(Application no. 31356/04)
10 December 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 Goriany v. Austria,
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Christos Rozakis, President,
Sverre Erik Jebens,
Giorgio Malinverni, judges,
and Søren Nielsen, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 19 November 2009,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date.
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
1. The disciplinary proceedings under file no. D169/98
2. The disciplinary proceedings under file no. D33/99
3. The disciplinary proceedings under file no. D102/99
4. The disciplinary proceedings under file no. D165/00
5. The disciplinary proceedings under file no. D15/01
6. The disciplinary proceedings under file no. D231/99
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ..., everyone is entitled to a ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal...”
The proceedings D169/98 started in July 1998 and were terminated when the Disciplinary Council of the Vienna Austrian Bar Chamber discontinued them on 26 February 2004. Thus they lasted 5 years and some 7 months.
The proceedings D 33/99 lasted 5 years, because they were pending from February 1999 to February 2004.
The proceedings D102/99 started in May 1999 and ended in February 2004, thus lasting 4 years and 9 months.
The proceedings D165/00 lasted from September 2000 to February 2004 amounting to a total of 3 years and 5 months.
The proceedings D15/01 started in January 2001 and were terminated in February 2004. They therefore lasted for 3 years and 1 month.
The proceedings D231/99 lasted from October 1999 to March 2004 and were thus pending for 4 years and 4 months.
In D169/98 it took the Investigating Commissioner more that 16 months to submit his investigation report and once a further report on additional charges had been obtained on 21 October 2002 a hearing in the case was only scheduled for 14 November 2003.
In D33/99 it took the Disciplinary Council more than 18 months to schedule, on 28 June 2001, a hearing in that case. Since this hearing could not be held it took more than one year to schedule a further hearing and since also that hearing had to be cancelled the only hearing in that case took place on 14 November 2003, more than 3 years after the main proceedings were opened.
In D102/99 it took the Investigating Commissioner almost 2 years to submit his investigation report and once the Disciplinary Council decided to open main proceedings on 30 May 2001, it took more than 15 months before a hearing was scheduled for 8 August 2002.
In D165/00 once the Disciplinary Council decided to open main proceedings on 25 April 2001, it took more than 15 months before a hearing was scheduled for 8 August 2002.
In D15/01 it took the Investigating Commissioner more than one year to submit his investigation report and once a hearing in the main proceedings scheduled for 25 September 2002 was postponed it took the Disciplinary Council more than one year to schedule a further (and the only) hearing.
In D231/99 01 it took the Investigating Commissioner more than 2 years and 3 months to submit his report and once the main proceedings were opened 20 February 2002 no further steps were taken until 3 March 2004 when they were eventually discontinued.
II. OTHER ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF THE CONVENTION
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 applicant, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 8,000 (eight thousand), plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicant in respect of non-pecuniary damage;
(b) that 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;
Done in English, and notified in writing on 10 December 2009, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Søren Nielsen Christos Rozakis