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Case of Boza & Others v/s Hungary

    Application No. 4956 of 15

    Decided On, 17 January 2019

    At, Supreme Court of United States

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. PRESIDENT GEORGES RAVARANI
    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE MARKO BOŠNJAK & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE PÉTER PACZOLAY

    For the Appearing Parties: ------------------------



Judgment Text

PROCEDURE

1. The case originated in applications against Hungary lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("the Convention") on the various dates indicated in the appended table.

2. Notice of the applications was given to the Hungarian Government ("the Government").

THE FACTS

3. The list of applicants and the relevant details of the applications are set out in the appended table.


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>4. The applicants complained of the excessive length of civil proceedings. In application no. 4956/15, the applicant also raised another complaint under Article 13 of the Convention.

THE LAW

I. JOINDER OF THE APPLICATIONS

5. Having regard to the similar subject matter of the applications, the Court finds it appropriate to examine them jointly in a single judgment.

II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 1 OF THE CONVENTION

6. The applicants complained principally that the length of the civil proceedings in question had been incompatible with the "reasonable time" requirement. They relied on Article 6 1 of the Convention, which reads as follows:

Article 6 1

"In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ... everyone is entitled to a ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal ..."

7. The Court reiterates that the reasonableness of the length of proceedings must be assessed in the light of the circumstances of the case and with reference to the following criteria: the complexity of the case, the conduct of the applicants and the relevant authorities and what was at stake for the applicants in the dispute (see Frydlender v. France [GC], no. 30979/96, 43, ECHR 2000-VII).

8. In the leading case of Gazs v. Hungary, no. 48322/12, 16 July 2015, the Court already found a violation in respect of issues similar to those in the present case.

9. Having examined all the material submitted to it, the Court has not found any fact or argument capable of persuading it to reach a different conclusion on the admissibility and merits of these complaints. Having regard to its case-law on the subject, the Court considers that in the instant case the length of the proceedings was excessive and failed to meet the "reasonable time" requirement.

10. These complaints are therefore admissible and disclose a breach of Article 6 1 of the Convention.

III. OTHER ALLEGED VIOLATIONS UNDER WELL-ESTABLISHED CASE-LAW

11. In application no. 4956/15, the applicant submitted another complaint which raised issues under Article 13 of the Convention, given the relevant well-established case-law of the Court (see appended table). This complaint is not manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 3 (a) of the Convention, nor is it inadmissible on any other ground. Accordingly, it must be declared admissible. Having examined all the material before it, the Court concludes that it also discloses a violation of the Convention in the light of its findings in Bartha v. Hungary (no. 33486/07, 20-21, 25 March 2014).

IV. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

12. Article 41 of the Convention provides:

"If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party."

13. Regard being had to the documents in its possession and to its case-law, the Court considers it reasonable to award the sums indicated in the appended table.

14. The Court considers it appropriate that the default interest rate should be based on the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank, to which should be added three percentage points.

FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT, UNANIMOUSLY,

1. Decides to join the applications;

2. Declares the applications admissible;

3. Holds that these applications disclose a breach of Article 6 1 of the Convention concerning the excessive length of civil proceedings;

4. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 13 of the Convention as regards the other complaint raised under well-established case-law of the Court (see appended table);

5. Holds

(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months, the amounts indicated in the appended table, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement;

(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points.

Done in English, and notified in writing on 17 January 2019, pursuant to Rule 77 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court
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