Application no. 43707/02
by Radislav GVOZDEN
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 8 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 deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Radislav Gvozden, is a Croatian national who was born in 1956 and lives in Karlovac. He is represented before the Court by Mr M. Mihočević, a lawyer practising with the Nobilo-Mlinarić Law Offices in Zagreb.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 12 September 1991 and 4 February 1992 the applicant’s house in Karlovac was blown up by unknown perpetrators.
On 7 November 1997 the applicant instituted civil proceedings against the State in the Karlovac Municipal Court (Općinski sud u Karlovcu) seeking compensation of damages.
In the meantime, on 17 January 1996 Parliament introduced an amendment to the Civil Obligations Act (Zakon o obveznim odnosima) which provided that all proceedings concerning actions for damages resulting from terrorist acts were to be stayed pending the enactment of new legislation on the subject and that before the enactment of such new legislation damages for terrorist acts could not be sought. The new legislation was to be enacted within six months.
On 15 September 1998 the Karlovac Municipal Court decided to stay the applicant’s proceedings.
On 13 June 2000 the Karlovac County Court (Županijski sud u Karlovcu) dismissed the applicant’s appeal against the decision of 15 September 1998. On 28 December 2001 the Karlovac Municipal Court dismissed his request for revision on points of law as inadmissible. On 6 February the Karlovac County Court dismissed the applicant’s appeal against that decision.
The applicant’s subsequent constitutional complaint against the decision to stay his proceedings was dismissed by the Constitutional Court on 9 April 2002.
On 14 July 2003 Parliament enacted the Act on Liability for Damage Resulting from Terrorist Acts and Public Demonstrations (Zakon o odgovornosti za štetu nastalu uslijed terorističkih akata i javnih demonstracija, Official Gazette no. 117/2003 of 23 July 2003).
The applicant complained that the 1996 legislation deprived him of his right of access to a court and his right to an effective remedy contrary to Article 6 § 1 and Article 13 of the Convention.
On 31 January 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
GVOZDEN v. CROATIA DECISION
GVOZDEN v. CROATIA DECISION