AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF

                       Application No. 11688/85
                           by Hannes MLYNEK
                            against Austria

        The European Commission of Human Rights sitting in private on
16 October 1986, the following members being present:

                    MM. C.A. NØRGAARD, President
                        J.A. FROWEIN
                        E. BUSUTTIL
                        G. JÖRUNDSSON
                        G. TENEKIDES
                        S. TRECHSEL
                        B. KIERNAN
                        A.S. GÖZÜBÜYÜK
                        A. WEITZEL
                        J.C. SOYER
                        H.G. SCHERMERS
                        H. DANELIUS
                        G. BATLINER
                        H. VANDENBERGHE
                   Mrs  G.H. THUNE
                   Sir  Basil HALL
                   Mr.  F. MARTINEZ

                   Mr. H.C. KRÜGER, Secretary to the Commission

        Having regard to Article 25 of the Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;

        Having regard to the application introduced on 2 May 1985 by
Hannes MLYNEK against Austria and registered on 9 August 1985 under
file No. 11688/85;

        Having regard to:

-       the Rapporteur's request to the respondent Government of
        21 October 1985 for information under Rule 40 para. 2 (a)
        of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission;

-       the information provided by the respondent Government on
        15 November 1985 and the reply submitted thereto by the
        applicant on 18 December 1985;

-       the first report of December 1985 provided for in Rule 40 of
        the Rules of Procedure of the Commission;

-       the Commission's decision of 3 March 1986 to bring the
        application to the notice of the respondent Government and
        invite them to submit written observations on the
        admissibility and merits of the application;

-       the observations submitted by the respondent Government on
        20 May 1986 and the reply submitted thereto by the applicant
        on 6 June 1986;

-       the further information submitted by the respondent Government
        on 29 July 1986 and the reply submitted thereto by the
        applicant on 11 August 1986;

-       the second report of September 1986 provided for in Rule 40 of
        the Rules of Procedure of the Commission;

        Having deliberated;

        Decides as follows:

THE FACTS

        The facts of the case as they have been submitted by the
parties may be summarised as follows.

        The applicant, an Austrian citizen born in 1943, is a lawyer
resident in Vienna.

        On 21 May 1981 criminal investigations were instituted against
the applicant and other persons in respect of various economic offences
standing in connection with the bankruptcy of the Oesterreichische
K.-T. company.  In particular, Dr. K., the chairman of the board of
directors of the E. Union AG, was charged with misappropriation of
funds on the occasion of a participation in the share capital increase
of the K.-T. company amounting to 32.2 million A.S.  Messrs. T. and S.
as well as the applicant were charged with participation in this
offence, moreover Messrs. T. and S. with extricating a loan of 25
million A.S. from a bank and Dr. K. and the applicant with
participating in this offence.  The applicant was thereupon detained
on remand from 1 July until 20 July 1982 on the ground of danger of
collusion.

        On 20 April 1983 the applicant together with Dr. K. and Mr. S.
were indicted at the Vienna Regional Court sitting with lay judges
(Landesgericht als Schöffengericht).  The bill of indictment counted
183 pages.  The proceedings in respect of Mr. T. were separated after
he was released from custody and had subsequently absconded.

        The hearing (Hauptverhandlung) before the Vienna Regional Court
lasted from 2 December 1983 until 30 May 1984.  During this period of
time, 55 hearings (Verhandlungstage) were conducted.  Up to the hearing
the case-file consisted of 63 volumes, thereafter of 81 volumes.
During the hearing 120 witnesses were heard.  The minutes of the
hearing consisted of 7,150 pages.  In addition there were some 40
volumes of expert opinions and other evidence.  After the evidence
proceedings were closed there followed the pleadings of the parties
lasting eight days, and the deliberations of the Court lasting four
days.

        On 30 May 1984, at its fifty-fifth hearing, the Vienna Regional
Court pronounced its judgment.  The bench was composed of two
professional and two lay judges.  The applicant was convicted of
misappropriation of funds (Untreue) and fraud and sentenced to six
years' imprisonment.  Mr. S. and Dr. K. were sentenced to six and eight
years' imprisonment, respectively.  The applicant announced at the
hearing that he would file a plea of nullity (Nichtigkeitsbe- schwerde)
and an appeal (Berufung).  The minutes of the hearing on 30 May 1984
were served on 4 June 1984.

