Application no. 43730/98
by Emil SPIŠÁK
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting on 7 December 2000 as a Chamber composed of
Mr A.B. Baka,
Mr G. Bonello,
Mrs V. Strážnická,
Mr P. Lorenzen,
Mr M. Fischbach,
Mr A. Kovler, judges,
and Mr E. Fribergh, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application introduced with the European Commission of Human Rights on 17 June 1998 and registered on 5 October 1998,
Having regard to Article 5 § 2 of Protocol No. 11 to the Convention, by which the competence to examine the application was transferred to the Court,
Having regard to the written submissions of the parties,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant is a Slovak national, born in 1956 and living in Košice. He is represented before the Court by Mr J. Havlát, a lawyer practising in Bratislava. The respondent Government are represented by their Agent, Mr P. Vršanský.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
The Slovak National Party (Slovenská národná strana) listed the applicant as one of its candidates for election to the National Council (Národná rada) of the Slovak Republic in the 1994 parliamentary election. The applicant received 12.7 per cent of the preferential votes cast whereby he came second on his party’s list in the Eastern Slovakia electoral region. The candidate who was placed first became a Member of Parliament. The other candidates on the list, including the applicant, became substitutes in accordance with Section 43 (7) of the Election Act. On 12 December 1996 the Member of Parliament elected for the Slovak National Party in the Eastern Slovakia electoral region died.
On 28 December 1996 the applicant informed the president of the National Council that in accordance with Section 48 (2) of the Election Act he was entitled to replace the deceased member. He received no reply.
On 5 February 1997 the National Council adopted resolution No. 530 in which it noted that the Slovak National Party filled the vacant office by another person. The latter had received 4.3 per cent of the preferential votes cast in favour of the Slovak National Party in the Eastern Slovakia electoral region in the 1994 election.
On 16 June 1997 the applicant lodged a petition with the Constitutional Court (Ústavný súd). He alleged a violation of his constitutional rights in that he had been prevented from replacing the deceased member.
On 7 January 1998 the Constitutional Court found that by adopting resolution No. 530 of 5 February 1997 the National Council had violated the applicant’s right under Article 30 (4) in conjunction with Articles 1 and 2 (2) of the Constitution. In the Constitutional Court’s view, by failing to appoint the applicant a Member of Parliament the National Council acted contrary to Section 48 (2) in fine taken in conjunction with Section 42 (4) of the Election Act. The National Council thereby discriminated against the applicant and infringed the principle of the rule of law. The Constitutional Court further held that it was for the National Council to provide redress to the applicant on the basis of its finding.
On 5 February 1998 the National Council dismissed a draft resolution proposing to quash the relevant parts of resolution No. 530 of 5 February 1997.
Following a new parliamentary election held in September 1998 the term of office of the members of the National Council elected in 1994 expired.
1. The applicant complained that he was prevented from exercising the office of a member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic and that he had no effective remedy at his disposal in this respect. He alleged a violation of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1, both taken alone and in conjunction with Article 13 of the Convention.
2. The applicant further complained under Article 14 of the Convention that he was discriminated against in the enjoyment of his right under Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 in that he was not appointed a member of the National Council.
3. Finally, the applicant complained that by adopting resolution No. 530 of 5 February 1997 and by refusing to quash it after the delivery of the Constitutional Court’s decision of 8 January 1998, the National Council violated Article 1 of the Convention.
On 13 July 2000 the Government informed the Court that the parties had reached an agreement for a friendly settlement of the case on 16 May 2000. The following are the substantial terms of the agreement:
“1. The National Council of the Slovak Republic shall quash its decision No. 530 of 5 February 1997 and the Government shall issue a press release expressing their regret about the case.
2. The Slovak Republic shall pay the applicant 1,110,436 Slovak korunas (SKK) as compensation for lost earnings and other pecuniary damage.
3. The Slovak Republic shall pay the applicant SKK 1 as compensation for loss of opportunities and non-pecuniary damage.
4. The Slovak Republic shall reimburse the applicant’s legal costs amounting to SKK 49,754.90.
5. After the above provisions have been complied with the applicant shall withdraw his application No. 43730/98 and waive any further claims in respect of the Slovak Republic related to the facts of the application.”
On 13 July 2000 the Government informed the Court that the sums set out in the agreement had been paid to the applicant.
On 27 October 2000 the Government informed the Court that on 22 September 2000 the National Council of the Slovak Republic adopted resolution No. 1045 by which it quashed resolution No. 530 of 5 February 1997 and expressed its regret that it had not complied with the Constitutional Court’s finding of 7 January 1998 during the previous term.
On 31 October 2000 the applicant informed the Court that the case had been resolved and that he wished to withdraw the application.
The Court takes note that following the agreement reached between the parties the case has been resolved and that the applicant does not wish to pursue the application (Article 37 § 1 (a) and (b) of the Convention). It is satisfied that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention or its Protocols does not require the examination of the application to be continued (Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention).
Accordingly, the case should be struck out of the list.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Erik Fribergh Christos Rozakis
SPIŠÁK v. SLOVAKIA DECISION
SPIŠÁK v. SLOVAKIA DECISION