CASE OF BLAGE ILIEVSKI v. THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
(Application no. 39538/03)
25 June 2009
This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Blage Ilievski v. the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,
The European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Mirjana Lazarova Trajkovska,
Zdravka Kalaydjieva, judges,
and Claudia Westerdiek, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 2 June 2009,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ..., everyone is entitled to a ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal...”
1. The parties' submissions
2. The Court's consideration
20. The Court reiterates that the reasonableness of the length of proceedings must be assessed in the light of the circumstances of the case and with reference to the following criteria: the complexity of the case, the conduct of the applicant and the relevant authorities and what was at stake for the applicant in the dispute (see Dimitrieva v. the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, no. 16328/03, § 33, 6 November 2008).
21. The Court considers that the case was not of a complex nature.
22. It further finds no delays imputable to the applicant. The fact that he applied for a disability pension in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and used the available remedies cannot be regarded as contributing to the length of the proceedings (see Rizova v. the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, no. 41228/02, § 50, 6 July 2006).
23. The Court considers that the protracted length of the proceedings was due to the repeated re-examination of the case. During the time which falls within its competence ratione temporis, the case was reconsidered on four occasions. The domestic authorities thus cannot be said to have been inactive. However, the repetition of such orders within one set of proceedings discloses a serious deficiency in the judicial system (see Parizov v. the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, no. 14258/03, § 58, 7 February 2008). It further took two years, two months and eight days for the Supreme Court to decide the applicant's appeal on points of law (see paragraph 8 above). This time, in view of the Supreme Court's competence, cannot be regarded as reasonable (see, mutatis mutandis, Mihajloski v. the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, no. 44221/02, § 38, 31 May 2007). Moreover, the Court reiterates that special diligence is necessary in pension disputes (see Docevski v. the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, no. 66907/01, § 35, 1 March 2007).
24. Having examined all the material submitted to it, the Court considers that in the instant case the length of the proceedings was excessive and failed to meet the reasonable time requirement of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention.
25. There has accordingly been a breach of that provision.
II. OTHER ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF THE CONVENTION
III. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION
“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
1. Declares the complaint concerning the excessive length of the proceedings admissible and the remainder of the application inadmissible;
Done in English, and notified in writing on 25 June 2009, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Claudia Westerdiek Peer Lorenzen