        Also on 30 May 1984 the applicant was detained on remand on the
ground of danger of absconding.  His detention lasted until 2 August
1984.

        On 2 July 1986 the judge charged with the motivation
(Ausfertigung) of the Court's judgment of 30 May 1984 transmitted the
motivation to the Vienna Regional Court.  It was communicated to the
parties on 3 July 1986, as the Government state, or on 4 July 1986, as
the applicant submits.  The motivation counts 1197 pages.

COMPLAINTS

1.      The applicant complains under Article 6 para. 1 of the
Convention that he received the motivation of the judgment which was
pronounced on 30 May 1984, only on 4 July 1986, i.e. more than 25
months later.  An essential part of the Court proceedings was therefore
not terminated within a reasonable time in the meaning of Article 6
para. 1.  This delay is also contrary to Section 270(1) of the Austrian
Code of Criminal Procedure which states:

        "Every judgment must be motivated in writing within
        fourteen days from the date of the pronouncement and must be
        signed by the president as well as the reporter
        (Schriftführer)."

        According to Section 285 of the Code of Criminal Procedure a
complainant is granted a period of fourteen days after the motivated
judgment has been served in order to substantiate his plea of nullity.

        The applicant contends that, while in theory he still had to
be considered innocent, in fact he suffered considerable disadvantages
on account of this delay in respect of his economic situation and his
honour.  He submits that there is no remedy in Austria at his disposal
to complain about this undue length of time required for the motivation
of the judgment.

2.      The applicant submits that the written judgment should not be
prepared (erstellt) but only written reasons added after the Court has
pronounced its judgment.  The reasons of the judgment must have been
prepared before its pronouncement.  If this is not the case, it will
not be a tribunal established by law but a single judge who is
deciding.  In view of the fact that the Court required four days to
deliberate the decision and that the motivated judgment was served more
than 25 months later, the applicant submits that the judgment in fact
still had to be prepared.  He complains that the judgment has,
therefore, not been given by a "tribunal established by law" within the
meaning of Article 6 para. 1 of the Convention.

PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COMMISSION

        The application was introduced on 2 May 1985 and registered on
9 August 1985.

        On 1 October 1984 the Rapporteur decided to request information
from the respondent Government pursuant to Rule 40 para. 2 (a) of the
Commission's Rules of Procedure as to whether the motivation of the
judgment had been served upon the applicant.

        The information was provided by the respondent Government on
15 November 1985, and the reply thereto was submitted by the applicant
on 18 December 1985.

        On 3 March 1986 the Commission decided to bring the application
to the notice of the respondent Government and to invite them to submit
observations on its admissibility and merits in respect of the
complaint under Article 6 para. 1 concerning the length of the
proceedings pursuant to Rule 42 para. 2 (b) of the Rules of Procedure.

        The respondent Government's observations were submitted on 20
May 1986 and the reply thereto by the applicant on 6 June 1986.

        The respondent Government submitted further information on 29
July 1986 and the applicant replied thereto on 11 August 1986.

SUBMISSIONS OF THE PARTIES

A.      The respondent Government

I.      The application and the facts (see THE FACTS above)

        The respondent Government point out that in his complaint the
applicant alleges a violation of Article 6 para. 1 of the Convention
(length of proceedings).  He argues in particular that under Section
270 (1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure any judgment has to be
available in written form within a period of 14 days.

II.     Requirement under Article 26 of the Convention

        The applicant complains that on account of the delay in
motivating the previously pronounced judgment he has suffered economic
damage.  If, however, it is claimed that such damage was due to the
unlawful and culpable conduct of a public authority - as the applicant
maintains - a complaint could have been filed in accordance with the
Official Liability Act for damage caused by one of the State's organs.
It would first of all certainly fall to the regular Courts to decide
on the damage alleged by the applicant.  If damages were awarded, the
applicant would no longer be considered a victim of a violation of the
Convention.

III.    Admissibility and merits of the application

1.      In accordance with the consistent practice of the European
Court of Human Rights, the following criteria have to be used to judge
the appropriateness of the length of the proceedings:  the complexity
of the case; the applicant's conduct; and the conduct of the competent
authority.

