by Nevenka ATANASOVA
against the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
The European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section), sitting on 13 October 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Mirjana Lazarova Trajkovska,
Zdravka Kalaydjieva, judges,
and Claudia Westerdiek, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 2 March 2005,
Having regard to the declaration submitted by the respondent Government on 3 March 2009 requesting the Court to strike the application out of the list of cases and the applicant’s reply to that declaration,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Ms Nevenka Atanasova, is a Macedonian national who was born in 1960 and lives in Negotino. The Macedonian Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mrs R. Lazareska Gerovska. The case concerns the length of administrative proceedings for determination of disability pension. The proceedings started in March 1999 and ended on 18 November 2004 when the Supreme Court rendered its decision dismissing the applicant’s appeal on points of law.
The applicant complained under Article 6 of the Convention that her case had not been heard within a reasonable time.
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ..., everyone is entitled to a ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal...”
By letter dated 3 March 2009, the Government informed the Court that they proposed to make a unilateral declaration with a view to resolving the issue raised by this part of the application. They further requested the Court to strike out the application in accordance with Article 37 of the Convention.
The declaration provided, inter alia, as follows:
“... the Government would hereby like to express – by a way of unilateral declaration – its acknowledgement that in the special circumstances of the present case, the length of the domestic proceedings did not fulfil the requirement of ”reasonable time” referred to in Article 6 § 1 of the Convention. Consequently, the Government is prepared to pay to the applicant the global sum of 616 euros (six hundred and sixteen euros). In its view, this amount would constitute adequate redress and sufficient compensation for the impugned length of the said proceedings, and thus a reasonable sum as to quantum in the present case in the light of the Court’s case law. This sum is to cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as the costs and expenses and will be free of any taxes that may be applicable. This sum will be payable to an account named by the applicant within three months from the date of the notification of the decision pursuant to Article 37 § 1 (c) of the Convention ... In the light of the above and in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (c) of the Convention the Government would like to suggest that the circumstances of the present case allow the Court to reach the conclusion that for “any other reason” it is no longer justified to continue the examination of the application. Moreover, there are no reasons of a general character, as defined in Article 37 § 1 in fine, which would require the further examination of the case by virtue of that provision. Therefore, the Government invites the Court to strike the application out of its list of cases”
In a letter received by the Court on 30 April 2009 the applicant’s representative stated that the sum mentioned in the Government’s declaration was unacceptably low.
Having regard to the Court’s practice in this field (see Petkovski v. the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, no. 27314/04, 13 November 2008 and Ajvazi v. the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, no. 30956/05, 13 November 2008) and to the nature of the admissions contained in the Government’s declaration, as well as the amount of compensation proposed, which is compatible with the amounts awarded in similar cases, the Court considers that it is no longer justified to continue the examination of the application (Article 37 § 1(c)).
Moreover, in light of the above considerations, and in particular given the clear and extensive case-law on the topic, the Court is satisfied that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and the Protocols thereto does not require it to continue the examination of the application (Article 37 § 1 in fine). Accordingly, it should be struck out of the list.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Takes note of the terms of the respondent Government’s declaration in respect of the length-of-proceedings complaint under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention;
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (c) of the Convention;
Claudia Westerdiek Peer Lorenzen