Application no. 43678/02
by Ivica DOŠEN
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting on 15 September 2005 as a Chamber composed of:
Mr C.L. Rozakis, President,
Mr P. Lorenzen,
Mrs N. Vajić,
Mrs S. Botoucharova,
Mr A. Kovler,
Mrs E. Steiner,
Mr K. Hajiyev, judges,
and Mr S. Quesada, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 14 October 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 deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Ivica Došen, is a Croatian national who was born in 1955 and lives in Perušić. He is represented before the Court by Mr V. Došen and Mr M. Mrakovčić, lawyers practising in Rijeka.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 14 March 1995, the applicant, a member of the Croatian Army, was seriously injured in a traffic accident while driving a military truck. The accident was caused by another military truck.
On 18 August 1997 the applicant instituted civil proceedings in the Gospić Municipal Court (Općinski sud u Gospiću) seeking damages from the Republic of Croatia. He based his claim on Section 180 of the Civil Obligations Act.
On 6 November 1999 Parliament introduced an amendment to the Civil Obligations Act (Zakon o obveznim odnosima). It provided that all proceedings against the State concerning damages resulting from acts of members of the Croatian Army and police when performing their official duties during the Homeland War in Croatia were to be stayed.
On 14 December 1999 the Gospić Municipal Court stayed the proceedings pursuant to the above legislation.
On 14 July 2003 Parliament adopted new legislation on the liability of the State for damage caused by members of the Croatian Army and the police when acting in their official capacity during the Homeland War (Zakon o odgovornosti Republike Hrvatske za štetu uzrokovanu od pripadnika hrvatskih oružanih i redarstvenih snaga tijekom Domovinskog rata, Official Gazette no. 117/2003, of 23 July 2003; “the 2003 Act”).
The applicant’s proceedings were resumed on 26 January 2004 in line with the new legislation.
The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention that the enactment of the 1999 Amendments violated his right of access to a court.
On 9 February 2005 the applicant’s representative informed the Court that the parties had reached a settlement whereby the applicant waived any further claims against Croatia in respect of the facts of the present application.
By letter of 17 February 2005 the Government informed the Court that they accepted the proposal for a friendly settlement and that the Government would pay the applicant 6,000 euros in full and final settlement of the applicant’s claim under the Convention, costs and expenses included.
The Court takes note of the friendly settlement reached between the parties (Article 39 of the Convention) and considers that the matter has been resolved within the meaning of Article 37 § 1 (b) 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 Rule 62 § 3 of the Rules of Court). Accordingly, the application of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention to the case should be discontinued and the case 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.
Santiago Quesada Christos Rozakis
Deputy Registrar President
DOŠEN v. CROATIA DECISION
DOŠEN v. CROATIA DECISION