2.      The present proceedings involved an economic offence and are
based on very complex and comprehensive facts.  In this regard,
reference is made to the number of files, hearings and witnesses.  The
objection raised by the applicant, namely that within the framework of
the prosecution against himself investigations were carried out
involving more than 40 persons, cannot disprove the argument of the
complexity of the case.  Rather, the objection reflects the great
variety of intricate business implications which the competent judge
had to review and to assess within the framework of the proceedings
instituted against the applicant.  It was not possible to consider the
conduct of the applicant in isolation, as it is above all the context
of the offences committed by the other accused from which the
illegality of the applicant's conduct results.

3.      The conduct of the applicant may be disregarded in the present
case as he could not influence the motivation of the judgment.

4.      As regards the conduct of the competent authority the
Government refer to the Guincho case, in which the European Court of
Human Rights decided that delays may be justified if the Courts become
overburdened by a sharp increase in business (judgment of 10 July 1984,
Series A no. 81).  Such delays, however, would have to be kept as short
as possible by the State.  The question of the workload of the
competent judge, resulting from other pending cases after the time when
the judgment was pronounced until April 1986, has been answered by the
Government in detail.  From the submitted chart it appears that on 30
July 1984 the respective judge sat alone in several hearings.  In
November 1984 she sat in four hearings.  In 1985 she sat in
approximately 80 hearings lasting between ten minutes and seven hours
and on average four hours each.  Between 7 January and 9 April 1986 the
judge again sat in 31 hearings.

        As head of the department 3d) of the Vienna Regional Court, the
judge was exempted from new business in view of the conduct of the
present proceedings from 1 July 1983 until 31 December 1984.  Until 30
June 1983, she was allocated a total of 119 new cases.  In 1984, there
were eight new proceedings (appeal proceedings, resumption of a case
after interruption, ending of older proceedings).

        As from 1 January 1985, the judge was put in charge of the
newly established economic crimes department 12b).  From 5 March 1985
to 31 December 1985, she was also exempted from new business there on
account of the so-called "WBO-case" (another spectacular economic
criminal prosecution); at the same time, however, she remained in
charge of (also future) proceedings connected with this case.

        In this Court department, the judge had to deal with a total
of 18 criminal cases between 1 January and 4 March 1985, and a total
of 24 between 1 January and 31 March 1986.

        In the jury department 20v), which has been headed by the
respective judge concerned since 1 July 1983, there were four cases in
1983, four cases in 1984, five cases in 1985 and one case until March
1986. Of these, two were terminated in 1983, four in 1984, and six in
1985, so that the only unsettled jury case is the one of 1986.

5.      On the part of the competent supervisory authority, the
following steps were taken in order to attain the motivation of the
judgment at issue:  In view of the extraordinary extent of the
proceedings (81 files, 55 hearing days, 7,150 pages of the trial
minutes) and the fact that the supervisory panel (Personalsenat)
ordered that no new cases were to be referred to the head of the
department 3d), the motivation of the judgment was initially monitored
only on the basis of the respective monthly reports.

        Later on, the motivation was checked in the course of an
administrative supervision procedure, the competent judge stating in
her reports to the president of the Court of Appeal that the motivation
of the judgment progressed steadily and would be completed soon.  As
the judge did not keep the deadlines set for her, the president of the
Court of Appeal took disciplinary action against her in early November
1985.  The disciplinary proceedings, during which a hearing was held
on 25 April 1986, are still pending.

        Furthermore, the supervisory panel of the Vienna Regional Court
decided on 21 April 1986 to appoint as of 1 May 1986, until further
notice, another judge as deputy head of the economic crimes department
12b) in order to end the delay in the motivation of the judgment.  As
a result, the competent judge guaranteed the motivation by the end of
June 1986.

6.      In view of the consistent practice of the European Court of
Human Rights, according to which delays cannot entail responsibility
of the State if the latter takes immediate appropriate remedial action
(cf. judgment of Zimmermann and Steiner of 13 July 1983, Series A no.
66), the Government submit that the delay that has occurred is a result
of the complexity of the case and that the competent authorities took
all possible measures to expedite the motivation of the judgment
(exemption from new business; monitoring by the supervisory authority;
disciplinary action; as well as relieving the judge as head of the
department 12b).  However, considering the constitutionally ensured
principle of the independence of judges, guaranteed by the rules of
irremovability and intransferability, as well as the resulting
principle of the fixed allocation of business, delays may occur in the
interest of the certainty of law as long as, in exceptional cases,
judges who do not satisfy the requirements which they are expected to
meet may be transferred within the framework of disciplinary
proceedings.  Another judge can then be appointed as head of the
department.  In this respect the outcome of the disciplinary
proceedings must now be awaited.

