Application no. 28064/03
by Amarylida SERGIDOU
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting on 23 May 2006 as a Chamber composed of:
Mr C.L. Rozakis, President,
Mr L. Loucaides,
Mrs F. Tulkens,
Mrs E. Steiner,
Mr K. Hajiyev,
Mr D. Spielmann,
Mr S.E. Jebens, judges,
and Mr S. Nielsen, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 18 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 parties’ correspondence,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mrs Amarylida Sergidou, is a Cypriot national who was born in 1958 and lives in Nicosia. She was represented before the Court by Mr Y. Georgiades, a lawyer practising in Nicosia. The Cypriot Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr P. Clerides, Attorney-General of the Republic of Cyprus.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 30 November 1994 the applicant applied to the Urban Planning Authority of the Nicosia Municipality for planning permission in order to add a room to a property she owned. On 23 June 1995 the Urban Planning Authority informed the applicant that her application had been dismissed. On 1 September 1995 the applicant filed a hierarchical recourse against this decision with the Ministerial Committee.
On 28 July 1998 the applicant complained in writing about the delay in the examination of the recourse. On 8 September 1998 the Ministry in its reply justified the delay as being necessary for requesting the opinion of different governmental departments. Further, it noted that the delay was also due to the suspension of the operation of the Ministerial Committee pending the approval of the amendments to the relevant regulations governing its function. On 7 May 1999 the applicant was notified that the recourse had been dismissed by the Committee on 26 March 1999.
The applicant lodged an administrative recourse (no. 83/99) with the Supreme Court. On 27 September 2000 the Supreme Court annulled the Committee’s decision.
On 20 October 2000 the defendants filed an appeal (no. 3133) with the Supreme Court. On 18 February 2003 the Supreme Court reversed the first instance judgment and upheld the Committee’s decision. The court observed among other things that the rejection of the application for development of the premises was directly connected to the illegal use of the premises.
1. The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the protracted length of the domestic proceedings as a whole. She contended that the Ministry of Interior examining her hierarchical recourse was acting as a tribunal and thus the relevant period for the examination of the recourse ought to be included in the calculation of the overall length of the proceedings.
2. She further complained under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 of the Convention, taken on its own, as to the rejection of the planning permission application, and in conjunction with Article 6 § 1 about the effect of the proceedings on the peaceful enjoyment of her property.
By letter dated 22 March 2006 the Government informed the Court that the parties had reached an agreement to settle the case. Subsequently, by letter dated 3 April 2006 the Government informed the Court that the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Cyprus had approved the terms of the friendly settlement and that the Government would pay the applicant 5,900 Cyprus pounds in full and final settlement of her claim under the Convention, costs and expenses included. By letter dated 13 April 2006 the applicant confirmed the settlement and informed the Court that she wished to withdraw her application.
The Court takes note of the settlement reached between the parties and the applicant’s wish to withdraw her application. 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, the application of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention to the case should de discontinued 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;
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Søren Nielsen Christos Rozakis
SERGIDOU v. CYPRUS DECISION
SERGIDOU v. CYPRUS DECISION