by Július PETÍK
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 17 February 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
David Thór Björgvinsson,
Nebojša Vučinić, judges,
and Lawrence Early, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 10 May 2004,
Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Július Petík, is a Slovak national who was born in 1964 and lives in Bratislava. The respondent Government were represented by Mrs M. Pirošíková, their Agent.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
In 1994 the applicant was found guilty of bribery.
In 1995 the Zilina District Court delivered a decision stating that the applicant had obeyed the law during the probationary period. Accordingly, he should be considered as not having been convicted.
In 2000 the applicant was appointed as an executions officer.
On 1 September 2003 the Act on Executions Officers and Execution Proceedings (“the Act”) was amended. The amendment specified that persons, who had been convicted of certain offences including bribery, were to be considered as having a criminal record for the purposes of the Act, even though they were considered as not having been convicted for the purposes of the criminal law. Accordingly, such persons did not comply with the requirements for the position of an executions officer.
On 27 January 2004 the Minister of Justice removed the applicant from his position on the basis of the Act, as amended.
On 10 January 2005, on a petition of the Prosecutor General and several members of the Parliament, the Constitutional Court found that the relevant provision of the Act was incompatible with the Constitution.
On 29 March 2006 the Supreme Court, referring to the above Constitutional Court's judgment, quashed the decision of the Minister of Justice of 27 January 2004 and remitted the case to the latter.
The Minister of Justice discontinued the proceedings concerning the applicant's removal from his position on 15 May 2006.
The applicant has been performing his duties as an executions officer since that time.
The applicant complained that he had been removed from his position on the basis of amended legislation with retroactive effect. He alleged a violation of Articles 8, 13 and 14 of the Convention, Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 and Article 4 of Protocol No. 7.
On 17 October 2008 the Government's observations were sent to the applicant. He was requested to submit his observations together with any claims for just satisfaction by 28 November 2008.
In a letter of 15 December 2008, sent by registered post, the applicant was informed that the period allowed for submission of his observations had expired on 28 November 2008 and that no extension of time had been requested. The applicant's attention was drawn to Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention, which provides that the Court may strike a case out of its list of cases where the circumstances lead to the conclusion that the applicant does not intend to pursue the application. The advice of receipt was returned to the Court indicating that the letter had been picked up by the applicant's daughter on 19 December 2008. The Court received no response.
The Court considers that, in these circumstances, the applicant may be regarded as no longer wishing to pursue his application, within the meaning of Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention. Furthermore, in accordance with Article 37 § 1 in fine, it finds no special circumstances which require the continued examination of the case.
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.
Early Nicolas Bratza