APPLICATION/REQUÊTE N" 11889/85 Generoso VERNILLO and Maria SICILIANO v/FRANC E Generoso VERNILLO et Maria SICILIANO c/FRANC E DECISION of 10 Match 1989 on the admissibility of the application DÉCISION du 10 mars 1989 sur la recevabilité de la requête Article 26 of the Convention : a) The obligation tu exhaust domestic remedies requires only that an applicant make use of remedies likely to be effective and adéquate. h) 1n France, an action alleging State responsihility on the hasis of Article L 781 .1 of the Code on Judicial Organisation dors noi consonne an effective remedy in respect of excessive length of proceedings . Article 26 de la Convention : a) L'obligation d'épuiser les voies de recours internes se limite à celle de faire un usage des recours internes vraisemblablement efficaces et suffisants . h) En France, l'action en responsabilité de l'Etat fondée sur l'article L 781 .1 du Code de l'organisation judiciaire ne constitue pas un recours efficace contre la durée excessive d'une procédure . Sumnmry of the relevant Tacts On 10 October 1967 the applicants purchased an apartment in Nice in return for paytnent of a life annuity. The terras of the contra cf specii ied that the contract womd lie annulled ipso jure in the event offailure ta paya single tnonthly instalment on me que date and expi ry of one month after a simple format notice ta pay traitent payment . A format notice ta pay dated 18 July 1977 having had no ejfect, the applicants were summonsed by a citation of 12 December 1977 to appear before Nice Reeional Court. In a judgment of 16 June 1981, the Court refused ta pronounce ,maniaient of the contract of sale in rentra for a life annuity . The annuitant anpealed. In a judgment of 29 June 1983, the Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal pronounced the annulment of the contract The applicants' appeal la the Court of Cassation was rejected on 5 June 1985 . The applicants complain about the excessive length of the proceedings and invoke Article 6 para . 1 of the Convention. 77 'l'HE LAW (Extraci ) The applicants complain of the length of the proceedings for annulment of a commet of sale in return for a lite annuity before the civil courts and rely on Article 6 para . I of the Convention . The Government first of all raire an objection to admissibility , arguing that the applicants had access Io the remedy provided for under Article L 781 .1 of the Code on Judicial Organisation, wherchy they could have hrought an action for compen- ,ation against the State hased on the alleged deficiencies in the administration of justicc . They cite in this convection a judgment delivered by the Paris Court of Appeal (Fuchs v. the French Slale) dated 10 May 1983, in which the State was ordered to pay the petitioner 50,000 FF on the grounds of delays in bankruptcy procédures which lasted from 1960 to 1977, namely 17 years . The applicants specify that this provision applies only in cases of gross negligence or denial of justice, and that, in any case , an action of this kind alleging the State's civil liability would also in itself have added te the delay . They conclude that such a course of action could not therefore be construed as an effective remedy . The Commission noies Chat the exhaustion of doniestic remedies refers only Io those which are effective and suffieient (sec Eur . Court H .R., De long . Baljet and Van den Brink judgment of 22 May 1984, Series A no . 77, p. 19, para. 39) . To détermine the effectiveness of a remedy, it has to be considered whether it was capable of remedying the applicants' complaint by providing a direct and specdy, and not merely indirect, protection of the rights guaranteed in Article 6 para . I of the Convention (cf. No . 8990/80, Guincho v . Portugal, Dec . 6.7 .82, D .R . 29 pp. 135-141) . The Commission has already had the opporlunity to deliver an opinion on the effectiveness of the civil action referred to bv the Government in respect of a case pending before the national courts (cf. No . 10673/83, Dec . 7.5 .85, D .R. 42 p. 239) . It considered that such an action could not be construed as an effective remedy which the applicants were required to use before bringing their case before the Commission . In the present case, the applicants brought beurre the Commission a complaira hased on an alleged violation of Article 6 para . 1 of the Convention after the final domestic decision putting an end In the dispute, namely the judgment of the Court of Cassation of 5 June 1985 . The question is thcrcfore whether the applicants would have had to bring against the French State the civil action for damages and interests provided for under Article L 781 .1 of the Code on Judicial Organisation in order to satisfy the condition of exhaustion of domestic remedies roder Article 26 of the Convention . 98 This rcmedy has admittedly already been used belote the French courts where litigant ss considered that the legal authorities had failed In observe the rote of a reasonable time. Il has given vise to a decision, referred to by the Government , acknowledging the unreasonableness of the length of the proceedings in that case . However, the Commission notes that this decision has apparently remained an isolated one and that the Government have not been able to point to a genuinely established case-law which would have provided the applicants with an effective remedy, in the circumstances . for the complaint based on A rt icle 6 para . 1 of the Convention (cf. No , 10828/84, Dec . 6.10. 88, D.R. 57 p. 5). This being se , the objection Io admissibility on the grounds of failure to exhaust domestic remedies raised by the French Government canna be upheld . 99