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Acquisition of Legal Personality and Registration

Zichy Galéria v Hungary, 5 April 2005 [ECtHR]

Case no 66019/01

I.  ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION

17.  The applicant complained that the length of the proceedings had been incompatible with the “reasonable time” requirement of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention ...

19.  The period to be taken into consideration began on 29 June 1995 and ended on 28 January 2002. It thus lasted six years and seven months for three levels of jurisdiction. (...)

21.  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 applicant and the relevant authorities and what was at stake for the applicant in the dispute (see, among many other authorities, Frydlender v. France [GC], no. 30979/96, § 43, ECHR 2000-VII).

22.  The Court has frequently found violations of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention in cases raising issues similar to the one in the present application (see Frydlender, cited above).

23.  Having examined all the material submitted to it, the Court considers that the Government have not put forward any fact or argument capable of persuading it to reach a different conclusion in the present case. 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.

There has accordingly been a breach of Article 6 § 1.

II.  ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 11 OF THE CONVENTION

24.  The applicant submits that the national authorities violated its right to freedom of association, guaranteed by Article 11 of the Convention ...

 Admissibility

25.  In so far as the applicant’s complaint may be understood to concern the delay in registration, the Court considers that it refers essentially to the same facts which underlie the issue under Article 6 § 1. Therefore, to avoid taking the same elements into consideration twice, the Court finds it appropriate to examine this aspect under Article 6 § 1 alone.

26.  To the extent that this complaint is related to the very outcome of the proceedings, the Court observes that the applicant association was eventually registered on 28 January 2002. Therefore, it can no longer claim to be a victim of a violation of its rights under Article 11, as envisaged by Article 34 of the Convention.

It follows that this part of the application is manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 and must be rejected under Article 35 § 4 of the Convention.

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