by Aleksandr Pavlovich DYUKAREV
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting on 7 May 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Christos Rozakis, President,
Sverre Erik Jebens,
George Nicolaou, judges,
and Søren Nielsen, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 14 March 2007,
Having regard to the decision to apply Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and examine the admissibility and merits of the case together.
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Aleksandr Pavlovich Dyukarev, is a Russian national who was born in 1966 and lives in the village of Verkhne-Chufichevo in the Belgorod Region. The respondent Government were initially represented by Mrs V. Milinchuk, former Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights, and subsequently by their Representative, Mr G. Matyushkin.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 15 December 2005 the Stariy Oskol Town Court upheld the applicant’s action against a public company “Stoylenskiy GOK” and ordered that the respondent company should provide him with “housing premises for a family comprising one member and satisfying sanitary and technical requirements of the housing law in force” and should pay him 100 Russian roubles (RUB) in compensation for court expenses. On 21 March 2006 the Belgorod Regional Court upheld the judgment on appeal.
On 14 September 2006 the Presidium of the Belgorod Regional Court, upon an application of the “Stoylenskiy GOK” company and by way of a supervisory review, quashed the judgments of 15 December 2005 and 21 March 2006 because the Town and Regional Courts had incorrectly interpreted and applied the domestic law. The Presidium sent the case for a fresh examination.
On 3 November 2006 the Stariy Oskol Town Court dismissed the applicant’s action in full. That judgment was upheld on appeal on 26 December 2006.
The applicant complained under Articles 6, 8 and 14 of the Convention and Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 that the final judgment in his favour had been quashed by way of the supervisory review, that he had not been provided with a flat and had been forced to live in an area with unpleasant ecological situation and that he had been discriminated against.
On 10 March 2008 the application was communicated to the respondent Government.
On 24 April 2008 the Court received a letter from the “Stoylenskiy GOK” company, enclosing a copy of a contract under the terms of which the company was to provide the applicant and his mother with two flats in the town of Stariy Oskol, Belgorod Region, and the applicant was to withdraw any claims which he had against the “Stoylenskiy GOK” company. The Court also received a declaration addressed to the European Court of Human Rights, signed by the applicant and attested by a notary on 15 April 2008. The relevant part of the declaration, as translated from Russian, read as follows:
“I, Mr Dyukarev Aleksandr Pavlovich, refuse to pursue my application no. 18999/07 lodged against the Russian Federation with the European Court of Human Rights; [I] declare that I do not wish for my application to be examined; [I] inform [you] that my rights are no longer being violated because I and “Stoylenskiy GOK” public company signed an agreement according to which my rights were fully restored by a transfer to me of a flat situated... I also inform you that I did not know that such an application had been lodged and that I am not aware of the circumstances described in it.
[I] inform you that I fully understand the content of the present declaration; I am fully competent; [I] am not under any form of guardianship or care, [I] do not suffer from any illness, which could have prevented me from fully understanding the content of the present declaration.”
On 7 May 2008 the letter of the “Stoylenskiy GOK” company with the accompanying documents was sent to the parties for information.
On 24 June 2008 the Government’s observations on the admissibility and merits of the application were received. Relying on the agreement reached between the applicant and the “Stoylenskiy GOK” company and the applicant’s declaration, the Government insisted that the applicant did not intent to pursue his application before the Court. On 30 June 2008 the Court invited the applicant to submit his written observations in reply by 1 September 2008.
On 17 July 2008 the English version of the Government’s observations was forwarded to the applicant. The time-limit for the submission of the applicant’s observations remained unaffected.
As the applicant’s observations on the admissibility and merits had not been received by 1 September 2008 and the applicant did not apply for an extension of the time-limit for submitting his observations, on 12 November 2008 he was advised by registered mail that the failure to submit his observations might result in the strike-out of the application. As it follows from the acknowledgement of receipt which returned to the Court, the letter of 12 November 2008 reached the applicant on 3 December 2008. The applicant did not reply.
The Court recalls Article 37 of the Convention which, in the relevant part, reads as follows:
“1. The Court may at any stage of the proceedings decide to strike an application out of its list of cases where the circumstances lead to the conclusion that
(a) the applicant does not intend to pursue his application;
However, the Court shall continue the examination of the application if respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and the Protocols thereto so requires.”
The Court notes that the applicant signed the declaration by which he had asked the Court not to examine his application. He subsequently did not respond to the Court’s request to submit written observations on the admissibility and merits of the case. The applicant was informed about a consequence of his failure to submit the observations. No response has been received to date. The Court infers therefrom that the applicant does not intend to pursue his application. Furthermore, the Court considers that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols does not require it to continue the examination of the case.
In these circumstances it considers that Article 29 § 3 of the Convention should no longer apply to the case and it should be struck out of the list in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to discontinue the application of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Søren Nielsen Christos Rozakis