(fRANS(ATION) THE LAW The applicant complains of the len gth of proceedings concerning an action for damages instlmted by him on 14 October 1974, which eame to an end with ajudicial scttlcment between the parties on 21 February 1985 . He invokcs Article 6 para . I nf the Convention, which state s that : "Jn the determinalion of hi s civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him , everyone is enlilled to a fair and public he aring within a reasonablc timc by an independent and partial tribunal established by law . " The Commission has first examined the question whether, following thejud icial setUement, the appl icant eould elaim to be the victim of a violation of the abovemention ed prov ision . 1 96 The Govemment and the applicant consider that the setUement does not entail a lack of legitimate interzst on the part of the applicant. The Commission notes that the applicant received 105 .000 Ausvian schillings under the terms of the seulemem reac hed on 21 February 1985, whereas he had claimed 330.000 Austrian schillings from the defe ndant, which. for its part, had claimed 108 .(NA) Austrian schillings from the applicant . The Commi ssion also notes thai when the seulement was reached, no account appears to have been taken of the maier ial and non-maierial damage suffered by the applicant as a result of the length of the prceeedings, the existence of which damage is not challenged by the respmdem Govern- ment. The Commiss ion further notes that the applicant maintains that he only accepi ed the settlcmen[ after being informed by the judge dealing with the case that the proceedings might eomi nue for another five o r six years, which the Governme nt have no( yuestioned . The Commiss ion furt her recalls that ihe outcome, eve n i f favo urab le, of proceedi ngs does not in principle deprive the individual concerned of his stat us as a victim except "whe n th e national authorities have acknowleclged eit her expressly or in substance, und th en afforded r edress for, the b reach of the Convention" (E ur. Court H . R., Ec kle judgmzn[ o! IS July 1982, Se ries A no. 51, p . 30, para . 66) . S ince that was not the case i n this instance, the Commissio n conside rs that the applicant continu ed to have a valid interest in a decision being made on the reaso nab leness of the length of the procee dings i n question, proceedings concerning t he dete rminatio n of his civil rights and obligations . It therefore co nside rs ihat in the prese nt case t he applicunl may c laim Io be a v ictim of a violation uf Ih e Conve nlion u nde r the lerms ol Arl idc 25 para . 1 uf the Convention . The Commission h as proceeded to carry out a preliminary examination of the applican['s complaint and of the submissions of the parties . It recal ls Ihai t he reasonable ness of the length of'proceedings covered by Article 6 para. 1 of the Convention must be assessed in each case accord i ng to its circumstances (Eur. Co urt H .R., Kbn ig judgment of 28 June 1978, Series A no. 27, p. 34, para. 99) and tha( the c riteria to be taken into cons ideration for thi s purpose, as established by case- law, are esse n- tially the eomplex iry u [ ih e case, the way i n which it has bee n deal t with by the j udi- cial authorities and the conduct of the parties . In civil cases, howeve r, exercise of the right to have a case heard within a reasonable time is s ubject to the dilige nce of the party concer ned (Eur . Court H . R., Ca pua no judgment of 25 June 1987, Series A no . 1 1 9, p. 11 . para . 23 et seq .) . In the present case, the starting point for the period to be taken inta consideration by the Commission with regard to the length of the proceedi ngs is 14 October 1974, the date on which the applicant brought his case before the Linz Regional Coun. Proceed ings concluded w ith a judic ial settlement dated 2 1 February 1985 . They therefore continued fo r a period of 1 0 years, 4 monlhs and 7 days. 197 The Commission considers that the application raises important questions o f fac[ and of law wh ich cannot be resolved at this stage o( examination of the upplica tion , but require an in-dept h examination . The application cannot therefore bc declared to be manitestl y ill-founded, unde r the terms of Article 27 para . 2 of the Convemion. Phe Commission also notes ihai no other ground of inadmi ssib ility applies to ihe applicalion . For Ihetic reaxu ns, the Comm ission DECLARES TH E APPLICATION ADMISSIBLE, wii huui prejudging the merits of ihe case . 198