(Application no. 30282/06)
16 July 2009
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 Christodoulou v. Cyprus,
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Christos Rozakis, President,
Sverre Erik Jebens,
Giorgio Malinverni, judges,
Costas Pamballis, ad hoc judge,
and Søren Nielsen, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 25 June 2009,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
A. First instance proceedings before the Rent Control Tribunal
B. Appeal proceedings before the Supreme Court
C. Retrial proceedings before the Rent Control Tribunal
D. Other steps taken by the applicants for the recovery of costs
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW
“The costs of, and incident to, any civil proceedings, in any court, shall, unless otherwise provided by any law in force for the time being, or any subsidiary legislation, be in the discretion of the court and the court shall have full power to determine by whom and to what extent such costs shall be paid”.
“Subject to the provisions of any law or Rules, the costs of, and incident, to any proceeding shall be in the discretion of the Court or Judge, who may authorise an executor, administrator or trustee who has not unreasonably instituted, or carried on, or resisted any proceeding, to have his costs paid out of a particular estate or fund.”
“The award of costs is a matter in the discretionary power of the court. The outcome of the case is not the sole factor for the award of costs but all the circumstances of the case must be taken into account.”
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION AS TO THE LENGTH OF THE PROCEEDINGS
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ..., everyone is entitled to a fair... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal...”
There has accordingly been a breach of Article 6 § 1.
II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION AS TO THE FAIRNESS OF THE PROCEEDINGS
1. As to the fairness of the costs order
It follows that this complaint must be rejected as being manifestly ill-founded, pursuant to Article 35 §§ 3 and 4 of the Convention.
2. As to the lack of a further appeal
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.”
B. Costs and expenses
C. Default interest
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 3,200 (three thousand two hundred euros) each in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 1,500 (one thousand and five hundred euros) jointly in respect of costs and expenses, plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants;
(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 16 July 2009, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Søren Nielsen Christos Rozakis