by Sune SIVERLING
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting on 20 January 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Boštjan M. Zupančič,
Luis López Guerra,
Ann Power, judges,
and Stanley Naismith, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 27 April 2007,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Sune Siverling, is a Swedish national who was born in 1934 and lives in Hägersten. He was represented before the Court by Mr B. Siverling, a lawyer practising in Stockholm. The Swedish Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr B. Sjöberg, Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicant, may be summarised as follows.
Following an audit of the applicant’s haulage company, initiated in 1998, the Tax Authority (skattemyndigheten) of the County of Stockholm decided, on 9 June 1999, to raise the applicant’s income for 1995 by 104,485 Swedish kronor (SEK; about 10,000 euros (EUR)) and ordered him to pay a tax surcharge amounting to SEK 10,448 (approximately EUR 1,000).
On 7 April 2000 the applicant appealed and, on 25 September 2002, the Tax Authority maintained its findings in a reconsideration decision.
On 10 October 2003 the County Administrative Court (länsrätten) of the County of Stockholm upheld the appealed decision.
By a letter of 16 January 2004, the applicant appealed to the Administrative Court of Appeal (kammarrätten) in Stockholm.
In a submission to the appellate court on 26 October 2005, the applicant claimed that the length of the proceedings so far had exceeded what could be deemed reasonable under Article 6 of the Convention and requested that the court compensate him for this by remitting the tax surcharge. He reiterated his position on 13 January and 18 August 2006.
On 2 October 2006 the Administrative Court of Appeal upheld the County Administrative Court’s judgment. It considered, inter alia, that the questions raised in relation to the applicability of the Convention to the issue of the tax surcharge had complicated the case and that, although there had been certain periods of inactivity, the delay caused thereby did not make the imposition of the surcharge manifestly unreasonable.
On 12 March 2007 the Supreme Administrative Court (Regeringsrätten) refused the applicant leave to appeal.
By a letter of 31 October 2008, the applicant’s representative informed the Court that the Chancellor of Justice (Justitiekanslern), by a decision of 5 June 2008, had found that the length of the proceedings in the case had involved a violation of Article 6 of the Convention. He had awarded the applicant SEK 12,500 (about 1,200 euros) in compensation for this violation, which roughly corresponded to the applicant’s claim for restitution of the the tax surcharge with interest. Furthermore, the applicant had been compensated in full for his legal costs.
In view of the decision, the applicant expressed the wish to withdraw the present application.
The Court takes note of the decision of the Chancellor of Justice and the applicant’s wish to withdraw the application. It considers that the matter has been resolved and finds no public policy reasons to justify a continued examination of the application (Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention). Accordingly, the case should be struck out of the list.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Stanley Naismith Josep Casadevall
Deputy Registrar President