by Mieczysław ZAWŁOCKI
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 3 November 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Nebojša Vučinić, judges,
and Fatoş Aracı, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 27 December 2002,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Mieczyslaw Zawłocki, is a Polish national who was born in 1966 and is serving a prison sentence in the Kłodzko Prison Centre. The respondent Government are represented by their Agent, Mr J. Wołąsiewicz of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 27 November 2001 the Świdnica Regional Court convicted the applicant of murder and sentenced him to 15 years’ imprisonment.
The applicant appealed. He contested the soundness of his conviction and argued that it had not been proved that he had intended to kill his victim. He also alleged that the trial court had not sufficiently established all the circumstances of the case. Finally, he questioned the legal qualification of the offence.
On 20 March 2002 the Wrocław Court of Appeal ruled that the presence of the applicant’s legal-aid lawyer would be sufficient to represent him before the court in the appellate proceedings and refrained from calling the applicant to participate in the appellate hearing.
At a hearing of 18 April 2002 the Wrocław Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.
On 5 June 2002 the court assigned a legal-aid lawyer to prepare a cassation appeal to the Supreme Court. In a letter to the court dated 17 June 2002 the lawyer submitted that he had found no grounds on which to file a cassation appeal. The court informed the applicant about this decision on 4 July 2002 without instructing him on his further procedural rights.
The applicant requested the court to assign a new legal-aid lawyer to prepare a cassation appeal. On 31 July 2002 the Wrocław Court of Appeal refused the applicant’s request.
The applicant complained about the outcome and unfairness of the proceedings, in particular that the courts dealing with his case had wrongly established the facts and assessed the evidence.
The applicant submitted, invoking Article 6 § 1 of the Convention, that the appellate court had unlawfully failed to summon him to a hearing.
The applicant further complained that he had been denied an effective access to the Supreme Court. He submitted that the lawyer had refused to prepare a cassation appeal in his case and the court had refused to assign a new legal-aid lawyer.
On 3 September 2009 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I declare that the Government of Poland offer to pay PLN 6,500 (six thousand five hundred Polish zlotys) to Mr Mieczysław Zawłocki 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 it will be 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.”
On the same date the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Mieczysław Zawłocki,, note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me the sum of PLN 6,500 (six thousand five hundred 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. It will be 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.”
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 the list.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Aracı Nicolas Bratza
Deputy Registrar President