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Roepstorff v Denmark (decision), 6 July 2000 [ECtHR]

Case no 32955/96

1. The applicant invokes Article 6 § 1 of the Convention maintaining that he did not have a fair hearing in the dispute concerning his employment. ...

He argues, which is disputed by the Government, that by relying on the settlement reached between the NNF and the FDB the national courts deprived him of his right to bring before the courts claims under his individual employment contract.

...

In the present case the Court recalls that despite the settlement reached between the NNF and the FDB concerning the applicant he instituted proceedings against the latter claiming compensation for allegedly outstanding wages. The Court notes that there was no statutory ground prohibiting the applicant from instituting proceedings against the FDB, nor did the national courts dismiss his action on the ground that the applicant lacked capacity to sue. His claims, however, were rejected as the courts found it established on the basis of the available evidence that the settlement involving his dispute with his employer was valid and binding on him. The Court also notes that the applicant had the benefit of adversarial proceedings. At the various stages of these proceedings he was able to submit his arguments and the factual and legal reasons for rejecting his claims were set out in the national courts’ judgments. The conclusions drawn from the available evidence can in no way be considered arbitrary and the Court finds no other elements which would indicate that the applicant in any other respect did not enjoy the guarantees secured by Article 6 of the Convention. His allegations do not therefore disclose any appearance of a violation of this provision.

It follows that this part of the application is manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 of the Convention.

 

2. The applicant complains furthermore of a violation of Article 11 of the Convention ...

He maintains that by the judgments of the national courts his trade union was granted a right to dispose of his individual rights irrespective of his interests and explicit wishes.

The Government maintain that the applicant did not exhaust domestic remedies in this respect in that he failed to raise in substance this particular complaint in the domestic proceedings.

The Court finds that it can leave open the question of exhaustion of domestic remedies because even assuming that this requirement has been fulfilled the complaint is inadmissible for the following reasons.

The Court does not find it established that the case concerns the applicant’s right to join or to withdraw from a trade union, but the issue raised by the applicant is rather a question of the legal relationship between the union and the applicant as a member.  The Court notes furthermore that under national law it is open to the applicant to institute proceedings against his trade union should he be of the opinion that it has acted contrary to rules governing their relationship.

The judgments of the national courts referred to in the present case do not, however, disclose any appearance of an infringement of the applicant’s rights as secured to him under Article 11 of the Convention.

It follows that this part of the application is likewise manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 of the Convention.

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