poland, no. 50425/99, §§ 25-29).
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Lawrence Early Nicolas Bratza