SECOND SECTION

DECISION

Application no. 43474/02 
by Jaroslav ŽALOUDEK and Marie ŽALOUDKOVÁ 
against the Czech Republic

The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting on 5 July 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 Mr S. Naismith, Deputy Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 28 November 2002,

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 applicants,

Having deliberated, decides as follows:

THE FACTS

The applicants, Mr Jaroslav Žaloudek and Ms Marie Žaloudková, are two Czech nationals who were born in 1955 and live in Brno. They are represented before the Court by Mr J. Brož, a lawyer practising in Brno.

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

In October 1992 the applicants lodged an action for damages with the Brno Municipal Court (městský soud). On 31 October 1994 they modified their action. On 23 and 30 March 1995 respectively, the Municipal Court partly granted the applicants’ action and corrected its judgment. On 29 January 1997 the Brno Regional Court (krajský soud) partly quashed the judgment and remitted the case to the Municipal Court for further consideration. On 24 February 2000 the second applicant partly withdrew her action.

The proceedings are still pending.

COMPLAINTS

The applicants originally complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention that the length of the proceedings was excessive and, under Article 13 of the Convention, that they had no effective remedies at their disposal in respect of the delays.

THE LAW

On 18 May 2005 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicants on 2 May 2005:

We note that the Government of the Czech Republic are prepared to pay ex gratia the total sum of 12,800 euros to Jaroslav Žaloudek and Marie Žaloudková with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the above-mentioned case pending before the European Court of Human Rights.

This sum, to be converted into Czech crowns at the rate applicable at the date of settlement, is to cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs and expenses. This amount will be payable within three months from the date of notification of the judgment by the Court pursuant to Article 39 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.

We accept the proposal and waive any further claims against the Czech Republic in respect of the facts of this application. We declare that this constitutes a final resolution of the case.

This declaration is made in the context of a friendly settlement which the Government and the applicants have reached. ...

On 1 June 2005 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:

I declare that the Government of the Czech Republic offer to pay ex gratia the total sum of 12,800 euros to Jaroslav Žaloudek and Marie Žaloudková with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the above-mentioned case pending before the European Court of Human Rights.

This sum, to be converted into Czech crowns at the rate applicable at the date of settlement, is to cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs and expenses. This amount will be payable within three months from the date of notification of the judgment by the Court pursuant to Article 39 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 strike the application out of its list of cases.

S. Naismith  J.-P. Costa 
 Deputy Registrar President

ŽALOUDEK AND ŽALOUDKOVÁ v. THE CZECH REPUBLIC DECISION


ŽALOUDEK AND ŽALOUDKOVÁ v. THE CZECH REPUBLIC DECISION