by Mariusz LEWANDOWSKI
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 19 May 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
David Thór Björgvinsson,
Mihai Poalelungi, judges,
and Lawrence Early, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 13 August 2008,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case.
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Mariusz Lewandowski, is a Polish national who was born in 1966 and lives in Gdańsk. The Polish Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr J. Wołąsiewicz of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicant, may be summarised as follows.
1. Criminal proceedings against the applicant
On 9 November 2003 the applicant was informed about charges against him. On 9 January 2004 a bill of indictment was brought to the Olsztyn District Court. On a later unknown date the case was transferred to the Gdańsk District Court. On 27 December 2007 the Gdańsk District Court refused the applicant’s request to examine his case in a separate set of proceedings. On 5 November 2008 the Gdańsk District Court again refused the applicant’s request to examine his case in a separate set of proceedings. There are 6 accused and 20 witnesses in the case. The proceedings are currently pending before the Gdańsk District Court.
2. Proceedings under the 2004 Act
On 12 December 2007 the applicant lodged a complaint with the Gdańsk Regional Court under the Act of 17 June 2004 on complaints about breaches of the right to a trial within a reasonable time (“the 2004 Act”). He also claimed just satisfaction in the amount of 10,000 Polish zlotys.
On 15 February 2008 the Gdańsk Regional Court dismissed the applicant’s complaint on the ground that there had been no undue delays in the proceedings between the date of entry into force of the Act on 17 September 2004 and the date on which he had lodged his complaint.
The Regional Court found that the proceedings had been handled properly and the delays had been attributable to other persons and unexpected circumstances rather than to the District Court. The Regional Court pointed out that several hearings had been postponed because defence lawyers and certain accused had been absent and the summons had not been duly served on the parties to the proceedings. The Regional Court acknowledged that the proceedings were of a complex character and noted that the court had taken many appropriate steps in order to speed them up.
The applicant complained under Article 6 of the Convention of a violation of his right to have his case heard within a reasonable time.
On 30 March 2009 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I declare that the Government of Poland offer to pay 11,300 Polish zlotys to Mr Mariusz Lewandowski 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. 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.”
On 18 March 2009 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Mariusz Lewandowski, note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me the sum of 11,300 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.”
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