Application no. 70790/01
by Mária UHLIAROVÁ
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 22 February 2005 as a Chamber composed of:
Sir Nicolas Bratza, President,
Mr J. Casadevall,
Mr M. Pellonpää,
Mr R. Maruste,
Mr K. Traja,
Ms L. Mijović,
Mr J. Šikuta, judges,
and Mr M. O'Boyle, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 1 June 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 formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Ms Mária Uhliarová is a Slovakian national, who was born in 1947 and lives in Bratislava. The respondent Government were represented by Mr P. Kresák, their Agent.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 21 September 1994 the applicant filed a civil action with the Bratislava Regional Court. She claimed the determination of her share of profits from a business. In November 1994 the applicant paid the court fees.
On 17 March 1999 the Regional Court requested the defendant to inform it on the possibility of reaching a settlement in the case.
On 6 April 1999 and on 8 October 1999 the applicant informed the court that the case had not been settled.
On 10 September 1999 the President of the Bratislava Regional Court apologised to the applicant for delays in the proceedings which were due to the heavy workload of judges.
The defendant failed to appear at the first hearing held on 29 October 1999. Further hearings in the case were held on 10 July 2000, on 4 and 25 September 2000 as well as on 25 October 2000 and on 11 December 2000.
On 18 December 2000 the applicant and the defendant settled the case and the applicant withdrew her action on 20 December 2000.
On this ground the Regional Court discontinued the proceedings on 31 January 2001.
1. The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention that her right to a hearing within a reasonable time had been violated.
2. Under Article 13 of the Convention the applicant complained that she had no effective remedy at her disposal in this respect.
3. Finally, the applicant complained under Article 14 of the Convention that by failing to deal with her case with due diligence the Regional Court had discriminated against her on the ground of her material situation.
On 7 January 2005 the Court received the following declaration signed by the Agent of the Government:
“I declare that the Government of the Slovak Republic offer to pay 4,000 (four thousand) euros to Ms Mária Uhliarová 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 Slovakian korunas at the rate applicable on the date of payment, and 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. 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.”
On 11 January 2005 the applicant submitted the following declaration to the Court:
“I note that the Government of the Slovak Republic are prepared to pay me the sum of 4,000 (four thousand) 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 Slovakian korunas at the rate applicable on the date of payment, and 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. 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.
I accept the proposal and waive any further claims against Slovakia 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 discontinue the application of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Michael O'Boyle Nicolas Bratza
UHLIAROVÁ v. SLOVAKIA DECISION
UHLIAROVÁ v. SLOVAKIA DECISION