Application no. 11668/03
by ZAO PETRONEFT
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting on 20 October 2005 as a Chamber composed of:
Mr C.L. Rozakis, President,
Mr P. Lorenzen,
Mrs N. Vajić,
Mrs S. Botoucharova,
Mr A. Kovler,
Mrs E. Steiner,
Mr K. Hajiyev, judges,
and Mr S. Nielsen, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 21 March 2003,
Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant is the private company Petroneft (закрытое акционерное общество «Петронефть»), having its registered seat in St. Petersburg. It was represented before the Court by Mr I. Ukraintsev, a lawyer practising in Moscow.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
A. Domestic judgments in favour of the applicant
On 4 December 2001 the Commercial Court of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region granted the applicant’s civil action against the Ministry of Agriculture of the Saratov Regional Government and awarded the applicant RUR 7,184,780.
In December 2002 the enforcement proceedings were opened. However, the judgment could not be enforced because the regional government lacked necessary funds.
On 2 September 2002 the Appellate Collegium of the Commercial Court of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, in the final instance, granted the applicant’s civil action against the Ministry of Agriculture of the Saratov Regional Government and awarded the applicant RUR 18,367,020.
In January 2003 the enforcement proceedings were opened, but the judgment was not enforced at that time.
The applicant complained to the Court about protracted non-enforcement of the judgments in its favour.
B. Domestic settlement
By letters of 24 February and 3 March 2005, the applicant and the Government, respectively, informed the Court of a settlement reached between the applicant and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Saratov Regional Government on 18 February 2005. Under the terms of the settlement, the Ministry undertook to pay the applicant RUR 35,958,488 in respect of compensation for the principal debt arising out the above-mentioned judgments, non-pecuniary damage and costs and expenses. The payment was to be made within three months and to be clear of any taxes or levies. The applicant confirmed that, once the payment would be made, it would have no further claims vis-à-vis the Russian authorities in respect of the facts of the present application.
On 19 August 2005 the Court invited the parties to report on the implementation of the settlement by 18 September 2005.
On 15 September 2005 the Government replied that the settlement had been implemented in full. They enclosed copies of payment instructions of 28 February, 30 March and 28 April 2005, whereby the stipulated settlement amount had been transferred to the applicant’s bank account.
The applicant submitted no comments within the above time-limit.
The Court recalls that Article 37 of the Convention provides, in the relevant part, 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; or
(b) the matter has been resolved...
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 matter had been resolved at the domestic level and that the applicant appears to have no intention to pursue the application (Article 37 § 1 (a) and (b) of the Convention). Furthermore, it finds no public policy reasons to justify a continued examination of the application (Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention). Accordingly, Article 29 § 3 of the Convention should no longer apply to the case and it should be struck out of the list.
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
ZAO PETRONEFT v. RUSSIA DECISION
ZAO PETRONEFT v. RUSSIA DECISION