Application no. 17400/02
by Dragan ČAKALIĆ
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting on 10 March 2005 as a Chamber composed of:
Mr C.L. Rozakis, President,
Mr P. Lorenzen,
Mrs N. Vajić,
Mrs S. Botoucharova,
Mr A. Kovler,
Mrs E. Steiner,
Mr K. Hajiyev, judges,
and Mr S. Quesada, 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 partial decision of 15 September 2003,
Having regard to the respondent Government's letter dated 8 November 2004, and the applicant's representative's letter dated 19 August 2004,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Dragan Čakalić, is a Croatian national who was born in 1954 and lives in Požega, Croatia. He is represented before the Court by Mr M. Mihočević, a lawyer practising with Nobilo-Mlinarić Chambers, Zagreb. The respondent Government are represented by their Agents, Ms L. Lukina-Karajković and Ms S. Stažnik.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 20 March 1993 the applicant's house and business premises were blown up by unknown perpetrators.
On 21 July 1994 the applicant instituted civil proceedings before the Požega Municipal Court (Općinski sud u Požegi), seeking compensation for his destroyed property from the State.
On 17 January 1996 Parliament introduced an amendment to the Civil Obligations Act (Zakon o izmjeni zakona o obveznim odnosima, Official Gazette no. 7/1996; “the 1996 Amendments”). It provided that all proceedings concerning actions for damages resulting from terrorist acts were to be stayed pending the enactment of new legislation.
On 3 June 1997 the Požega Municipal Court stayed the proceedings pursuant to the above legislation.
On 14 July 2003 Parliament introduced the Act on Liability for Damage Resulting from Terrorist Acts and Public Demonstrations (Zakon o odgovornosti za štetu nastalu uslijed terorističkih akata i javnih demonstracija, Official Gazette no. 117/2003; “the 2003 Liability Act”).
On 27 August 2003 the proceedings were resumed. They are still pending before the first-instance court.
The applicant maintained that Parliament's enactment of the 1996 legislation interfered with his right of access to a court within the meaning of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention.
On 19 August 2004 the applicant's representative informed the Court that the parties had reached a settlement whereby the applicant waived any further claims against Croatia in respect of the facts of the present application.
By letter of 8 November 2004 the Government informed the Court that they accepted the proposal for a friendly settlement and that the Government would pay the applicant 6,000 euros in full and final settlement of the applicant's claim under the Convention, costs and expenses included.
The Court takes note of the friendly settlement reached between the parties (Article 39 of the Convention) and considers that the matter has been resolved within the meaning of Article 37 § 1 (b) 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 Rule 62 § 3 of the Rules of Court). Accordingly, the application of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention to the case should be discontinued and the case struck out of the list.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to discontinue the application of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention.
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Santiago Quesada Christos Rozakis
Deputy Registrar President
ČAKALIĆ v. CROATIA DECISION
ČAKALIĆ v. CROATIA DECISION