        Realistically speaking, there is always the possibility that
a certain judge is not able to cope with particularly complex
proceedings.  In such a case, however, the State can be made
responsible under the Convention only insofar as arrangements have to
be made that lead to a (in this case: written) decision.  In the
present case, this has been done as the above explanations show.

7.      It is inaccurate if the applicant alleges that a violation of
Section 270(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure constitutes a
violation of Article 6 para. 1 of the Convention.

        The case of Crociani et al. which was based on similar facts
was declared inadmissible by the European Commission of Human Rights
on grounds of evident non-existence of a Convention violation (Nos.
8603/79, 8722/79, 8723/79, 8729/79, Dec. 18.12.1980, DR. 22 p. 147).
Also in a decision of the European Commission of Human Rights it was
stated that a violation of Section 270(1) of the Code of Criminal
Procedure did not constitute a violation of Article 6 para. 1 of the
Convention, even if the motivation of the judgment is not available
eight months after its pronunciation (No. 4459/79, Dec. 3.4.71,
Collection 38 p. 44).

8.      This opinion can also be shared inasmuch as the applicant
suffered no disadvantage from the fact that the judgment was not
motivated sooner.

        In the trial of 30 May 1984, the decision was publicly
pronounced.  Subsequently, an explanation of the essential underlying
reasons was given.  Contrary to the statements of the applicant, there
existed then already a draft version of the judgment of some 80 pages.

        The fact that the motivation of the judgment, the essentials
of which had already been communicated to the applicant, was not served
on the applicant until 3 July 1986 only means that the applicant did
not have to begin serving his sentence of six years' imprisonment in
view of the fact that the judgment had not entered into legal force due
to a plea of nullity and an appeal to a higher Court.  In its decision,
the Supreme Court will certainly have to take into consideration the
specific circumstances of the case.  As a result, the applicant may
possibly rather enjoy an advantage from the delay.

IV.     Summary and motion

        In summing up, it transpires from the application that in the
light of the above considerations there is no violation of Article 6
para. 1 of the Convention and the application will have to be declared
inadmissible as being manifestly ill-founded.

        If, despite the above considerations, however, the Commission
should declare the present application admissible, reference may be
made, also in respect of the merits of the case, to the above
explanations which equally demonstrate that there is no violation of
the Convention.

B.      The Applicant

I.      The application and the facts (see THE FACTS above)

1.      The applicant states that the motivation of the judgment at
issue was only served on him on 4 July 1986.  The domestic appeal
proceedings will now, after an unlawful delay of some 25 months, again
begin to run their course.

        Nevertheless, the applicant confirms his application to the
European Commission of Human Rights.  A delay of more than 25 months
to motivate a judgment which should, by law, have been served within
14 days violates the right to a hearing within a reasonable time
enshrined in the Convention.  Beyond the circumstances of the present
case, the administration of justice in Austria stands to gain by a
decision in Strasbourg on a case of this kind.

2.      The applicant submits that he has never claimed that a breach
of Section 270(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure will in itself
constitute a human rights violation.  Moreover, he only lodged his
application well after the eight month period on which a decision was
taken in the case No. 4459/79 (Dec. 3.4.71, Collection 38 p. 44).  His
application was filed at a time when the serving of the motivation of
the judgment had already been delayed for 11 months, and indeed it was
only served more than 25 months after the judgment was pronounced in
Court.  Nevertheless, a breach of Section 270(1) does indeed constitute
a violation of the Convention when the actual delay in motivating the
judgment goes beyond a certain limit.  When this happens, a breach of
the time-limits laid down in Austrian procedural law (something which
the Government in their observations regard as entirely normal) ceases
to be merely quantitative and becomes of qualitative relevance too,
thus violating the Convention as well.

        This point of view is fully consistent with that expressed by
Mayerhofer/Rieder in their commentary on the Austrian Code of Criminal
Procedure with regard to Section 281(3) of the Code of Criminal
Procedure (2nd ed. 1984, p. 788 at footnote 8).  According to these
authors, when the proper duration of criminal proceedings up to the
motivation of the judgment is exceeded through delay in motivation,
this may very well violate Article 6 para. 1 of the Convention, though
it does not constitute a ground of nullity.  This note refers to the
above-mentioned case No. 4459/79 in which the motivation of the
judgment was delayed for eight months.

