FOURTH SECTION

DECISION

Application no. 1793/02 
by Ivan CHLADNÝ 
against Slovakia

The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 30 May 2006 as a Chamber composed of:

Sir Nicolas Bratza, President
 Mr J. Casadevall
 Mr M. Pellonpää
 Mr K. Traja
 Mr S. Pavlovschi
 Mr L. Garlicki, 
 Mr J. Šikuta, judges
and Mr T.L. Early, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 17 December 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 Ivan Chladný, is a Slovakian national who was born in 1941 and lives in Bratislava. The respondent Government are represented by Mrs A. Poláčková, their Agent

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

In January 1994, while driving a car, the applicant was involved in a traffic accident with another vehicle and suffered bodily injuries.

On 27 December 1995 the applicant brought an action for damages against the driver of the vehicle and against its owner.

On 31 August 2004 the Trnava District Court (Okresný súd) dismissed the action and made an order for costs against the applicant.

On 11 October 2005 the Trnava Regional Court (Krajský súd) quashed the judgment on the applicant’s appeal and remitted the matter to the District Court where it is still pending.

In the meantime, on 2 May 2001, on the applicant’s petition (podnet) under Article 130 § 3 of the Constitution as then in force, the Constitutional Court found that the District Court had violated his rights under Article 48 § 2 of the Constitution to a hearing “without unjustified delay” and under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention to a hearing “within a reasonable time”. However, at that time, the Constitutional Court lacked jurisdiction to draw any legal consequences from the finding.

The applicant then unsuccessfully complained (sťažnosť) of the length of the above proceedings under Article 127 of the Constitution, as in force since 1 January 2002.

COMPLAINT

The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention that the length of the proceedings in his action of 1995 had been excessive.

THE LAW

On 18 March 2006 the Court received the following declaration signed by the Agent of the Government:

“I, Alena Poláčková, Agent of the Government of the Slovak Republic, declare that the Government of the Slovak Republic offer to pay 7,000 (seven thousand) euros to Mr Ivan Chladný 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 Slovakian korunas at the rate applicable on the date of 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 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 23 March 2006 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:

“I, Ivan Chladný , note that the Government of the Slovak Republic are prepared to pay me the sum of 7,000 (seven thousand) 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 Slovakian korunas at the rate applicable on the date of 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 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 Slovakia 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 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.

T.L. Early Nicolas Bratza 
 Registrar President

CHLADNÝ v. SLOVAKIA DECISION


CHLADNÝ v. SLOVAKIA DECISION