Application no. 25309/03
by Ludvík UHLÍŘ
against the Czech Republic
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting on 4 October 2005 as a Chamber composed of:
Mr J.-P. Costa, President,
Mr I. Cabral Barreto,
Mr K. Jungwiert,
Mr V. Butkevych,
Mr M. Ugrekhelidze,
Mrs A. Mularoni,
Mrs E. Fura-Sandström, judges,
and Mrs S. Dollé, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 4 August 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 regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government and the observations in reply submitted by the applicant,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Ludvík Uhlíř, is a Czech national who was born in 1930 and lives in Častolovice.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 10 December 1996 the applicant instituted proceedings for protection of his personal rights before the Rychnov nad Kněžnou District Court (okresní soud) which, on 17 December 1996, transferred the case to the Hradec Králové Regional Court (krajský soud).
On 21 January 1997 the latter invited the applicant to rectify certain shortcomings in his action. He complied on 6 February 1997. On 17 February 1997 the applicant paid court fees and clarified his action.
Between 18 February 1997 and 2 October 1997 the Regional Court and both parties to the proceedings took a number of procedural steps.
On 20 October 1997 the Regional Court adopted a procedural measure against which the applicant filed a complaint to the President of the Regional Court who considered the complaint as a submission on the merits of the case and included it in the file.
On 7 November 1997 the applicant was punished with a procedural fine of CZK 5,000 (EUR 167).
On 30 November 1998 the Prague High Court (Vrchní soud) upheld this decision.
On 22 February 1999 the same court decided to exclude a judge at the Regional Court from the examination of the applicant’s case. On 22 March 1999 the President of the Regional Court assigned the case to another judge.
On 10 April 2000 the Constitutional Court (Ústavní soud), upon the applicant’s constitutional appeal (ústavní stížnost), quashed the decisions by which the applicant had been fined, stating that they had violated his constitutional rights.
On 15 February 2001 the applicant amended his action.
A large number of procedural steps were taken between 2 March 2001 and 17 December 2002.
On 20 March 2003 the Regional Court delivered a judgment on the merits.
On 6 May 2003 it quashed its judgment, the applicant, on 2 April 2003, having withdrawn his action. At the same time, the court decided to discontinue the proceedings. The reason for which the applicant withdrew his action was the fact that the proceedings lasted an unreasonably long time.
On 6 June 2003 this decision became effective.
Invoking Article 6 § 1 of the Convention, the applicant originally complained that the proceedings lasted an unreasonably long time.
The Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I, Vít Schorm, Agent of the Government of the Czech Republic, declare that the Government of the Czech Republic offer to pay 4,000 euros to Ludvík Uhlíř 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 Czech 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.”
The Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Ludvík Uhlíř, note that the Government of the Czech Republic are prepared to pay me the sum of 4,000 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 Czech 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 the Czech Republic 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 finds no special circumstances regarding respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols which require the further examination of the application (Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention). Accordingly, the application to the case of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention should be discontinued and the case struck out of the list.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Declares to strike the application out of its list of cases.
S. Dollé J.-P.
UHLÍŘ v. THE CZECH REPUBLIC DECISION
UHLÍŘ v. THE CZECH REPUBLIC DECISION