by Ludwik REISING
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 23 September 2008 as a Chamber composed of:
David Thór Björgvinsson,
Päivi Hirvelä, judges,
and Lawrence Early, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 16 July 2007,
Having regard to the decision to apply the pilot-judgment procedure and to adjourn its consideration of applications deriving from the same systemic problem identified in the case of Broniowski v. Poland (no. 31443/96),
Having regard to the decisions to strike the applications Wolkenberg and Others v. Poland (no. 50003/99) and Witkowska-Toboła v. Poland (no. 11208/02) out of the Court’s list of cases,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Ludwik Reising, is a Polish national who was born in 1929 and lives in Wyszków.
A. Historical background to Bug River cases before the Court
(See E.G. v. Poland, no. 50425/99, §§ 2-5).
B. Particular circumstances of case no. 32671/07
The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicant, may be summarised as follows.
On 30 November 2001 the Mayor of Gostynin (Starosta Powiatowy) issued a decision confirming that the applicant and his family had the right to compensation for the property abandoned by his father in the territories beyond the Bug River, valued at 180,000 Polish zlotys (PLN).
On 13 March 2002 the applicant asked the Mayor of Grodzisk to enable him to acquire State property in compensation for the property abandoned in the territories beyond the Bug River.
On 20 March 2002 the authorities informed him that the realisation of his claim was not possible due to the lack of State property designated for that purpose.
The applicant’s subsequent attempts to acquire State property were unsuccessful. The only possibility of enforcing the claim was to participate in competitive bids for the sale of State property. However, the State authorities throughout Poland officially acknowledged the acute shortage of State-owned land designated for the realisation of the Bug River claims.
This fact and the fact that at the material time it was the authorities’ common practice to desist from organising auctions for Bug River claimants or to openly deny them the opportunity to enforce their entitlement through the statutory bidding procedure was established by the Court in the Broniowski judgment (see Broniowski, cited above, §§ 48-61, 69-87 and 168-176).
The applicant did not inform the Court whether he had initiated proceedings under the Law on the realisation of the right to compensation for property left beyond the present borders of the Polish State (Ustawa o realizacji prawa do rekompensaty z tytułu pozostawienia nieruchomości poza obecnymi granicami państwa polskiego) (“the July 2005 Act”) in order to obtain compensation for the Bug River property.
C. Relevant domestic law and practice in respect of Bug River claims
(See E.G. v. Poland, no. 50425/99, §§ 16-17).
(See E.G. v. Poland, no. 50425/99, § 18).
(See E.G. v. Poland, no. 50425/99, §§ 19-29).
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Lawrence Early Nicolas Bratza