by Rafał MAJKUT
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 13 October 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Nebojša Vučinić, judges,
and Lawrence Early, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 9 January 2009,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Rafał Majkut, is a Polish national who was born in 1977 and lives in Warsaw. The Polish Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr J. Wołąsiewicz of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The circumstances of the case
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
The applicant’s mother sued her former husband for compensation.
On 20 September 2006 the Olsztyn Regional Court dismissed her claims.
The applicant’s mother appealed. Subsequently she died and the applicant joined the proceedings in her stead.
On 15 October 2008 the Białystok Court of Appeal dismissed the applicant’s appeal.
On 14 November 2008 the applicant requested the Court of Appeal to appoint him a legal-aid lawyer with a view to filing a cassation appeal. The applicant submitted his declaration of means as instructed by the court.
On 4 December 2008 the Court of Appeal refused the applicant’s request for the appointment of a legal-aid lawyer. Its decision did not contain any reasons. The court informed the applicant that the refusal could not be appealed against.
Subsequently, the applicant requested the court to serve on him the reasons for the decision of 4 December 2008. That request was rejected on 2 January 2009.
Relying on Article 6 § 1 of the Convention the applicant complained that the Court of Appeal in its unreasoned decision had wrongly dismissed his application for the appointment of a legal aid lawyer in the cassation appeal proceedings and thus had deprived him of a possibility to have his case examined by the Supreme Court.
On 11 August 2009 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Rafał Majkut, note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me the sum of PLN 9,000 (nine thousand Polish zlotys) with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the above-mentioned case pending before the European Court of Human Rights.
This sum, which is to cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs and expenses, will be free of any taxes that may be applicable and payable within three months from the date of notification of the decision taken by the Court pursuant to Article 37 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. From the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amount at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points.
I accept the proposal and waive any further claims against Poland in respect of the facts giving rise to this application. I declare that this constitutes a final resolution of the case.”
On 21 August 2009 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I, Jakub Wołąsiewicz, Agent of the Polish Government, declare that the Government of Poland offer to pay PLN 9,000 (nine thousand Polish zlotys) to Mr Rafał Majkut with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the above-mentioned case pending before the European Court of Human Rights.
This sum, which is to cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs and expenses, will be free of any taxes that may be applicable and payable within three months from the date of notification of the decision taken by the Court pursuant to Article 37 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In the event of failure to pay this sum within the said three-month period, the Government undertake to pay simple interest on it, from expiry of that period until settlement, at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points. The payment will constitute the final resolution of the case.”
The Court takes note of the friendly settlement reached between the parties. It is satisfied that the settlement is based on respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols and finds no reasons to justify a continued examination of the application (Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention). In view of the above, it is appropriate to strike the case out of the list.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Lawrence Early Nicolas Bratza Registrar President