Application no. 72812/01
by Michael Christopher MC DONALD and Others
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 11 October 2005 as a Chamber composed of:
Sir Nicolas Bratza, President,
Mr G. Bonello,
Mr K. Traja,
Mr S. Pavlovschi,
Mr L. Garlicki,
Ms L. Mijović,
Mr J. Šikuta, judges,
and Mr M. O’Boyle, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 11 August 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 deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicants, Mr Michael Christopher Mc Donald, Mr Declan John Rafferty and Mr Fintan Paul O’Farrell, are Irish nationals, who were born in 1957, 1960 and 1963 respectively. They normally live in Co Louth, Eire (Ireland) and are currently detained in prison in Belmarsh (the United Kingdom). They are represented before the Court by Mr J. Gereg, a lawyer practising in Banská Bystrica (Slovakia). The respondent Government are represented by Mrs A. Poláčková, their Agent.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 5 July 2001 a police court in inner London (the United Kingdom) issued a warrant for the applicants’ arrest on various charges under the Terrorism Act of 2000. On the same day the applicants were detained in Slovakia where they were subsequently placed under provisional arrest (predbežná väzba) and later remanded in custody pending extradition (vydávacia väzba) to the United Kingdom.
In the meantime the applicants had unsuccessfully applied for release, sought a copy of the request for their extradition and demanded that their case be examined by courts in a public session (verejné zasadnutie).
On 30 August 2001 the Minister of Justice issued a decree for the applicants’ extradition to the United Kingdom. The applicants were subsequently handed over to the British authorities.
On 19 March 2002 the scope of the offences for which the applicants had been extradited was extended. The applicants’ constitutional complaint about this decision and the procedure preceding it was declared inadmissible.
Relying on Article 5 §§ 1 and 4 of the Convention both taken alone and in conjunction with Article 13 of the Convention, the applicants raised various complaints concerning the deprivation of their liberty and the procedure applied and the decisions taken in its respect.
The Court observes that by letter of 4 March 2005 the applicants were invited to reply, by 1 April 2005, to the observations of the Government on the above application and to submit any claims for just satisfaction.
By registered letter of 20 May 2005 the Registrar of the Fourth Section informed the applicants that the period allowed for submission of their observations in reply and claims for just satisfaction had expired and that no extension of time had been requested. The applicants’ attention was drawn to Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention which provides that:
“The Court may at any stage of the proceedings decide to strike an application out of its list of cases where the circumstances lead to the conclusion that
(a) the applicant does not intend to pursue his application...
However, the Court shall continue the examination of the application if respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and the Protocols thereto so requires.”
On 8 June 2005 a postal delivery report (avis de réception) was received at the Court indicating that the above registered letter had been received by the applicants’ lawyer on 30 May 2005.
The Court has received no reply to the above letters.
In the light of the above, the Court considers that the applicants do not intend to pursue their application. The Court also considers that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention does not require it to continue the examination of the case. The application should therefore be struck out of the list of cases in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention.
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
MC DONALD AND OTHERS v. SLOVAKIA DECISION
MC DONALD AND OTHERS v. SLOVAKIA DECISION