In both these cases, the applicants were all owners of plots of land which were occupied by the authorities with a view to their expropriation and on which they began construction work. In the absence of a formal expropriation procedure and compensation, the applicants brought legal proceedings in order to obtain damages for the unlawful occupation of their land.
The applicants alleged that the occupation of their land had infringed their right to the peaceful enjoyment of their possessions, guaranteed by Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property). In addition, in the case of La Rosa and Alba v. Italy (No. 5), the applicants also alleged that they had not had a fair hearing, in violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing).
The Court considered that the loss of all ability to dispose of the land in issue, taken together with the impossibility of remedying the situation complained of, amounted to a de facto expropriation which was incompatible with the applicants’ right to peaceful enjoyment of their possessions. It therefore concluded, unanimously in each of these cases, that there had been a violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1. It also held that it was not necessary to examine separately the complaint under Article 6 § 1 in the case of La Rosa and Alba v. Italy (No. 5). The Court ruled that the question of the application of Article 41 (just satisfaction) was not ready for decision and accordingly reserved it in both these cases.
(estratto dal sito della Corte europea dei diritti dell’uomo)