II.     Requirement  under Article 26 of the Convention

        The Government argue next that the applicant could have
remedied the economic damage caused by the delay in providing the
motivation of the judgment by bringing a domestic action alleging State
liability for damage caused by one of its agencies.  In the applicant's
submissions, the Government ignore the fact that the application is not
concerned solely with economic damage, but also with the damage clearly
caused by the delay to his and his family's reputation, and with the
severe mental anguish which he suffered on this account.  The economic
damage is only part of the overall damage resulting from the delay.
In any event, an action alleging State liability is unlikely to
accelerate proceedings.  According to the Commission's case-law in
respect of Article 26 of the Convention, complaints and State liability
actions are a possibility, but are not adequate to accelerate
proceedings the undue length of which is the object of the complaint.
A State liability action, like a disciplinary complaint, cannot
therefore be regarded as a domestic remedy required under Article 26
of the Convention.

III.    Admissibility and merits of the application

1.      As regards the complexity of the proceedings, the Government
have attempted to refute the applicant's argument that facts were
investigated which had absolutely nothing to do with the charges.  In
doing so, the Government try to argue that the applicant's conduct had
to be seen, not in isolation, but in the context of the offences
committed by the other accused.  This ignores the fact that, although
40 persons were involved in the preliminary investigation phase, only
three accused were left once proceedings against Mr. T. were
discontinued who had been released from detention on remand and had
absconded.

2.      It is hard to form an idea, from the time schedule supplied by
the Government, of the actual workload of the judge concerned.  It is
clear, however, that a series of hearings lasting 10-30 minutes were
held up to July 1985, whereas the various proceedings in the "WBO-case"
began in August 1985.  At any rate, the schedule does not indicate that
the judge's workload was particularly heavy in early 1985.  Later she
would have had a period of more than one year, during which exemption
from new cases and a clearly reduced workload would have given her time
to prepare the motivation.

3.      The Government argue that delays may be justified under the
Convention if the Courts are overburdened, and that the State cannot
be held responsible when a particularly heavy workload prevents a judge
from doing his work rapidly.  In answer to this it must be said that
the State is necessarily responsible for the conduct of its
representatives - particularly since it is not merely negligence by the
judge in question which is at issue.

        As stated in the Government's observations, the judge in
question was put in charge of the new economic crimes department 12b)
of the Vienna Regional Court on 1 January 1985.  This means that she
was appointed at a time when the delay in serving the motivation had
already lasted seven months and was thus exceptional to start with (the
first date promised by the judge to the defence counsel in the case for
the motivation was October 1984).  Subsequently, and although the case
was, as the observations point out, particularly complex, nothing was
done to help the judge to conclude it for example by granting her
exemption from new cases.  On the contrary, she was given additional
work.

4.      The Government state that the President of the Court of Appeal
took disciplinary action against the judge in early November 1985.
However, it must be noted that the authorities waited one and a half
years before taking this action.  This makes it impossible to accept
the Government's claim that "all possible measures (were taken) to
expedite the motivation of the judgment".  Disciplinary supervision
clearly had no effect.  The judge was insufficiently exempted from new
cases and she herself was relieved as head of the economic crimes
department 12b) to which she had been appointed - clearly on the basis
of an inaccurate assessment of her workload and/or capacity for work
- on 1 January 1985, at a time when judgment in the applicant's case
had already been pending for seven months.

5.      The Government state that the applicant suffered no
disadvantage from the fact that the judgment had not been motivated,
the only effect being that he had not yet had to begin serving the
prison sentence.  The Government further speculate as to how this
circumstance will affect the judges in the Supreme Court and suggest
that it may even work to the applicant's advantage.

        The only conclusion to be drawn from this is that the
provisions of the Human Rights Convention are, at least in the opinion
of the respondent Government, wholly misconceived.  It is obviously
assumed that the applicant shall definitely have to serve a prison
sentence, and not the faintest allowance is made for the possibility
that the judgment given at first instance may be altered on appeal. In
the applicant's view, the Government's observations blatantly
contravene Article 6 para. 2 of the Convention, since there is a clear
presumption that he is guilty, whatever happens.  The Government's
observations also consider that proceedings of maximum length can only
benefit the person concerned, and this clearly suggests that Article
6 para. 1 of the Convention is seen as being either completely
misconceived or inapplicable in Austria.

