by Anica MAJCEN and Robert BLAZINŠEK
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting on 26 May 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Boštjan M. Zupančič,
Luis López Guerra,
Ann Power, judges,
and Stanley Naismith, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application,
Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government,
Having regard to the settlement agreement signed by the parties,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicants, Mrs Anica Majcen and Mr Robert Blazinšek, are Slovenian nationals who were born in 1941 and 1969 respectively and live in Vojnik. They were represented before the Court by Mr B. Verstovšek, a lawyer practising in Celje. The Slovenian Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr Lucijan Bembič, State Attorney-General.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
The applicants are mother and son. In 1992, their son/brother died in a car accident.
On 6 September 1994 the applicants instituted civil proceedings against the insurance company Z.T. in the Celje Basic Court (Temeljno sodišče v Celju) seeking non-pecuniary damage.
During the proceedings four hearings were held and the parties filed several written submissions.
On 24 January 1996 the renamed Celje District Court (OkroZno sodišče v Celju) delivered a judgment, upholding the applicants’ claim in part.
Further to the applicants’ appeal of 27 February 1996, the Celje Higher Court (Višje sodišče v Celju), on 29 August 1996, quashed the first-instance judgment and remitted the case for re-examination.
On 16 February 2005 the Celje District Court delivered a judgment, rejecting the applicants’ claim.
On 26 January 2006 the Celje Higher Court (Višje sodišče v Celju) dismissed the applicants’ appeal.
Subsequently, the applicants lodged an appeal on points of law, which was rejected by the Supreme Court on 24 January 2008.
The Supreme Court’s judgment was served on the applicants on 26 February 2008.
The applicants complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the excessive length of civil proceedings and under Article 13 of the Convention about the lack of an effective domestic remedy in that regard.
On 10 July 2008 the President of the Chamber decided that the case should be communicated to the Government for observations on its admissibility and merits.
On 29 October 2008 the Government submitted their observations and informed the Court that they had made a settlement proposal to the applicants.
By the settlement agreement signed by the State’s Attorney’s Office and the applicants, the former acknowledged a violation of the right to a trial within a reasonable time and accepted to pay each applicant 2,500 euros (EUR) for non-pecuniary damage and both of them 363.55 euros (EUR) for costs and expenses. The applicants accepted the amount as full compensation for the damage sustained due to the length of the above proceedings and waived any further claims against the Republic of Slovenia in respect of this complaint.
Also on 29 October 2008, the applicants informed the Court that they had reached a settlement with the State’s Attorney’s Office and that they wished to withdraw their application introduced before the Court.
The Court recalls Article 37 of the Convention which, in the relevant part, reads as follows:
“1. The Court may at any stage of the proceedings decide to strike an application out of its list of cases where the circumstances lead to the conclusion that
(a) the applicant does not intend to pursue his application; or
(b) the matter has been resolved;
However, the Court shall continue the examination of the application if respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and the Protocols thereto so requires.”
The Court takes note that following the settlement reached between the parties the matter has been resolved at the domestic level and that the applicants do not wish to pursue their application. It is satisfied that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention or its Protocols does not require the examination of the application to be continued (Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention).
In view of the above, it is appropriate to strike the case out of the list in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (a) and (b) of the Convention.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Stanley Naismith Josep Casadevall
Deputy Registrar President