by Jaroslav BARTL
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 26 May 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Nebojša Vučinić, judges,
and Lawrence Early, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 23 June 2005,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Jaroslav Bartl, is a Slovak national who was born in 1941 and lives in Dunajská LuZná. On 14 May 2009 he appointed Mr Š. Detvai, a lawyer practising in Bratislava, to represent him before the Court. The Slovak Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mrs M. Pirošíková.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 25 June 2003 the applicant lodged a civil action against a hospital.
On 19 January 2006 the Bratislava I District Court appointed a legal-aid lawyer to represent the applicant. On appeal, the file was transferred to the Regional Court where it remained for a period of 1 year and 3 months. The Regional Court upheld the first-instance decision of 19 January 2006.
On 13 September 2007 the Constitutional Court found that the District Court had violated the applicant’s right under Article 48 § 2 of the Constitution to a hearing without unjustified delay. It stated that the case was not complex. The applicant’s conduct had partially contributed to the length of the proceedings in that he had lodged an unclear action which he had amended on several occasions. The District Court was responsible for several periods of inactivity.
The Constitutional Court ordered the District Court to proceed without further delay. It awarded the applicant 10,000 Slovakian korunas (the equivalent of 297 euros at that time) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and ordered the reimbursement of the applicant’s costs.
The file was transferred to the District Court on 24 September 2007.
A hearing was held on 6 December 2007. Another hearing scheduled for 28 January 2008 was adjourned until an undetermined date due to the judge’s absence.
The proceedings are pending.
The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the length of the proceedings.
On 22 April 2009 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I, Marica Pirošíková, Agent of the Government, declare that the Government of the Slovak Republic offer to pay ex gratia the sum of EUR 2,000 (two thousand euros) to Mr Jaroslav Bartl 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 27 April and 15 May 2009 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Jaroslav Bartl, the applicant, note that the Government of the Slovak Republic are prepared to pay me ex gratia the sum of EUR 2,000 (two thousand euros) 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 Slovakia 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