by Tamara Nikolayevna SENKO
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting on 14 May 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 11 July 2006,
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, Ms Tamara Nikolayevna Senko, is a Russian national who was born in 1949 and lives in the town of Stavropol. She was represented before the Court by Mr V. Lobanov, a lawyer practising in Stavropol. 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 18 March 2001 the applicant’s aunt died. On 11 August 2005 the Leninskiy District Court of Stavropol held that the applicant was the sole successor to her aunt’s property. On 9 November 2005 the Stavropol Regional Court upheld the judgment.
On 16 January 2006 the Presidium of the Stavropol Regional Court, acting upon an application of a Mr T. and by way of a supervisory review, quashed the judgments and sent the case for a fresh examination.
On 17 November 2006 the Leninskiy District Court issued the judgment in the applicant’s favour, confirming its findings made on 11 August 2005. That judgment was quashed on appeal by the Stavropol Regional Court on 11 April 2007. The Regional Court issued a new judgment, finding that the applicant had no right to inherit her aunt’s property.
The applicant complained under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 that she had been deprived of her property as a result of the quashing of the final judgment.
On 18 February 2008 the application was communicated to the respondent Government.
On 2 June 2008 the Government’s observations on the admissibility and merits of the application were received. On 10 June 2008 the Court invited the applicant to submit her written observations in reply by 15 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 15 September 2008, on 7 November 2008 the Court sent letters by registered mail to the applicant and her lawyer, advising them that the failure to submit the observations might result in the strike-out of the application. No response followed.
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 was requested to submit written observations on the admissibility and merits of the case. She and her lawyer subsequently received a reminder thereof. They were also informed about a consequence of the failure to submit the observations. No response has been received to date. The Court infers therefrom that the applicant does not intend to pursue her 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