(Application no. 33915/03)
29 September 2009
This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Tarnowski v. Poland (no. 1),
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Nebojša Vučinić, judges,
Lawrence Early, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 8 September 2009,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
1. Administrative proceedings concerning the applicants’ right to the property
2. Civil proceedings for rectification of an entry in the land and mortgage register
20. On 19 November 2007 the applicants sold the above mentioned plot to the present occupier (see paragraph 32 below).
3. Civil proceedings for recovery of possession
4. Civil proceedings for compensation
5. Proceedings under the 2004 Act
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW AND PRACTICE
The relevant domestic law and practice concerning Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 is set out in the Court’s judgments in the cases of Zwierzyński v. Poland, no. 34049/96, § 63-74, ECHR 2001-VI, and Bennich-Zalewski v. Poland, no. 59857/00, judgment of 22 April 2008.
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION ON ACCOUNT OF THE UNREASONABLE LENGTH OF THE PROCEEDINGS
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ..., everyone is entitled to a ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal...”
The Court notes that at that time the applicants were represented by a lawyer and the domestic court was not obliged to advise them on how to lodge or remedy formal deficiencies of their complaints (compare and contrast Wende and Kukówka v. Poland, no. 56026/00, § 54, 10 May 2007)
1. The period to be taken into consideration
2. The parties’ submissions
3. The Court’s assessment
II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 1 OF PROTOCOL No. 1 TO THE CONVENTION
“Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law.
The preceding provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the right of a State to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest or to secure the payment of taxes or other contributions or penalties.”
1. The parties’ submissions
2. The Court’s assessment
“The first rule, set out in the first sentence of the first paragraph, is of a general nature and enunciates the principle of the peaceful enjoyment of property; the second rule, contained in the second sentence of the first paragraph, covers deprivation of possessions and subjects it to certain conditions; the third rule, stated in the second paragraph, recognises that the Contracting States are entitled, amongst other things, to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest ... The three rules are not, however, ‘distinct’ in the sense of being unconnected. The second and third rules are concerned with particular instances of interference with the right to peaceful enjoyment of property and should therefore be construed in the light of the general principle enunciated in the first rule.”
Therefore, there has been no violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1.
III. OTHER ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF THE CONVENTION
“Everyone whose rights and freedoms as set forth in [the] Convention are violated shall have an effective remedy before a national authority notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity.”
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
1. Joins the question of Mr J. Tarnowski’s victim status to the merits of his complaint under Article 6 of the Convention concerning the excessive length of the proceedings for recovery of possession and declares this applicant’s complaint admissible;
5. Holds that there has been no violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 of the Convention;
6. Holds that it is not necessary to decide on the Government’s above mentioned preliminary objection.
Done in English, and notified in writing on 29 September 2009, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Lawrence Early Nicolas Bratza Registrar President