CASE OF KURS v. UKRAINE
(Application no. 48956/06)
4 May 2017
This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Kurs v. Ukraine,
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:
Vincent A. De Gaetano,
Gabriele Kucsko-Stadlmayer, judges,
and Karen Reid, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 30 March 2017,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
1. The case originated in an application against Ukraine lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) on the date indicated in the appended table.
2. The application was communicated to the Ukrainian Government (“the Government”).
3. The applicant’s details are set out in the appended table.
4. The applicant complained of the excessive length of civil proceedings and of the lack of any effective remedy in domestic law.
I. THE GOVERNMENT’S REQUEST FOR THE APPLICATION TO BE STRUCK OUT UNDER ARTICLE 37 OF THE CONVENTION
5. After unsuccessful friendly-settlement negotiations, the Government requested the Court, by a letter of 13 September 2016, to strike the case out of its list and enclosed the text of a unilateral declaration with a view to resolving the issues raised by the applicant.
6. The applicant disagreed and submitted her comments on 18 October 2016. She argued that the terms of the declaration were unsatisfactory as to the compensation offered by the Government.
7. The Court notes that, under certain circumstances, it may be appropriate to strike out an application under Article 37 § 1 (c) of the Convention on the basis of a unilateral declaration by the respondent Government, even if the applicant wishes the examination of the case to be continued. It will, however, depend on the particular circumstances whether the unilateral declaration offers a sufficient basis for finding that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention does not require the Court to continue its examination of the case (see Tahsin Acar v. Turkey (preliminary objection) [GC], no. 26307/95, § 75, ECHR 2003-VI, and Angelov and Others v. Bulgaria, no. 43586/04, § 12, 4 November 2010).
8. Having studied the terms of the Government’s unilateral declaration, the Court considers, in the particular circumstances of the case and in particular because the amount of compensation proposed is substantially lower than the amount the Court would have awarded in similar cases, that the unilateral declaration does not provide a sufficient basis for concluding that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols does not require it to continue its examination of the case (see Rakić v. Serbia [Committee], no. 78761/12, 7 April 2015).
9. This being so, the Court rejects the Government’s request to strike the application out under Article 37 of the Convention and will accordingly pursue its examination of the admissibility and merits of the case.
II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 AND ARTICLE 13 OF THE CONVENTION
10. The applicant complained that the length of the civil proceedings in question had been incompatible with the “reasonable time” requirement and that she had no effective remedy in this connection. She relied on Article 6 § 1 and Article 13 of the Convention, which read as follows:
Article 6 § 1
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ... everyone is entitled to a ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal ...”
“Everyone whose rights and freedoms as set forth in [the] Convention are violated shall have an effective remedy before a national authority notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity.”
11. 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 applicants and the relevant authorities and what was at stake for the applicants in the dispute (see Frydlender v. France [GC], no. 30979/96, § 43, ECHR 2000-VII).
12. In the leading cases of Svetlana Naumenko v. Ukraine, no. 41984/98, 9 November 2004 and Efimenko v. Ukraine, no. 55870/00, 18 July 2006, the Court already found a violation in respect of issues similar to those in the present case.
13. Having examined all the material submitted to it, the Court has not found any fact or argument capable of persuading it to reach a different conclusion on the admissibility and merits of these complaints. Having regard to its case-law on the subject, the Court considers that in the instant case the length of the proceedings was excessive and failed to meet the “reasonable time” requirement.
14. The Court further notes that the applicant did not have at her disposal an effective remedy in respect of these complaints.
15. These complaints are therefore admissible and disclose a breach of Article 6 § 1 and of Article 13 of the Convention.
III. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION
16. Article 41 of the Convention provides:
“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.”
17. Regard being had to the documents in its possession and to its case-law (see, in particular, Svetlana Naumenko v. Ukraine, no. 41984/98, §§ 109 and 112, 9 November 2004), the Court considers it reasonable to award the sum indicated in the appended table.
18. The Court considers it appropriate that the default interest rate should be based on the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank, to which should be added three percentage points.
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT, UNANIMOUSLY,
1. Rejects the Government’s unilateral declaration and their request to strike the application out of the Court’s list of cases;
2. Declares the application admissible;
3. Holds that this application discloses a breach of Article 6 § 1 and Article 13 of the Convention concerning the excessive length of civil proceedings;
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months, the amount indicated in the appended table, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State;
(b) that 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.
Done in English, and notified in writing on 4 May 2017, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Karen Reid Vincent
A. De Gaetano
Application raising complaints under Article 6 § 1 and Article 13 of the Convention
(excessive length of civil proceedings and lack of any effective remedy in domestic law)
Date of birth
Start of proceedings
End of proceedings
Levels of jurisdiction
Amount awarded for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage and costs and expenses
Nelya Kirillovna Kurs
6 years, 9 months and 6 days
2 levels of jurisdiction
 Plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicant.