FOURTH SECTION

DECISION

AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF

Application no. 16750/04 
by Zenona BORYSZKO 
against Poland

The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 11 October 2005 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 Mr M. O’Boyle, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 20 April 2004,

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, Ms Zenona Boryszko, is a Polish national who was born in 1955 and lives in Paczków.

A.  The circumstances of the case

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

On 1 July 1997 the applicant’s entitlement to unemployment benefit expired.

On 12 September 1997 the social assistance authorities in Paczków received the applicant’s request for the social assistance allowance to be awarded.

On 13 October 1997 the Paczków social assistance authorities refused to award social assistance benefit to the applicant, considering that she had failed to comply with relevant legal requirements. The applicant appealed.

On 28 December 1997 the Opole Governor upheld the decision.

On 17 August 1999 the Supreme Administrative Court quashed both the first- and second-instance decisions and remitted the case for re-examination. The court considered that the second-instance authority had failed in its obligation to gather sufficient evidence and to examine objections brought by the applicant in her appeal, which were crucial for the legal assessment of the case, and, as a result, wrongly applied substantive law.

On 24 November 1999 the Paczków social assistance authorities again refused to award social assistance benefit to the applicant. On 18 February 2000 the Local Government Regional Board of Appeal in Opole quashed the decision and ordered that the case be reconsidered. On 18 April 2000 the Paczków social assistance authorities refused to award social assistance benefit to the applicant. On 28 August 2000 the Local Government Regional Board of Appeal in Opole upheld this decision.

On 9 October 2003 the Supreme Administrative Court found that the authorities had been superficial in the examination of the applicant’s situation. The court quashed the decision of the lower authority and ordered that the case be re-examined.

On 30 January 2004 the Paczków Municipal Social Assistance Authority again refused to grant the benefit. The applicant appealed. On 2 April 2004 the Local Government Regional Board of Appeal in Opole upheld the decision of the Municipal Social Assistance Authority. The applicant lodged a complaint with the Regional Administrative Court in Opole. The case is pending.

COMPLAINT

The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the unreasonable length of administrative proceeding which have remained pending since 1997.

THE LAW

On 30 August 2005 the Court received the following declaration from the Agent of the Government:

“I, Jakub Woląsiewicz, Agent of the Government, declare that the Government of Poland offer to pay 6000 euros to Ms Zenona Boryszko 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 Polish Zlotys at the rate applicable on the date of payment, free of any taxes that may be applicable and 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 6 September 2005 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:

“I note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me the sum of 6000 EUR with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the above-mentioned case pending before the European Court of Human Rights.

This sum is to cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs and expenses, will be converted into Polish zlotys at the rate applicable on the date of payment, free of any taxes that may be applicable and 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.

Michael O’Boyle Nicolas Bratza 
 Registrar President

BORYSZKO v. POLAND DECISION


BORYSZKO v. POLAND DECISION