15. 12. 2009
A complainant addressed the Ministry of Justice on July 14, 2008, with an application for the provision of adequate satisfaction in connection with delays that had occurred in proceedings conducted at the Municipal Court in Brno. The Ministry responded with a letter dated July 31, 2008, in which it informed the complainant that it would request the files from the court in order to undertake the necessary inquiry and the complainant would be informed of the standpoint of the Ministry on her application. However, the Ministry has neither sent her the standpoint to date nor responded to the reminder from her attorney-at-law of January 19, 2009, and March 5, 2009.
Although Act No. 82/1998 Coll. does not stipulate deadlines for the Ministry for processing such applications and the Ministry does not issue a standpoint in administrative proceedings, the Defender holds the view that the Ministry of Justice should, as a rule, issue its standpoint within six months from delivery of an application. If it is unable to observe the aforementioned deadline due to a high number of applications to be processed or other objective grounds, it is necessary that it advise the applicant of this fact. In this respect, Section 35 of the cited Act should be pointed out, according to which the period of limitation shall not run from the date of lodging a claim to the termination of the preliminary hearing (at the Ministry of Justice in the case concerned), but for a maximum of six months. Given that the Ministry had failed to advise the applicant’s representative of its standpoint even within one year from the submission of the application and had not responded to reminders, the Defender stated that the steps of the Ministry were not in accordance with the principles of good administration.
The Defender called on the head of the Indemnification Division at the Ministry of Justice to explain the reasons for the delay in processing the relevant application and justification of why the Ministry of Justice had failed to respond to the reminders from the complainant’s attorney-at-law. He also requested provision of up-to-date information on the existing situation at the Compensation Department, in particular the number of applications received for the provision of satisfaction for non-proprietary damage caused by the undue length of proceedings and the personnel-related situation at the Department.