Application no. 76401/01
by Anton ŠINKAR and Others
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting on 14 February 2006 as a Chamber composed of:
Mr J. Hedigan, President,
Mr B.M. Zupančič,
Mr C. Bîrsan,
Mrs M. Tsatsa-Nikolovska,
Mr V. Zagrebelsky,
Mrs A. Gyulumyan,
Mr E. Myjer, judges,
and Mr V. Berger, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 26 March 2002,
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 applicants, Mr Anton Šinkar, Mr Drago Šinkar, Mrs Jolanda Šinkar and Mrs Marija Šinkar, are Slovenian nationals who were born in 1943, 1939, 1950 and 1950 respectively and live in Nazarje.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 1 November 1990 the river broke through its embankment, which had allegedly been partly destroyed by the company N, and caused floods which damaged the applicant’s property, including their houses.
On 25 July 1991 the first two applicants and on 2 November 1993 the second two applicants instituted civil proceedings against N in the Celje Basic Court (Temeljno sodišče v Celju) seeking compensation for the damage sustained.
On 6 September 1994 the court joined both sets of proceedings.
On 24 March 1995 the Supreme Court (Vrhovno sodišče) decided to transfer the case to the Ptuj District Court (Okrožno sodišče na Ptuju) because one of the applicants used to be employed at the Celje Basic Court.
On 16 October 1996 one of the applicants requested the court to speed up the proceedings.
Between 31 August 1994 and 7 May 2003 the applicants lodged four preliminary written submissions and/or adduced evidence.
Of the eleven hearings held between 6 September 1994 and 8 September 2003 none was adjourned at the request of the applicants. However, hearings scheduled for 12 February 2002 and 23 April 2003 were cancelled and adjured for less than one month due to the applicants’ illness.
During the proceedings the court appointed two experts.
At the last hearing the court decided to deliver a written judgment. The judgment, rejecting the applicants’ claim, was served on the applicants on 10 October 2003.
On 28 October 2003 the applicants appealed to the Maribor Higher Court (Višje sodišče v Mariboru).
On 21 September 2004 the court dismissed the applicants’ appeal.
The applicants complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention that the length of the proceedings before the domestic courts to which they were party was excessive. In substance, they also complained about the lack of an effective domestic remedy in respect of the excessive length of the proceedings (Article 13 of the Convention).
On 8 December 2005 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I, Lucijan BEMBIČ, Agent of the Republic of Slovenia, declare that the Government of Slovenia offer to pay 4,500 euros to Anton Šinkar, Drago Šinkar, Jolanda Šinkar and Marija Šinkar with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the above-mentioned case pending before the European Court of Human Rights.
This sum is to cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs and expenses, and it will be payable within three months from the date of notification of the [decision] by the Court pursuant to the Article 39 of the European Convention on Human Rights...”
On 12 December 2005 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant’s representative:
“We, Anton Šinkar, Drago Šinkar Jolanda Šinkar and Marija Šinkar, note that the Government of Slovenia are prepared to pay us the sum of 4,500 euros with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the above mentioned case pending before the European Court of Human Rights.
This sum is to cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs and expenses and will be payable within three months from the date of notification of the [decision] by the Court pursuant to the Article 39 of the European Convention on Human Rights...
We accept the proposal 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 agreement reached between the parties (Article 39 of the Convention). It is satisfied that the settlement is based on respect for human rights as defined in the Convention or its Protocols (Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention and Rule 62 § 3 of the Rules of Court).
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Vincent Berger John
ŠINKAR v. SLOVENIA DECISION
ŠINKAR v. SLOVENIA DECISION