THIRD SECTION

DECISION

Application no. 69837/01 
by Hinko MUROVEC 
against Slovenia

The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting  
on 13 December 2005 as a Chamber composed of:

Mr J. Hedigan, President
 Mr B.M. Zupančič
 Mrs M. Tsatsa-Nikolovska
 Mr V. Zagrebelsky
 Mr E. Myjer
 Mr David Thór Björgvinsson, 
 Ms I. Ziemele, judges
and Mr V. Berger, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 27 March 2001,

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 observations submitted by the respondent Government,

Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case.

Having deliberated, decides as follows:

THE FACTS

The applicant, Mr Hinko Murovec, is a Slovenian national who was born in 1950 and lives in Ljubljana.

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

On 1 December 1994 the applicant signed an employment contract for the post of security guard with the company S., with effect until 30 April 1995. His employment was later extended to 30 September 1995, but on 15 September 1995 the company informed the applicant that it would not re-employ him afterwards.

The applicant informed the Labour Inspectorate, a public authority responsible for supervising the observance of labour legislation, and complained about unlawful dismissal. On 28 September 1995 the Labour Inspectorate carried out an investigation and ordered the company to re-employ the applicant on a permanent basis.

As the company failed to comply, the Labour Inspectorate adopted, on 23 October 1995, a decision ordering the company S. to employ the applicant and all other workers in accordance with the applicable labour legislation. After an appeal by the company, the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs annulled the order on 8 January 1996 and ordered the Labour Inspectorate to investigate the terms of employment of all workers in the company and to adopt a new decision within 30 days.

On 16 February 1996 the applicant instituted judicial proceedings at the Ljubljana Labour and Social Court. On 14 May 1998 the Ljubljana Labour and Social Court annulled the applicant’s termination of employment and ordered the company S. to reinstate him.

The defendant company appealed and on 19 August 1999 the Higher Labour and Social Court annulled the first-instance judgment.

After a retrial, on 9 December 1999, the Ljubljana Labour and Social Court ordered the defendant company for the second time to employ the applicant.

The defendant company appealed and on 1 March 2001 the Higher Labour and Social Court annulled the first-instance judgment again, instructing the first-instance court to verify whether the applicant had properly objected to the company’s note that it would not re-employ him after 30 September 1995.

On 24 August 2001, after a hearing, the Ljubljana Labour and Social Court dismissed the applicant’s claim on the ground that he had not properly objected to the company’s note of 15 September 1995 and thus failed properly to start the proceedings.

The applicant appealed and on 23 January 2003 the Higher Labour and Social Court rejected his appeal.

The applicant then lodged an appeal on points of law with the Supreme Court, which rejected it on 16 March 2004. The Supreme Court found that the applicant had indeed not properly objected to the termination of his employment and had therefore not complied with the procedural requirement for instituting judicial proceedings.

COMPLAINTS

1. Under Article 6 of the Convention, the applicant complained about the length of the proceedings and that he had no effective remedy at his disposal for the complaint concerning the length of the proceedings, as required by Article 13 of the Convention.

2. The applicant also complained about the unfairness of the proceedings before the national courts. He claimed that he had been unlawfully dismissed from work and that the excessive delay in judicial proceedings amounted to inhuman treatment. Finally, the applicant complained that the orders of the Labour Inspectorate to reinstate him had not been enforced. He invoked Articles 3, 6, 14, 17 and 18 of the Convention.

THE LAW

On 24 October 2005 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:

“I, Lucijan BEMBIČ, Agent of the Government of Slovenia, declare that the Government of Slovenia offer to pay ex gratia 3,000 euros to Mr Hinko MUROVEC with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the above-mentioned case pending before the European Court of Human Rights.

This sum which is, to cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs and expenses, will be converted into Slovenian tolars at the rate applicable on the date of payment, free of any taxes that may be applicable. It will be payable within three months from the date of notification of the decision taken by the Court pursuant to Article 37 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. ... The payment will constitute the final resolution of the case.”

On 17 November 2005 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:

“I, Hinko MUROVEC, note that the Government of Slovenia are prepared to pay me ex gratia the sum of 3,000 euros with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the above-mentioned case pending before the European Court of Human Rights.

This sum, which is to cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs and expenses, will be converted into Slovenian tolars at the rate applicable on the date of payment, free of any taxes that may be applicable. It will be payable within three months from the date of notification of the decision taken by the Court pursuant to Article 37 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. ...

I accept the proposal and waive any further claims against Slovenia in respect of the facts giving rise to this application. I declare that this constitutes a 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.

Vincent Berger John hedigan 
 Registrar President

MUROVEC v. SLOVENIA DECISION


MUROVEC v. SLOVENIA DECISION