by Renata KIMMEL
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 17 February 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Nebojša Vučinić, judges,
and Lawrence Early, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 10 July 2007,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Ms Renata Kimmel, is a Polish national who was born in 1964 and lives in Komorniki. The Polish Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr J. Wołąsiewicz of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A. The circumstances of the case
The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicant, may be summarised as follows.
On 18 June 2003 the Poznań Social Security Board (Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych) gave a decision in which it dismissed the applicant’s request for a disability pension in connection with an accident at work. The applicant appealed against this decision.
On 20 May 2005 the Poznań Regional Court (Sąd Okręgowy) dismissed the appeal. The applicant appealed against the judgment.
On 11 January 2007 the Poznań Court of Appeal (Sąd Apelacyjny) dismissed the appeal. On the same day the applicant requested the Court of Appeal to appoint her a legal-aid lawyer to lodge on her behalf a cassation appeal with the Supreme Court.
On 5 February 2007 the applicant was ordered to submit a detailed declaration of means. She complied with the court’s order on 8 February 2007. She submitted that she could not hire a lawyer as she was disabled and unemployed.
On 13 February 2007 the Poznań Court of Appeal dismissed the applicant’s request for the appointment of a legal-aid lawyer. The decision contained no reasons. The decision was notified to the applicant on 21 February 2007.
In the meantime, on 14 February 2007, the applicant was served with the written reasons for the Court of Appeal’s judgment.
After that date the applicant tried to lodge a cassation appeal without the obligatory legal assistance. However, it was returned to her. She appealed.
On 30 August 2007 the Poznań Court of Appeal rejected her appeal as inadmissible in law.
B. Relevant domestic law and practice
Legal provisions concerning compulsory legal representation in cassation appeal proceedings applicable at the material time are set out in the Court’s judgments in the cases of Laskowska v. Poland, no. 77765/01, §§ 27 31, 13 March 2007 and Tabor v. Poland, no. 12825/02, 27 June 2006.
The applicant complained under Article 6 of the Convention that the Court of Appeal had wrongly dismissed her application for the appointment of a legal aid lawyer in the cassation appeal proceedings and thus had deprived her of a possibility to have her case examined by the Supreme Court.
On 5 January 2009 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Renata Kimmel, note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me the sum of PLN 7,600 (seven thousand six 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.”
On 12 January 2009 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I declare that the Government of Poland offer to pay PLN 7,600 (seven thousand six hundred Polish zlotys) to Ms Renata Kimmel 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.”
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 of the list.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Lawrence Early Nicolas Bratza