by Stanislav TRATNIK
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting on 30 June 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Boštjan M. Zupančič,
Luis López Guerra, judges,
and Santiago Quesada, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 15 January 2003,
Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Stanislav Tratnik, is a Slovenian national who was born in 1959 and lives in Prebold. He was represented before the Court by Mr Boštjan Verstovšek, a lawyer practising in Celje. The Slovenian Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr L. Bembič, State Attorney-General.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
1. On 29 December 1998 the applicant instituted civil proceedings against the insurance company T. at the Celje Dictrict Court (OkroZno sodišče v Celju), seeking compensation for damages sustained in a car accident.
2. On 14 January 2003 the Celje District Court partly granted the applicant’s claim and awarded him compensation in the amount of 484.220,00 Slovenian tolars (“SIT”) together with default interest and costs and expenses. It rejected the remainder. The applicant appealed.
3. On 29 April 2004 the Celje Higher Court (Višje sodišče v Celju) partly granted the applicant’s appeal and granted him compensation in the amount of 534.220,00 SIT. It rejected the remainder. The applicant requested the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office (Vrhovno drZavno toZilstvo) to lodge a request for the protection of legality.
4. On 11 October 2004 the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office rejected the request. The applicant lodged a constitutional appeal.
5. On 11 May 2006 the Constitutional Court quashed the judgments of the first- and second-instance court and remitted the case to the first-instance court for re-examination.
6. Further to the out-of-court settlement and the applicant’s withdrawal of all claims against the insurance company, on 30 October 2006 the first-instance court stayed the proceedings.
7. The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the length of proceedings and under Article 13 of the Convention about the lack of effective remedies in this respect.
8. The Court notes that, after the Government had been informed of the application on 31 September 2007 (Article 54 § 2(a) of the Rules of Court), the applicant received the State Attorney’s Office’s settlement proposal of 19 November 2007, acknowledging a violation of the right to a trial within a reasonable time and offering redress for non-pecuniary damage sustained, as well as compensation for costs and expenses incurred.
9. On 29 July 2008 the applicant was requested by the Court to submit a copy of the settlement proposed by the Government and to inform the Court whether, in the light of the proposed settlement, he wished to withdraw the application before the Court. In the letter, sent by registered post, the applicant was also warned that the failure to reply may lead the Court to conclude that he is was longer interested in pursuing his application and to strike the application of its list of cases. No reply has been received to date.
10. 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;
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.”
11. The Court notes that the applicant did not submit the requested information despite being informed about the possible consequences of his failure to reply. The Court therefore considers that the applicant does not intend to pursue the application. The Court further observes that there are no special circumstances relating to respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols which would require it to continue with the examination of the application.
12. In these circumstances the Court considers that the application should be struck out of the list of cases of the Court in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Santiago Quesada Josep Casadevall