Application no. 24793/02
by Cvetka CEROVAC
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting on 23 May 2006 as a Chamber composed of:
Mr B.M. Zupančič,
Mr L. Caflisch,
Mr C. Bîrsan,
Mrs A. Gyulumyan,
Mr E. Myjer,
Mr David Thór Björgvinsson, judges,
and Mr V. Berger, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 28 November 2000,
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, Ms Cvetka Cerovac, is a Slovenian national who was born in 1963 and lives in Lendava. She is represented before the Court by Mr L. Horvat, a lawyer practising in Murska Sobota.
The Slovenian Government (“the Government”) are represented by their Agent, Mr L. Bembič, State Attorney-General.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 22 November 1992 the applicant was injured in a car accident. The applicant took out insurance with the insurance company ZT.
On 26 August 1993 the applicant instituted civil proceedings in the Murska Sobota Basic Court, Murska Sobota Unit (Temeljno sodišče v Murski Soboti, Enota Murska Sobota) against ZT seeking 4,850,000 SIT for the damage sustained.
On 21 October 1994 the court issued a judgment and partially upheld the applicant’s claims.
The applicant appealed. ZT cross-appealed.
On 19 September 1995 the Maribor Higher Court (Višje sodišče v Mariboru) allowed both appeals, annulled the judgment of 21 October 1994 and remitted the case to the first-instance court for re-examination.
On 1 January 1995 the Murska Sobota District Court (Okržno sodišče v Murski Soboti) gained jurisdiction in the present case due to the reform of the Slovenian judicial system.
On 1 June 1998, 28 September 2001 and 12 April 2002 the applicant lodged rush notices.
On 17 November 1995, 18 December 2001 and 27 February 2002 the applicant lodged preliminary written submissions.
On 24 June 1999 and 31 August 2000 the applicant lodged a supervisory appeal alleging excessive length of the proceedings.
None of the hearings held on 19 December 2001, 15 May and 5 June 2002 was adjourned at the request of the applicant.
At the last hearing the court decided to issue a written judgment. The judgment, upholding the applicant’s claim in part, was served on the applicant on 13 August 2002.
On 21 August 2002 the applicant appealed to the Maribor Higher Court (Višje sodišče v Mariboru). ZT cross-appealed.
On 5 November 2004 the court upheld the ZT’s appeal in part and lowered the amount of damages awarded. The judgment was served on the applicant on 8 December 2004.
On 30 December 2004 the applicant lodged an appeal on points of law with the Supreme Court (Vrhovno sodišče).
The proceedings are still pending.
The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention that the length of the proceedings before the domestic courts to which she was a party was excessive. In substance, she also complained about the lack of an effective domestic remedy in respect of the excessive length of the proceedings (Article 13).
On 9 March 2006 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I, Lucijan Bembič, Agent of the Republic of Slovenia, declare that the Government of Slovenia offer to pay ex gratia 3,100 euros to Cvetka Cerovac 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, and 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...”
On 6 April 2006 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant and her representative:
“I, Cvetka Cerovec, note that the Government of Slovenia are prepared to pay me ex gratia the sum of 3,100 euros 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 and 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...
We accept the proposal and waive any further claims against Slovenia in respect of the facts of this application. We declare that this constitutes a final resolution of the case...”
The Court takes note of the agreement reached between the parties (Article 39 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 and Rule 62 § 3 of the Rules of Court).
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Vincent Berger John
CEROVAC v. SLOVENIA DECISION
CEROVAC v. SLOVENIA DECISION