Application no. 72059/01
by Drahomíra LAŠTUVKOVÁ and Jan MRÁZEK
against the Czech Republic
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting on 19 October 2004 as a Chamber composed of:
Mr J.-P. Costa, President,
Mr A.B. Baka,
Mr L. Loucaides,
Mr C. Bîrsan,
Mr K. Jungwiert,
Mrs W. Thomassen,
Mrs A. Mularoni, judges,
and Mr T.L. Early, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 20 November 2000,
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 regard to the partial decision of 17 December 2002,
Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government and the observations in reply submitted by the applicants,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicants, Mrs Drahomíra Laštuvková and Mr Jan Mrázek, are Czech nationals, born in 1928 and 1934 respectively and live in Prague. They were represented before the Court by Mr S. Balík, a lawyer practising in Prague. The respondent Government were represented by their Agent, Mr V. A. Schorm.
A. The circumstances of the case
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
In 1953 a house and a plot of land owned by the applicants' parents were expropriated for the purposes of the enlargement of Charles University. After Charles University had refused the applicant's request of 25 June 1991 under the Extra-judicial Rehabilitation Act for an agreement on the return of the property to them, they lodged a restitution action with the Prague 1 District Court (okresní soud) for recovery of the property on 31 March 1992.
The case was dealt with by the District Court between October 1992 and June 1994, by the Prague Municipal Court between September 1994 and August 1995, by the Supreme Court between November 1995 and February 2000 and by the Constitutional Court between June 1998 and November 2000.
The applicants originally complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention that the length of the proceedings was excessive.
On 30 April 2004 the Court received the following declaration signed by the legal representatives of the parties:
[Translation by the Government]
“The Government of the Czech Republic, represented before the European Court of Human Rights by its Agent Mr. Vít Alexander Schorm (“the Government”),
Mrs. Drahomíra Laštuvková and Mr. Jan Mrázek (“the Applicants”), represented by their counsel Mr. Stanislav Balík,
1. they have reached a friendly settlement of case No. 72059/01 – Drahomíra Laštuvková and Jan Mrázek v. the Czech Republic (“the Application”);
2. the Government will pay to each Applicant an amount of 90,000 Czech crowns (in words “ninety thousand Czech crowns”) [about 2,864 euros], within three months from the date of the notification of the judgement delivered by the European Court of Human Rights (“the Court”) pursuant to Article 39 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”), to a bank account that the Applicants will specify to the Ministry of Justice without undue delay upon request;
3. the above-mentioned sum is to cover any damage that might have been caused to the Applicants by the Czech Republic through its authorities, including legal expenses;
4. if the above-mentioned amount is not paid within the designated time of three months from the date of the notification of the Court's judgment, then from the expiry date, a simple interest on the amount shall be paid at an annual rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank plus three percentage points;
5. the Applicants waive any further claims against the Czech Republic based on the facts of the proceedings before the Court on the basis of the Application, and regard this friendly settlement as the final settlement of the Application;
6. neither the Government nor the Applicants will request that the case be referred to the Court's Grand Chamber under Article 43 § 1 of the Convention after the delivery of the Court's judgement under Article 39 of the Convention;
7. the friendly settlement of the Application according to this declaration may be subject to approval by the Government at its ministerial meeting; the Applicants take due note of this reservation.”
The Government have informed the Court of the decision of the Ministry of Justice not to have recourse to point 7 of the above declaration.
The Court takes note of the friendly settlement reached between the parties. It finds no special circumstances regarding respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols which require the further examination of the application (Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention). Accordingly, the application to the case of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention should be discontinued and the case struck out of the list.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the remainder of the application out of its list of cases.
T.L. Early J.-P. Costa
Deputy Registrar President
LAŠTUVKOVÁ AND MRÁZEK v. THE CZECH REPUBLIC DECISION
LAŠTUVKOVÁ AND MRÁZEK v. THE CZECH REPUBLIC DECISION