FIRST SECTION

DECISION

Application no. 20030/03 
by Nikola VUKOVIĆ 
against Croatia

The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting on 10 November 2005 as a Chamber composed of:

Mr C.L. Rozakis, President
 Mrs F. Tulkens
 Mr P. Lorenzen
 Ms N. Vajić
 Mrs E. Steiner
 Mr D. Spielmann, 
 Mr S.E. Jebens, judges
and Mr S. Nielsen, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 30 May 2003,

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 Nikola Vuković, is a Croatian national who was born in 1942 and lives in Renens, Switzerland.

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

The applicant has lived in Switzerland during the last 18 years. He is the owner of a house in Knin, where his mother lived until 1996.

By a decision of the Knin Municipality Housing Commission (Stambena komisija Knin) (“the Housing Commission”), on 18 April 1997 the applicant’s house was given for temporary use to P.S., a displaced person.

On 3 August 2000 the applicant filed a request for repossession of his property with the competent administrative authority.

On 30 October 2002 the Ministry of Public Works, Reconstruction and Construction (Ministarstvo za javne radove, obnovu i graditeljstvo) (“the Ministry”) quashed the Housing Committee’s decision of 18 April 1997, establishing the right of the applicant to repossess his house. In its decision, the Ministry also established that P.S. enjoyed a right to housing until his housing issue was adequately resolved. No date for P.S.’s eviction was set.

On 4 December 2002 the Ministry invited the applicant to contact its competent regional office in order to repossess his house and/or receive compensation for the prolonged inability to use it, in accordance with the relevant legislation.

On 14 March 2003 the applicant requested from the Ministry the repossession of his house and the reimbursement of the damage incurred.

On 6 August 2003 the Ministry made an offer for a settlement according to which the State was to pay damages to the applicant. It appears that the applicant declined the offer as unsatisfactory.

On 15 April 2004 the applicant repossessed his house.

COMPLAINT

The applicant complains under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention that he is unable to repossess his house.

THE LAW

On 19 July 2005 the applicant informed the Court that the parties had reached a settlement whereby he waived any further claims against Croatia in respect of the facts of the present application.

By letter of 12 September 2005 the Government informed the Court that they accepted the proposal for a friendly settlement and that the Government would pay the applicant 8,500 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.

Søren Nielsen Christos Rozakis 
 Registrar President

VUKOVIĆ v. CROATIA DECISION


VUKOVIĆ v. CROATIA DECISION