FOURTH SECTION

DECISION

Application no. 12780/02 
by Jarosław NOWAK 
against Poland

The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 7 March 2006 as a Chamber composed of:

Sir Nicolas Bratza, President
 Mr G. Bonello
 Mr K. Traja
 Mr S. Pavlovschi
 Mr L. Garlicki
 Ms L. Mijović, 
 Mr J. Šikuta, judges
and Mrs F. Elens-Passos, Deputy Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 5 November 2001,

Having regard to the decision to apply Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and examine the admissibility and merits of the case together.

Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case.

Having deliberated, decides as follows:

THE FACTS

The applicant, Mr Jarosław Nowak, is a Polish national who was born in 1970 and lives in Marzenin. The Polish Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr J. Wołąsiewicz, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A.  The circumstances of the case

The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.

On 7 April 1996 the applicant was arrested on suspicion of burglary. The investigation was closed on 31 July 1996. On an unspecified date in August 1996 the Łask District Prosecutor lodged a bill of indictment against the applicant and three of his co-accused with the Łask District Court. They were indicted on one count of burglary.

From 14 August 1996 to 7 February 1999 the applicant was serving a prison sentence which had been previously imposed on him.

On 3 October 1997 the trial court held the first hearing.

According to the information submitted by the applicant, the subsequent hearings were held on the following dates: 19 December 1997; 9 August, 7 September, 24 October, 28 November and 19 December 2000; 6 February, 1, 7 and 27 March and 12 April 2001.

On 12 April 2001 the District Court convicted the applicant of burglary and sentenced him to 20 months’ imprisonment and a fine.

The applicant appealed against that judgment.

On 18 July 2001 the Łódź Regional Court held a hearing and upheld the judgment of the District Court. In accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure, the judgment of the appellate court was final and enforceable.

The applicant intended to lodge a cassation appeal with the Supreme Court against the judgment of the Regional Court. However, by a letter of 25 September 2001 the applicant’s legal aid lawyer informed him that he had found no grounds on which the cassation appeal could be based.

COMPLAINT

The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the unreasonable length of criminal proceedings. He also submitted that on account of the protracted length of those proceedings he had to serve his sentence in a prison where he could not work, continue his education and obtain leave from prison.

THE LAW

On 16 January 2006 the Court received the following declaration from the Agent of the Government:

“I declare that the Government of Poland offer to pay 8,000 Polish zlotys to Mr Jarosław Nowak with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the above-mentioned case pending before the European Court of Human Rights.

This sum, which is to cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs and expenses, will be payable within three months from the date of notification of the decision taken by the Court pursuant to Article 37 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In the event of failure to pay this sum within the said three-month period, the Government undertake to pay simple interest on it, from expiry of that period until settlement, at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points. The payment will constitute the final resolution of the case.”

On 18 January 2006 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:

“I, Jarosław Nowak, note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me the sum of 8,000 Polish zlotys with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the above-mentioned case pending before the European Court of Human Rights.

This sum, which is to cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs and expenses, will be payable within three months from the date of notification of the decision taken by the Court pursuant to Article 37 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. 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.

I accept the proposal and waive any further claims against Poland in respect of the facts giving rise to this application. I declare that this constitutes a final resolution of the case.”

The Court takes note of the friendly settlement reached between the parties. It is satisfied that the settlement is based on respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols and 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.

Françoise Elens-Passos Nicolas Bratza 
 Deputy Registrar President

NOWAK v. POLAND DECISION


NOWAK v. POLAND DECISION