Tuesday, April 11, 2006

CEDO update

Curtea Europeana a Drepturilor Omului publica aici un comunicat de presa referitor la soarta citorva cazuri ajunse la Camera Suoperioara a Curtii (Smoleanu este publicat in romaneste pe site-ul lui Radu Chritia, astfel ca am indicat un link catre el). Nu am avut timp sa judec in detaliu comunicatul, insa impresia mea este ca daunele si acordul amical intre guvernul roman si reclamanti se refera la valoarea pagubelor suferite de reclamanti prin lipsirea lor de bunurile revedincate, nu la valoarea bunurilor respective. De asemenea, mi se pare interesant ca refuzul Romaniei de a restitui proprietatile proprietarilor de drept se afla in dezbaterea Consiliului Europei. Iata insa comunicatul(pe care nu l-am mai tradus):

(Press release issued by the Registrar )


The European Court of Human Rights has today notified in writing three Grand Chamber judgments[1] in the cases of Smoleanu v. Romania (application no. 30324/96), Lindner and Hammermayer v. Romania (no. 35671/97) and Popovici and Dumitrescu v. Romania (no. 31549/96).

The cases have been struck out following friendly settlements in which a global sum has been awarded to the applicants in each case: 10,000 euros (EUR) in Smoleanu, EUR 8,600 in Lindner and Hammermayer v. Romania and EUR 13,000 in Popovici and Dumitrescu v. Romania. (The judgments are available in English and French.)

1. Principal facts

The applicants, all Romanian nationals, complained about their inability to obtain restitution of their property that had been nationalised by the Romanian State and of the domestic courts’ refusal to recognise that they had jurisdiction to determine an action for recovery of possession.

They relied on Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing) of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property) to the Convention. In Lindner and Hammermayer the applicants also submitted that their property had been confiscated because their mother had emigrated to Germany, relying on Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 (freedom of movement).

Smoleanu – The applicant Elena Smoleanu was born in 1922 and lives in Ploieşti. In 1950 the State nationalised a house converted into two flats, a garage and adjoining land which the applicant had received as a dowry from her father in 1944.

Lindner and Hammermayer – The applicants Alexandru Lindner and Cristina Hammermayer live in Frankfurt (Germany). As heirs to their mother’s estate, they brought an application for recovery of possession of property situated in Bucharest comprising three flats purchased by their mother in 1939 and confiscated by the State in 1975.

Popovici and Dumitrescu – The applicants are Irina Margaret Popovici, born in 1930, Sanda Popovici, born in 1932 and Maria Cristina Mauc Dumitrescu (a French and Romanian national) who lives in Villebon sur Yvette (France), in her capacity as the heir of Maria Margareta Dumitrescu, who died in 1997. Their application concerned a property in Predeal built by the applicants’ relative. The building was nationalised in 1965 and transferred to the Romanian Intelligence Service in 1992.

2. Procedure and composition of the Court

The applications were lodged respectively with the European Commission of Human Rights on 22 November 1995, 9 April 1997 and 5 April 1996. Smoleanu was declared admissible on 10 October 2000, Lindner and Hammermayer was declared partly admissible on 3 December 2002 and Popovici and Dumitrescu was declared partly admissible on 27 June 2000.

In its Chamber judgments of 3 December 2002 in Smoleanu and Lindner and Hammermayer and on 4 March 2003 in Popovici and Dumitrescu, the Court held that there had been a breach of Article 6 § 1 and no breach of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1. In Lindner and Hammermayer the Court declared inadmissible the complaint based on a breach of Article 2 of Protocol No. 4.

On 24 September 2003 the panel of the Grand Chamber accepted the applicants’ requests that the cases be referred to the Grand Chamber.

Two hearings were postponed on 23 June 2004 and 7 December 2005.

Judgment was given by the Grand Chamber of 17 judges, composed as follows:

Luzius Wildhaber (Swiss), President,Christos Rozakis (Greek),Jean-Paul Costa (French),Nicolas Bratza (British),Giovanni Bonello (Maltese),Corneliu Bîrsan (Romanian),Nina Vajić (Croatian)John Hedigan (Irish),Matti Pellonpää (Finnish),Margarita Tsatsa-Nikolovska (citizen of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”),Anatoli Kovler (Russian),Elisabeth Steiner (Austrian),Lech Garlicki (Polish),Javier Borrego Borrego (Spanish),Elisabet Fura-Sandström (Swedish),Khanlar Hajiyev (Azerbaijani),Renate Jaeger (German), judges,and also Lawrence Early, Deputy Grand Chamber Registrar.

3. Summary of the judgment[2]

Decision of the Court

The Court noted that, following the adoption of its Chamber judgments in the three cases, the applicants had obtained restitution of the properties in question.

The Court also noted that a new law on restitution had been enacted in Romania, namely Law No. 247 of 22 July 2005, which extended the types of compensation available and provided that compensation should be equivalent to the market value, at the time of the award, of property that could not be returned.

Moreover, the Court observed that it had already specified the nature and extent of the obligations which arose for the Romanian Government in cases which related either to delays in, or the impossibility of, obtaining a final domestic decision on claims of unlawful confiscation of property by the former communist regime (see the Court’s Grand Chamber Article 41 (just satisfaction) judgment in Brumărescu v. Romania of 23 January 2001) or to the sale by the State of such property to third parties (see the Court’s Chamber judgment in Străin and Others v. Romania of 21 July 2005). The question of the fulfilment of those obligations is currently pending before the Council of Europe’s executive body, the Committee of Ministers, which deals with the execution of the Court’s judgments.

Satisfied that the various settlements had been reached on the basis of respect for human rights, the Court struck out all three cases.


Post a Comment

<< Home