by Ljiljana ŠEREMET
The European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section), sitting on 13 September 2011 as a Committee composed of:
Boštjan M. Zupančič,
Angelika Nußberger, judges,
and Stephen Phillips, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 18 November 2004,
Having regard to the Government’s settlement proposal made to the applicant,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Ms Ljiljana Šeremet, is a Serbian national who was born in 1949 and lives in Beograd. The Slovenian Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent.
A. The circumstances of the case
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 24 October 1996 the applicant and M.Č. instituted civil proceedings against J.A. in the Koper District Court (OkroZno sodišče v Kopru), seeking payment of 20,000 German marks (DEM) (approximately 10,000 euros (EUR)) for non-fulfilment of an agreement of 29 December 1992. The applicant also claimed a sum of 120,000 German marks (DEM) (approximately 60,000 euros (EUR)) for loss of earnings.
The proceedings ended on 29 September 2006, the date the court gave a judgment. It rejected the applicant’s claim in respect of loss of earnings and terminated the proceedings concerning the non-fulfilment of the agreement as the applicant withdrew her claim.
B. Relevant domestic law
A description of the relevant domestic law can be found in the Kešelj and 6 Others v. Slovenia decision (nos. 20674/05, 20680/05, 28380/05, 28441/05, 38861/05, 39198/05 and 44915/05, 19 May 2009).
The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the excessive length of civil proceedings and under Article 13 of the Convention about the lack of an effective domestic remedy in that regard. In this connection, the applicant requested, in addition to non-pecuniary damage, also compensation for the pecuniary damage which was allegedly sustained during the period of the pending proceedings.
A. Complaints about the length of the proceedings and the lack of an effective remedy in that respect under Articles 6 and 13 of the Convention
The Court notes that, after the Government had been given notice of the application under Article 54 § 2(a) of the Rules of Court, the applicant received the State Attorney’s Office’s settlement proposal under section 25 of the 2006 Act acknowledging a violation of the right to a trial within a reasonable time and offering redress for non-pecuniary damage. It further notes that the applicant has since then been in a position to either negotiate a settlement with the State Attorney’s Office or, if that were to be unsuccessful, lodge a “claim for just satisfaction” in accordance with the relevant provisions of the 2006 Act. The latter has been considered by the Court to constitute appropriate means of redressing a breach of the reasonable time requirement of Article 6 that has already occurred (see Pohlen v Slovenia (dec.), no. 28457/03, §§ 40-43, 3 June 2008, and Kešelj and 6 others v. Slovenia, cited above).
The Court reiterates 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
(c) for any other reason established by the Court, it is no longer justified to continue the examination of the 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.”
Having regard to the foregoing, the Court considers that it is no longer justified to continue with the examination of the application as far as it concerns the length of the proceedings and the lack of an effective remedy in that respect; therefore, this part of the application should be struck out of the list of cases in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (c). In reaching this conclusion, the Court has taken into account its competence under Article 37 § 2 of the Convention to restore the case to its list of cases if it considers that the circumstances justify such a course.
With regard to the applicant’s request for compensation in respect of pecuniary damage, the Court considers that the losses claimed by the applicant have not been substantiated and that there is no causal link between the allegedly excessive length of the proceedings and the damage alleged. This complaint must accordingly be rejected as manifestly ill-founded under Article 35 §§ 3 (a) and 4 of the Convention.
B. Complaint about the unfairness of the proceedings
Having regard to all material in its possession, the Court considers that, even assuming that the applicant has complied with the requirement of exhaustion of domestic remedies in this respect, this part of the application does not disclose any appearance of a violation of the Convention.
It follows that it is inadmissible under Article 35 § 3 (a) as manifestly ill-founded and must be rejected pursuant to Article 35 § 4 of the Convention.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases with regard to the complaints about the length of the proceedings and the lack of an effective remedy in that respect under Articles 6 and 13 of the Convention in so far as the non-pecuniary damage is concerned;
Declares inadmissible the remainder of the application.
Stephen Phillips Ganna Yudkivska Deputy Registrar President