THIRD SECTION

DECISION

Application no. 16280/02 
by Borut ZORZINI 
against Slovenia

The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting  
on 8 December 2005 as a Chamber composed of:

Mr J. Hedigan, President
 Mr B.M. Zupančič
 Mr L. Caflisch
 Mr C. Bîrsan
 Mr V. Zagrebelsky
 Mrs A. Gyulumyan, 
 Ms I. Ziemele, judges
and Mr M. Villiger, Deputy Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 26 March 2002,

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 Borut Zorzini, is a Slovenian national who was born in 1965 and lives in Žalec. He was represented before the Court by the Verstovšek lawyers.

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

On 7 January 1995 the applicant was injured in an accident at work. The applicant’s employer had taken out insurance with the insurance company ZT.

On 27 November 1995 the applicant instituted civil proceedings against ZT in the Celje District Court (Okrožno sodišče v Celju) seeking damages in the amount of 2,811,617 tolars (approximately 11,700 euros) for the injuries sustained.

Between 8 January 1996 and 22 November 2001 the applicant lodged six preliminary written submissions and/or adduced evidence.

Between 27 August 1997 and 14 December 2001 he made six requests that a date be set for a hearing.

Of the seven hearings held between 17 September 1997 and 7 January 2002 none was adjourned at the request of the applicant.

During the proceedings the court appointed a medical expert.

At the last hearing the court decided to deliver a written judgment. The judgment, upholding the applicant’s claim in part, was served on the applicant on 25 February 2002.

On 11 March 2002 the applicant appealed to the Celje Higher Court (Višje sodišče v Celju). ZT cross-appealed.

On 16 April 2003 the court allowed the appeals and remitted the case to the first-instance court for re-examination.

The decision was served on the applicant on 24 June 2003.

Between 5 May 2004 and 15 November 2004 the applicant lodged four preliminary written submissions and/or adduced evidence.

On 11 December 2003 and 16 June 2004 the Court held hearings.

The judgment, upholding the applicant’s claim in part, was served on the applicant on 21 October 2004.

On 2 November 2005 the applicant appealed to the Celje Higher Court.

COMPLAINTS

The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention that the length of the proceedings before the domestic courts to which he was party was excessive. In substance, he also complained about the lack of an effective domestic remedy in respect of the excessive length of the proceedings (Article 13 of the Convention).

THE LAW

On 19 July 2005 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:

“I, Lucijan BEMBIČ, Agent of the Republic of Slovenia, declare that the Government of Slovenia offer to pay ex gratia 2,500 euros to Borut Zorzini 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 converted into Slovenian tolars at the rate applicable on the date of the payment, free of any taxes that may be applicable. It will be payable within three months from the date of notification of the decision by the Court pursuant to the Article 37 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights...”

On 19 July 2005 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant’s representative:

“I, Borut ZORZINI, note that the Government of Slovenia are prepared to pay me ex gratia the sum of 2,500 euros 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 converted into Slovenian tolars at the rate applicable on the date of the payment, free of any taxes that may be applicable. It will be payable within three months from the date of notification of the decision taken by the Court pursuant to the Article 37 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights...

 I accept the proposal waive any further claims against Slovenia 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 agreement reached between the parties (Article 39 of the Convention). It is satisfied that the settlement is based on respect for human rights as defined in the Convention or its Protocols (Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention and Rule 62 § 3 of the Rules of Court). 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 strike the application out of its list of cases.

Mark Villiger John Hedigan 
 Deputy Registrar President

ZORZINI v. SLOVENIA DECISION


ZORZINI v. SLOVENIA DECISION