AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF
Application no. 20192/02
by Kazimierz GOSŁAWSKI
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 7 February 2006 as a Chamber composed of:
Sir Nicolas Bratza, President,
Mr G. Bonello,
Mr M. Pellonpää,
Mr K. Traja,
Mr L. Garlicki,
Mr J. Borrego Borrego,
Ms L. Mijović, judges,
and Mr M. O’Boyle, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 7 June 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 applicant, Mr Kazimierz Gosławski, is a Polish national who was born in 1928 and lives in Częstochowa, Poland. The Polish Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr J. Wołąsiewicz, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A. The circumstances of the case
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 6 May 1984 the applicant filed with the Częstochowa District Court an application for distribution of the estate of his late parents. Initially, there were two parties to the proceedings, i.e. the applicant and M.K., his sister, who had been declared heirs of their parents.
In 1989 and 1990 the Częstochowa District Court requested the Gdańsk District Court to hear M.K., who lived in Gdańsk, as a witness. However, the attempts of the Gdańsk District Court to hear M.K. were to no avail.
In 1992 M.K. died. On 27 December 1994 the Gdańsk District Court declared that the estate of M.K. was inherited by four of her children (J.K., E.S., E.K. and M.K). Consequently, the heirs of M.K. became parties to the proceedings concerning the application for distribution of the estate.
On 10 October 1996 the District Court appointed the applicant an administrator of one of the properties which constituted part of the estate of his late parents. On 31 January 1997 the Częstochowa Regional Court dismissed an appeal against that decision filed by J.K.
On 10 June 1997 the applicant filed with the District Court a claim against J.K., seeking compensation from the latter for the exclusive use of one of the properties which was part of the jointly owned estate. On 6 November 1997 the Częstochowa District Court joined the applicant’s compensatory claims to the proceedings concerning the application for distribution of the estate.
On 13 October 1998 the District Court gave judgment and ruled on the application for distribution of the estate.
The applicant and E.S., one of the parties, appealed against the judgment of the District Court.
On 13 July 1999 the Częstochowa Regional Court held a hearing. On the same day it upheld the judgment of the District Court.
On 1 October 1999 the applicant lodged a cassation appeal against the judgment of the Regional Court. Subsequently, the Regional Court, having considered that the formal requirements attached to that remedy had been met, transmitted his cassation appeal to the Supreme Court for examination on the merits. However, on 20 December 2000 the Supreme Court rejected the cassation appeal. It found that the applicant had not specified which provisions of the law had been misconstrued or misapplied.
1. The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the unreasonable length of the proceedings.
2. He further complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the outcome of the proceedings and the errors of fact and law committed by the domestic courts.
On 8 December 2005 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Kazimierz Gosławski, note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me the sum of 8,000 Polish zlotys 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 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.”
On 6 January 2006 the Court received the following declaration from the Agent of the Government:
“I declare that the Government of Poland offer to pay 8,000 Polish zlotys to Mr Kazimierz Gosławski 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 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.”
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
GOSŁAWSKI v. POLAND DECISION
GOSŁAWSKI v. POLAND DECISION