The six applicants, Marianna Genovese and Rocco, Mario, Vittorio, Antonio and Alessandro Mudò, are Italian nationals who were born in 1912, 1931, 1932, 1937, 1940 and 1943 respectively. They live in Sicily (Italy).
The authorities took possession of land belonging to the applicants with a view to expropriating it and began to carry out building work on that land. Since no expropriation order had been issued and no compensation paid to the applicants, they brought proceedings seeking damages for the unlawful occupancy of their land.
The applicants submitted that the occupancy of their land had interfered with their right to the peaceful enjoyment of their possessions, in violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property).
The Court considered that the loss of all ability to dispose of the land, combined with the impossibility of remedying the situation, amounted to de facto expropriation, in breach of the applicants’ right to peaceful enjoyment of their possessions. It accordingly held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1. The Court found that the question of the application of Article 41 (just satisfaction) was not ready for decision and therefore reserved it. (The judgment is available only in French.)
(estratto dal sito della Corte europea dei diritti dell’uomo)