In the following cases the Court has reached the same findings as in similar cases raising the same issues under the Convention:
Violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1
Gautieri and Others v. Italy (no. 68610/01) Violation of Article 6 § 1 (length)
In these two cases the applicants all owned land that was occupied by the authorities with a view to expropriation. Construction was begun on the land. Since there had been no expropriation order or compensation, the applicants brought proceedings claiming damages for unlawful occupation of their land.
The applicants alleged that the occupation of their land had interfered with their right to the peaceful enjoyment of their possessions, as guaranteed by Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property). In the case of Gautieri and Others, the applicants further complained in particular of the length of the proceedings in question.
The Court considered that the loss of all ability to dispose of the land in question, combined with the impossibility of obtaining a remedy of the situation, amounted to de facto expropriation which was incompatible with the applicants’ right to the peaceful enjoyment of their possessions. It therefore held unanimously in both cases that there had been a violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1.
In Gautieri and Others, the Court observed that the proceedings at issue had lasted over 17 years for three levels of jurisdiction. Having regard to the circumstances of the case, it considered that such a length of time was excessive and failed to meet the “reasonable-time” requirement. Accordingly, it held unanimously that there had been a violation of Article 6 § 1.
In both these cases the Court considered that the question of the application of Article 41 (just satisfaction) was not ready for decision and reserved it accordingly. In Gautieri and Others, it awarded the applicants EUR 22,000 for non-pecuniary damage and EUR 1,500 for costs and expenses. (The judgments are available only in French.)
(estratto dal sito della Corte europea dei diritti dell’uomo)