(Application no. 7365/05)
24 February 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 Decev v. Moldova,
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Nicolas Bratza, President,
Nebojša Vučinić, judges,
and Lawrence Early, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 3 February 2009,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW
Article 338. Issue of an enforcement warrant
An enforcement warrant shall be issued to a plaintiff by a court, after the judgment has become final...
Article 343. The request for enforcement
The bailiff shall start the enforcement of a judgment at the request of [one of the parties to the proceedings]...
Article 367. The examination of issues relating to the discontinuation of enforcement proceedings
Issues concerning the ... discontinuation ... of enforcement proceedings shall be examined by a judge...His or her decision is susceptible of appeal.
Article 149. Enforcement of a judgment which obliges a defendant to take an action
(4) If a defendant refuses to comply with a judgment by which he was obliged to act in a certain manner and it is only he who can do so, ... he shall be given a new time-limit to comply, a written note of the fine imposed on the defendant shall be remitted [by the bailiff] to the head of the Execution Office and a new time-limit for compliance shall be instituted. The fine for individuals varies between 2,000 and 4,000 Moldovan lei. The payment of the fine does not release the defendant from the obligation to comply with the judgment.
(5) If the defendant fails again to comply with the judgment within the prescribed time-limit the head of the Enforcement Office can apply the measures provided for in paragraph (4) of the present Article again.
Article 320. Non-compliance with a court judgment
(1) Intentional non-compliance with a court judgment is punishable by a fine of up to 6,000 Moldovan lei, 150-200 hours of community work, or two years' imprisonment.
Article 6 § 1 of the Convention, in so far as relevant, reads as follows:
“1. In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ... everyone is entitled to a fair hearing ... within a reasonable time by a tribunal ....”
Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 reads as follows:
“Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law.
The preceding provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the right of a State to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest or to secure the payment of taxes or other contributions or penalties.”
I. THE GOVERNMENT'S REQUEST TO STRIKE OUT THE APPLICATION UNDER ARTICLE 37 OF THE CONVENTION
II. ADMISSIBILITY OF THE CASE
A. The complaints under Articles 17 and 34 of the Convention
B. The remaining complaints
III. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION AND OF ARTICLE 1 OF PROTOCOL NO. 1 TO THE CONVENTION
IV. 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 2,500 (two thousand five hundred euros) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 800 (eight hundred euros), in respect of costs and expenses, plus any tax that may be chargeable, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement;
(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts 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 24 February 2009, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Lawrence Early Nicolas Bratza