6.      The suggestion that the judgment caused the applicant no
disadvantage is answered as follows.

        Prior to judgment, the applicant was manager of the firm which
he is alleged to have defrauded in collusion with the chairman of the
board.  The firm did not participate as a private party in the criminal
proceedings against the applicant and took no disciplinary action
against him, but continued to employ him as it had before the K.-T.
company collapsed.  The relevant sections of the firm do not therefore
regard the applicant as having caused them any damage, and no one has
suggested that he intentionally set out to cause such damage, which
would have been necessary to make the applicant an accessory to the
misappropriation of funds.

        The fact that these accusations have now been made in a
judgment - even an oral judgment - caused the applicant considerable
damage since, quite apart from the merely human aspects and the effects
on his family's reputation, his employers have also suspended him
without pay until the case has been cleared up.  Even so they have not
chosen to dismiss the applicant without notice.  The applicant has also
had to suffer during this period of more than two years all the
disadvantages of being largely debarred from practising his profession,
since the "presumption of innocence" by no means applies in practice
to a person who has not been finally convicted and is trying to work
in business or the law.  Notwithstanding the contrary view so strangely
put forward by the Government in their observations, this state of
uncertainty, which will last until the case has been decided with legal
force is so clearly to the applicant's disadvantage that he prefers to
say nothing further on this point.

        Finally, to secure his release from detention on remand, the
applicant was obliged to find bail of 2,500,000 AS.  The cost of
finding bail obviously increases with time, and clear financial damage
thus results from the failure to finalise the judgment.

IV.     Summary

        A breach of Section 270(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure
constitutes a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights when
a time-limit is exceeded which makes the failure to motivate the
judgment appear unreasonable as part of the overall length of the
proceedings.

        The judge's repeated promises to motivate the judgment, which
have been cited in the Government's observations, are a clear
indication that the Court considered that this could have been done
sooner.

        The Government's observations show that the judge's work-load
was not excessively increased by major cases until August 1985, when
the reasonable time for motivating the judgment had long since expired.

        The action taken to remedy this situation, referred to in the
Government's observations, is thus irrelevant, because it came too late
and because, to some extent, instead of decreasing, it actually
increased the work-load of the judge who, although she had already
fallen behind, was given responsibility for a new department on 1
January 1985.

        Failure to motivate the judgment has caused the applicant very
substantial non-material and material damage.

        On the basis of the above, the applicant requests the
Commission to declare the present application admissible and to find
a violation of the Convention.

THE LAW

1.      The applicant complains under Article 6 para. 1 (Art. 6-1) of
the Convention that he received the motivation of the judgment which
was pronounced on 30 May 1984, only on 4 July 1986, i.e. more than 25
months later.  An essential part of the Court proceedings in which he
continues to be involved was therefore not concluded within a
reasonable time in the meaning of Article 6 para. 1 (Art. 6-1).  As a
result of the delay in motivation he has suffered both material and
immaterial damage.  The applicant also submits that there is no remedy
at his disposal under Austrian law to complain of this undue length of
time required for the motivation.

        Article 6 para. 1 (Art. 6-1) of the Convention states:

        "1.     In the determination of his civil rights and
        obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone
        is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable
        time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by
        law."

a)      The Commission notes at the outset that is is not in dispute
between the parties that the proceedings at issue concern "the
determination of ... <a> criminal charge" against the applicant and
that his complaints therefore fall to be considered under Article 6
para. 1 (Art. 6-1) of the Convention.

b)      The Commission furthermore recalls its constant case-law
according to which a complaint under Article 6 para. 1 (Art. 6-1)
concerning the length of proceedings may be brought even before the
termination of the proceedings in question (see No. 7987/77, Dec.
13.12.79, D.R. 18 p. 31).

c)      In their submissions summarised above the respondent Government
point out in respect of Article 26 (Art. 26) of the Convention that the
applicant has not exhausted all remedies at his disposal within the
meaning of that provision.  In particular, insofar as the applicant
complains of having suffered economic damage on account of the delay
at issue, he could, if such delay was due to the unlawful and culpable
conduct of a public authority, have filed a complaint in accordance
with the Official Liability Act for damage caused by one of the State's
organs.  If damages were awarded, the applicant would no longer be
considered a victim of the Convention.

