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Case Law 58858/00 (21/10/2008)

Type: Judgment

Authority: European Authorities: European Court of human rights

Date: 10/21/2008

Subject: The applicants are three Italian nationals. In a judgment delivered on 8 December 2005 the Court held that the interference with the applicants’ right to the peaceful enjoyment of their possessions through the indirect expropriation of their land was incompatible with the principle of legality and that there had accordingly been a violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property). It also held that the question of the application of Article 41 (just satisfaction) was not ready for decision. In the judgment delivered today the Court varied its case-law on application of Article 41 in the case of indirect expropriation. The method used hitherto was to compensate for losses that would not be covered by payment of a sum obtained by adding the market value of the property to the cost of not deriving earnings from the property, by automatically assessing those losses as the gross value of the works carried out by the State plus the value of the land in today’s prices. However, the Court considered that this method of compensation was not justified and could lead to unequal treatment between applicants, depending on the nature of the public works carried out by the public authorities, which was not necessarily linked to the potential of the land in its original state. In order to assess the loss sustained by the applicants, it therefore decided that the date on which they had established with legal certainty that they had lost the right of ownership over the property concerned should be taken into consideration. The total market value of the property fixed on that date by the national courts was then to be adjusted for inflation and increased by the amount of interest due on the date of the judgment’s adoption by the Court. The sum paid to applicants by the authorities of the country concerned was to be deducted from the resulting amount. In the present case, the sum to be awarded for pecuniary damage amounted to EUR 1,803,374 for the three applicants jointly.

Parties: Guiso-Gallisay c/ Italia

Classification: Freedoms - Art. 17 Right to property