Execution of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights
Antonetto against Italy
(Application No. 15918/89, judgment of 20 July 2000, final on 20 October 2000)
The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Article 46, paragraph 2, of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which provides that the Committee supervises the execution of final judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter “the Convention” and “the Court”);
Having regard to the judgment transmitted by the Court to the Committee once it had become final;
Recalling that the violations of the Convention found by the Court in this case concern a breach of the applicant’s right to a fair trial and of her right to the peaceful enjoyment of her possessions due to the failure to enforce of a judicial decision ordering the demolition of a block of residential flats built unlawfully on the plot next to her property (violations of Article 6, paragraph 1 and of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1) (see details in Appendix);
Having invited the government of the respondent state to inform the Committee of the measures taken to comply with its obligation under Article 46, paragraph 1, of the Convention to abide by the judgment;
Having examined the information provided by the government in accordance with the Committee’s Rules for the application of Article 46, paragraph 2, of the Convention;
Having satisfied itself that the respondent state paid the just satisfaction provided in the judgment to the Associazione culturale italiana (A.C.I.), the heir to the applicant who had died in 1993, which expressed the wish to pursue proceedings before the Court (see details in Appendix);
Recalling that a finding of violations by the Court requires, over and above the payment of just satisfaction awarded by the Court in its judgments, the adoption by the respondent state, where appropriate:
- of individual measures to put an end to the violations and erase their consequences so as to achieve as far as possible restitutio in integrum; and
- of general measures, preventing similar violations;
DECLARES, having examined the measures taken by the respondent state (see Appendix), that it has exercised its functions under Article 46, paragraph 2, of the Convention in this case and
DECIDES to close the examination of this case.
Appendix to Resolution CM/ResDH(2009)86
Information about the measures to comply with the judgment in the case of
Antonetto against Italy
Introductory case summary
The case concerns the breach of the applicant’s right to a fair trial due to the failure by Italian administrative authorities, in particular the municipality of Turin, to enforce a judgment of the Council of State of 17/10/1967 ordering the total or partial demolition of a block of residential flats built unlawfully next to the applicant’s house (violation of Article 6, paragraph 1). The municipality refused to comply with the judgment for more than 14 years after the date of recognition by Italy of the Court’s competence to examine individual petitions (1 August 1973) and despite five enforcement orders ordering demolition.
The case also concerns a breach of the applicant’s right to the peaceful enjoyment of her possessions due to the administrative authorities’ refusal, without any legal basis (until 1988 when Law No. 68/1988, regularising illegal buildings, entered into force) to enforce final judicial decisions ordering them to proceed to the demolition insofar as the building at issue robbed her house of natural light and blocked her views (violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1).
I. Payment of just satisfaction and individual measures
a) Details of just satisfaction
Costs and expenses
100 000 000 ITL
15 000 000 ITL
24 352 000 ITL
139 352 000 ITL
Paid on 07/05/2001 (the applicant’s heir waived payment of interest)
b) Individual measures
The European Court awarded just satisfaction for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage to the Associazione Culturale italiana (A.C.I.), heir of the applicant who had died in 1993.
II. General measures
1) Compensation: Italian case-law, applied in accordance with the general rules of the Civil Code (Article 2043), has progressively affirmed that reparation by means of compensation is the basic guarantee in situations where the damage sustained involves an interest protected under the Constitution. A case in point is the enforcement of court orders (Article 24 of the Constitution), the possibility of litigation extending to the implementation of court decisions in conformity with the case-law of the European Court. Since 1999, the Court of Cassation has explicitly recognised the right to compensation in cases of illegal administrative acts (Court of Cassation judgment 500/99). In 2000, Law No. 205 codified this principle which is applicable in cases of unreasonable delay in enforcing judicial decisions.
2) Public officials’ liability: The above case-law development on state liability strengthens the provisions already in force at the material time concerning the liability of civil servants. Under the terms of Article 328 of the Italian Criminal Code, responsible officials may be prosecuted if they refuse to accomplish the official acts they are in charge of enforcing.
3) Publication: The judgment has been published in the database of the Court of Cassation on the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights (www.italgiure.giustizia.it). This website is widely used by all those who practice law in Italy: civil servants, lawyers, prosecutors and judges alike. The judgment has also been dealt with in seminars.
III. Conclusions of the respondent state
The government considers that no individual measure proves necessary in this case, apart from the payment of the just satisfaction awarded by the European Court, that the measures adopted will prevent other similar violations and that Italy has thus complied with its obligations under Article 46, paragraph 1, of the Convention.
1 Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 30 September 2009 at the 1065th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies