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1. The first thing you need to realise is that the European Court of Human Rights don't rehear a case which has been brought before a National Court. So, it is not possible to take this current case you have brought, away from the Portuguese judge and present it to the ECHR. Instead, separate and new proceedings are issued dealing with claims under the articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, alleging that there has been a breach of several of its provisions.
2. In your situation, you could currently, issue a claim before the European Court of Human Rights alleging a breach of Article 6 and Article 13 of the ECHR, alleging that there has been excessive delay in the judge reaching a decision and that you have been denied an effective remedy as a result. Be aware that you might have additional claims for breach of the ECHR, depending upon the facts of your case, which a lawyer would be better able to advise upon, having read the case papers. However, the European Court cannot take hold of your current case before the Portuguese courts and give a judgment upon what has been presented before the Portuguese courts. They cannot step in and give judgment or remedy the mess the Portuguese judge has made of proceedings.
3. It is also a requirement for the Admissibility of cases before the European Court of Human Rights that you must have exhausted domestic remedies in Portugal before you take proceedings before the ECHR. So, you should speak to a Portuguese lawyer and see if there is some way you can compel the Portuguese courts to give a decision before you start proceedings before the ECHR. However, if no decision can be given, other than by the judge that heard the case, then you will be taken to have exhausted domestic remedies and your case will be admissible to the ECHR.
4. If you have any other queries relating to the situation, I will be happy to provide additional guidelines for you. However, given that four years have elapsed without a decision, I would suggest you seek to do something about the matter. Given the circumstances, it is likely that the judge has lost papers and his notes relating to the case, so is not in a position to give a judgment as he lacks materials to do so. Accordingly, it might be a mercy to all persons, including the judge, if something were done to take the case away from him and have it dealt with by some other judge or tribunal.
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6. Withdrawing your legal action at this juncture would be highly foolish. The ECHR would not be able to help you if you adopt this course. Essentially, you should seek to take legal proceedings as you said before the ECHR who will compel the Portuguese court to give a decision. However, you can ask that the matter be handled by a different judge and seek that the ECHR give directions that this course is adopted.
7. However, if there is not a live set of legal proceedings in Portugal, the ECHR will probably only give you a paltry sum in money damages, like for instance happened with Mikhail Khodorkovsky in his Article 6 case against Russia. You need to have a set of legal proceedings going in Portugal which the ECHR can direct should be dealt with in a proper manner, as ultimately, your primary remedy will come from the Portuguese courts and not from the ECHR, which only has an advisory and human rights role.
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