SECOND SECTION

FINAL DECISION

Application no. 8719/02 
by Bo FRANSSON and Sonja FRANSSON 
against Sweden

The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 6 September 2005 as a Chamber composed of:

Mr J.-P. Costa, President
 Mr I. Cabral Barreto
 Mr V. Butkevych
 Mrs A. Mularoni
 Mrs E. Fura-Sandström
 Ms D. Jočienė, 
 Mr D. Popović, judges
and Mrs S. Dollé, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 14 February 2002,

Having regard to the partial decision of 16 March 2004;

Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government and the observations in reply submitted by the applicant,

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

Having deliberated, decides as follows:

THE FACTS

The applicants, Mr. Bo Fransson and Mrs. Sonja Fransson, are Swedish nationals, who were born in 1949 and 1945, respectively, and live in Gränna. The respondent Government were represented by Mr M. Falk, Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

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

The applicants own a property in Gränna. They opposed the construction of a common road which would in part run on their property. On 25 June 1987 the Real Estate Formation Authority (fastighetsbildningsmyndigheten, hereinafter “the REFA”) in Nässjö decided that the road should be constructed, as the benefits of the road outweighed the inconveniences and costs of it, and as the construction fulfilled all other requirements of the Construction Act (Anläggningslagen, 1973:1149).

The decision was upheld on appeal by the Real Estate Court (fastighetsdomstolen) of Jönköping on 6 October 1989 and by the Göta Court of Appeal (Göta hovrätt) on 1 June 1990. On 4 December 1990 the Supreme Court (Högsta domstolen) refused leave to appeal.

Subsequent to the decision to construct the new road acquiring legal force, proceedings were initiated to establish the defraying of the cost of the construction, and the compensation to be granted to the property owners concerned. On 25 June 1991 the REFA decided that, due to difficulties in establishing the amount of the damages before the construction had been completed, the compensation issue should be determined after the construction had been finalised On 18 November 1991 the Real Estate Court rejected the applicants’ appeal in this matter.

The road construction was finalised on 1 October 1993. On 29 November 1993 the REFA initiated compensation proceedings. Following evaluations by an expert appointed by the REFA and various negotiations and submissions by the parties involved, the REFA, by a decision of 29 May 1996, fixed the applicants’ compensation. Upon the applicants’ appeal, the Real Estate Court, on 8 October 1999, increased the amount of compensation. On 22 December 2000 the Court of Appeal upheld the Real Estate Court’s decision and on 29 August 2001 the Supreme Court refused leave to appeal.

COMPLAINT

The applicants complained, under Article 6 of the Convention, about the length of the proceedings in the case.

THE LAW

On 29 March 2005 the Court received the following declaration from the Swedish Government, signed by the Agent of the Government on 23 March 2005:

“... The Swedish Government (“the Government”) and the applicants have now reached the following friendly settlement on the basis of respect for human rights, as defined in the [Convention], in order to terminate the proceedings before the Court.

a)  The Government will pay, ex gratia, the sum of SEK 50,000 (fifty thousand) [approximately 5,500 euros] to the applicants. Execution of payment will take place when the Government has received the Court’s decision striking the case out of its list of cases.

b)  The applicants declare that they have no further claims on the Swedish State based on the facts of the [present] application.

This settlement is dependent upon the formal approval of the Government at a Cabinet meeting.”

The declaration was signed by the applicants on 21 April 2005.

By a decision of 14 July 2005 the Government approved the settlement reached.

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, 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.

S. Dollé J.-P. Costa 
 Registrar President

B. FRANSSON AND S. FRANSSON v. SWEDEN DECISION


B. FRANSSON AND S. FRANSSON v. SWEDEN DECISION