by G. M. P. KATSAMBAS LTD.
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting on 19 March 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Sverre Erik Jebens,
George Nicolaou, judges,
and Søren Nielsen, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 12 December 2006,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case.
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, G.M.P. Katsambas Ltd., is a company registered in Cyprus. It was represented before the Court by Mr C. Georgiades and Mr A. Georgiades, lawyers practising in Paphos. The Cypriot Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr P. Clerides, Attorney-General of the Republic of Cyprus.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 24 July 1990 the applicant company lodged a civil action before the Paphos District Court seeking damages for breach of contract. The technical issues concerning the contract were sent for arbitration.
The arbitrator issued his decision on 2 May 1995.
The applicant company then lodged an application for adoption of the arbitrator's decision by the District Court and the defendant company in the proceedings applied to have that decision annulled.
On 21 February 1996 the District Court adopted the arbitrator's decision and made an award for damages in the applicant company's favour.
The defendant lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court
On 25 November 1998 the Supreme Court ordered a retrial.
On 30 November 1998 the applicant company made a new application for adoption of the arbitrator's decision.
On 27 October 1999 the District Court dismissed the application, given the Supreme Court's order for retrial of the case, and noted that the arbitrator's decision had been annulled.
On 2 November 1999 the applicant company appealed against the District Court's decision.
On 24 May 2000 the Supreme Court allowed the appeal, noting that the case had been sent for retrial and that the first-instance court had to examine the application for annulment of the arbitrator's decision and then examine the application for adoption of that decision together with all other issues that had not been sent for arbitration.
On 7 September 2000 the District Court dismissed the defendant's application for annulment of the arbitrator's decision.
On 19 September 2000 the defendant lodged an appeal.
On 18 December 2001 the Supreme Court upheld the appeal and annulled the arbitrator's decision. The case was remitted to the District Court.
Following the retrial of the case, the District Court delivered its judgment on 30 January 2004, ordering the defendant to pay the applicant company compensation as determined by the court.
On 10 March 2004 the defendant company appealed against the District Court's decision awarding damages to the applicant company. It also applied for suspension of the District Court's decision. This was accepted by the District Court on 27 August 2004.
The Supreme Court delivered its judgment on 8 September 2006, by which it reduced the amount of damages awarded by the District Court, the award of interest and expenses.
The applicant company complained under Articles 6 and 13 of the Convention about the protracted length of the proceedings and the lack of an effective remedy in this respect.
On 7 January 2009 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant company's second representative, Mr A. Georgiades:
We, Mr Christos Georgiades and Mr Agis Georgiades, note that the Government of Cyprus are prepared to pay the sum of 17,000 euros (seventeen thousand euros) to the applicant, G. M. P. Katsambas Ltd, 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 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.
Having consulted my client, we would inform you that it accepts the proposal and waives any further claims against Cyprus in respect of the facts giving rise to this application. It declares that this constitutes a final resolution of the case.”
On 9 January 2009 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I, Mr Petros Clerides, Attorney-General of the Republic of Cyprus, declare that the Government of Cyprus offer to pay 17,000 euros (seventeen thousand euros) to the applicant, G. M. P. Katsambas Ltd, 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 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 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.
Søren Nielsen Christos Rozakis