by Hakan KARLSSON
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting on 17 March 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Boštjan M. Zupančič,
Luis López Guerra,
Ann Power, judges,
and Santiago Quesada, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 28 June 2007,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case.
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Hakan Karlsson, is a Swedish national who was born in 1956 and lives in Stockholm. He was represented before the Court by Mr Bengt Silverling, a lawyer practising in Stockholm. The Swedish Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mrs Charlotte Hellner, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The applicant had a dispute with the Tax Authority of the County of Stockholm as to the fiscal years 1997 and 1998. The case was brought before the County Administrative Court (länsrätten) which passed judgment on 4 February 2002. The applicant appealed against the judgment to the Administrative Court of Appeal (kammarrätten), which confirmed the first instance judgment on 23 June 2005. Leave to appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court (Regeringsrätten) was refused on 31 January 2007.
The applicant complained that the length of the tax proceedings was in breach of the “reasonable time” requirement set out in Article 6 § 1 of the Convention.
On 25 November 2008 the Court received the following declaration from the Government, signed by the Agent of the Government on 25 November 2008 and by the applicant's representative on 19 November 2008:
“On 28 June 2007, Mr Håkan Karlsson (“the applicant”) lodged application no. 29636/07 against Sweden with the European Court of Human Rights (“the Court”). The application was communicated to the Swedish Government (“the Government”) on 7 July 2008.
The Government and the applicant have now reached the following friendly settlement on the basis of respect for human rights, as defined in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, in order to terminate the proceedings before the Court.
a) The Government will pay, ex gratia, the sum of SEK 70,000 (seventy thousand), to the applicant. The amount will be paid to his counsel, Mr Bengt Silverling, who has been authorised by the applicant to receive payment on his behalf. Execution of payment will take place when the Government has received the Court's decision striking the case out of its list of cases.
b) The applicant declares that he has no further claims on the Swedish State based on the facts of the above application.
This settlement is dependent upon the formal approval of the Government at a Cabinet meeting.”
The settlement was approved by the Government on 11 December 2008.
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 public policy 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.
Santiago Quesada Josep