        Under Article 26 (Art. 26) of the Convention the Commission may
only deal with a matter after all domestic remedies have been exhausted
according to the generally recognised rules of international law.

        In respect of the present complaint, the Commission recalls its
constant case-law concerning the length of criminal and civil
proceedings according to which there is no remedy available to the
applicant under Austrian law (see No. 7987/77, ibid).

        It is true that in his application the applicant has referred
to material damage resulting from the delay in motivation.  In the
Government's submissions, such a damage could be remedied by an action
under the Official Liability Act.

        However, the Commission notes on the one hand that the
applicant has also alleged immaterial damage.  On the other hand, he
has alleged such negative consequences in order to demonstrate that he
has been substantially affected by the delay in motivation.  In fact,
the applicant's complaints under Article 6 para. 1 (Art. 6-1) are
directed primarily against the length of the criminal proceedings in
which he continues to be involved.  The object of the applicant's
complaint thus extends beyond that of a material damage as required by
the Official Liability Act.  Moreover, an action under this Act would
not serve to remedy the applicant's complaints by accelerating the
proceedings (see No. 4459/70, Dec. 3.4.71, Collection 38 p. 44).

        The Commission concludes that the action under the Official
Liability Act cannot therefore be considered an effective remedy within
the meaning of Article 26 (Art. 26), and that the applicant had no
other such remedy at his disposal.  The complaint cannot, therefore,
be rejected under Article 26 (Art. 26) of the Convention for
non-exhaustion of domestic remedies.

d)      The Government have submitted that the complaint at issue is
manifestly ill-founded.  In particular, the delay can be explained by
the fact that the proceedings were based on very complex and
comprehensive facts.  Moreover, the judge in question was overloaded,
though the competent authorities took all possible measures to expedite
the motivation of the judgment.  In view thereof, the State can no
longer be held responsible under the Convention.  The alleged breach
of Section 270(1) of the Austrian Code of Criminal Procedure does not
in itself entail a violation of the Convention.  Finally, the
Government point out that the applicant suffered no disadvantage from
the fact that the judgment was not motivated sooner.

        The Commission considers that the complaint concerning the
length of the criminal proceedings in which the applicant continues to
be involved raises difficult questions of fact and law which are of
such complexity that their determination should depend on an
examination of the merits.  This part of the application is therefore
not manifestly ill-founded and must be declared admissible, no other
grounds for declaring it inadmissible having been established.

2.      The applicant also complains under Article 6 para. 1 (Art. 6-1)
of the Convention that the judgment was not given by a "tribunal
established by law" within the meaning of that provision.  In
particular, the written judgment should, after its pronouncement, no
longer have to be prepared (erstellt) but only written reasons added.
In view of the fact that 25 months lapsed after the motivation was
served on the applicant, he submits that the judgment in fact still had
to be prepared by a single judge.

        The Commission notes that the applicant has not shown that he
raised this complaint before the competent Austrian Courts.  An issue
arises therefore as to whether the applicant has exhausted domestic
remedies as required by Article 26 (Art. 26) of the Convention.  The
Commission nevertheless decides not to resolve this question since this
part of the application is in any event inadmissible for the following
reasons:

        The Commission observes that the applicant has not alleged that
the Vienna Regional Court which convicted the applicant was not
"established by law" within the meaning of Article 6 para. 1 (Art. 6-1)
in that, for instance, it was not the competent jurisdiction to deal
with the applicant's case.  Rather, the applicant solely deduces from
the delay in motivating the judgment the conclusion that a single judge
had prepared the decision rather than the Court consisting of two
professional and two lay judges.  However, the Commission considers
that the delay in motivating does not in any way imply that it was a
single judge rather than the Court which prepared the judgment.

        Accordingly, this complaint does not disclose any appearance
of a violation of Article 6 para. 1 (Art. 6-1) of the Convention.  The
Commission concludes that this part of the application is manifestly
ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2 (Art. 27-2) of the
Convention.

        For these reasons, the Commission

1.      DECLARES ADMISSIBLE, WITHOUT PREJUDGING THE MERITS,
        THE COMPLAINT CONCERNING THE LENGTH OF PROCEEDINGS (PARA.
        1 OF THE LAW); AND

2.      DECLARES INADMISSIBLE THE REMAINDER OF THE APPLICATION.

Secretary to the Commission                President of the Commission

      (H.C. KRÜGER)                               (C.A. NØRGAARD)