SECOND SECTION

DECISION

AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF

Application no. 39754/98 
by APIS a.s. 
against Slovakia

The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section) sitting on 13 January 2000 as a Chamber composed of

Mr C.L. Rozakis, President
 Mr M. Fischbach, 
 Mr G. Bonello, 
 Mrs V. Strážnická, 
 Mr P. Lorenzen, 
 Mr A.B. Baka, 
 Mr A. Kovler, judges

and Mr E. Fribergh, Section Registrar;

Having regard to Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;

Having regard to the application introduced on 27 October 1997 by APIS a.s. against Slovakia and registered on 9 February 1998 under file no. 39754/98;

Having regard to the report provided for in Rule 49 of the Rules of Court;

Having deliberated;

Decides as follows:

 

THE FACTS

The applicant is a joint stock company with registered office in Turčianske Teplice. It is represented by Mrs B. Ambrušová, a lawyer practising in Martin.

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

On 25 July 1995 the applicant company filed an action with the Bratislava City Court (Mestský súd) claiming that it was entitled to obtain 51 per cent of the shares of another limited company. At the same time the applicant company requested the City Court to take an interim measure ordering the defendant, the Fund of National Property, not to sell the shares at issue pending the outcome of the proceedings.

On 15 August 1995 the City Court granted the request for an interim measure. On 8 July 1996 the Supreme Court (Najvyšší súd) upheld this decision.

On 30 September 1996 the City Court dismissed the defendant's request for annulment of the interim measure. The defendant appealed and on 30 May 1997 the Supreme Court quashed the interim measure without having heard the parties.

The applicant company petitioned the Constitutional Court (Ústavný súd) and alleged a violation of its right to a fair and public hearing in the proceedings leading to the Supreme Court's decision of 30 May 1997.

On 2 December 1997 the Constitutional Court rejected the petition. It noted, inter alia, that the interlocutory proceedings in question did not determine the merits of the applicant company's action.

COMPLAINT

The applicant company complains under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention that the Supreme Court quashed the interim measure which had been granted at its request without having heard the parties.

THE LAW

The applicant company complains under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention that there has been a violation of its right to a fair and public hearing in the proceedings leading to the Supreme Court's decision of 30 May 1997. Article 6 § 1 reads, insofar as relevant, as follows:

“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ... everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing ... by a[n] ... tribunal ...”

The Court notes that the alleged violation occurred in the course of interlocutory proceedings relating to an interim injunction. The decision of the Supreme Court of 30 May 1997 was only an interim order and it did not involve a decision on the merits of the case which was at that time dealt with by the Bratislava City Court. In these circumstances, the Court finds that the interlocutory proceedings complained of did not involve a “determination” of the applicant company's civil rights or obligations within the meaning of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention (see Eur. Comm. HR, No. 7990/77, Dec. 11.5.81, D.R. 24, pp. 57, 61 and also No. 17200/90, Österreichische Schutzgemeinschaft für Nichtraucher and Robert Rockenbauer v. Austria, Dec. 2.12.91, unpublished).

It follows that the application is incompatible ratione materiae with the provisions of the Convention, within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 of the Convention, and must be rejected pursuant to Article 35 § 4.

For these reasons, the Court, by a majority,

DECLARES THE APPLICATION INADMISSIBLE.

Erik Fribergh Christos Rozakis Registrar President

39754/98 - -


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