PRESS RELEASE (29.7.1998)
BY THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Arr Loizidou (Article 50).Eng
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS...HUMAN RIGHTS NEWS
Press release issued by the Registrar of the European Court of Human Rights
JUDGMENT IN THE CASE OF LOIZIDOU v. TURKEY
In a judgment communicated to the parties on 28 July 1998 in the case of Loizidou v. Turkey (Article 50), the European Court of Human Rights1, by fifteen votes to two, dismissed the respondent States claim that the applicant was not entitled to an award of just satisfaction under Article 50 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and awarded her specified sums in respect of pecuniary (fourteen votes to three) and non-pecuniary (fifteen votes to two) damage and legal costs and expenses (thirteen votes to four). The Court rejected the Cypriot Governments claim for costs and expenses (unanimously).
BACKGROUND TO THE CASE
The applicant, Mrs Titina Loizidou, a Cypriot national resident in Nicosia, complained that since July 1974 she had been denied access to property owned by her in Kyrenia in northern Cyprus.
In its judgment on the merits of 18 December 1996 the Court found, inter alia, that the continuous denial of the applicants access to her property was a matter which fell within Turkeys jurisdiction within the meaning of Article 1 of the Convention and was thus imputable to Turkey. It also found that there had been a breach of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 in that the applicant had effectively lost all control over, as well as all possibilities to use and enjoy, her property.
The question of the application of Article 50 was reserved. The Turkish and Cypriot Governments, the applicant and the Commissions Delegate submitted written comments, and a public hearing was held in Strasbourg on 27 November 1997.
1. The text of the Articles mentioned in this release is appended
SUMMARY OF THE JUDGMENT2
A. Entitlement to just satisfaction
In view of its earlier findings that the applicant had suffered an unjustified interference with her property rights which was imputable to Turkey, the Court considered that it should make an award under Article 50.
[See paragraphs 19-24 of the judgment and point 1 of the operative provisions.]
B. Pecuniary damage
Given the uncertainties inherent in assessing the economic loss caused to the applicant by the denial of access to her property, the Court made an assessment on an equitable basis and awarded CYP 300,000.
[See paragraphs 25-32 of the judgment and point 2 of the operative provisions.]
C. Non-pecuniary damage
The Court awarded CYP 20,000 in compensation for the feelings of anguish, helplessness and frustration caused to the applicant by the loss of the use of her property.
[See paragraphs 33-38 of the judgment and point 3 of the operative provisions.]
D. Costs and expenses
The Court awarded the applicants costs and expenses in full but did not make any award in respect of the costs and expenses claimed by the Cypriot Government.
[See paragraphs 39-46 of the judgment and points 4 and 6 of the operative provisions.]
Judgment was given by a Grand Chamber composed of seventeen judges, namely Mr R. Bernhardt (German), President, Mr F. Gflc?kl? (Turkish), Mr L.-E. Pettiti (French), Mr A. Spielmann (Luxemburger), Mr S.K. Martens (Dutch), Mrs E. Palm (Swedish), Mr R. Pekkanen (Finnish), Mr A.N. Loizou (Cypriot), Mr J.M. Morenilla (Spanish), Sir John Freeland (United Kingdom), Mr A.B. Baka (Hungarian), Mr M.A. Lopes Rocha (Portuguese), Mr L. Wildhaber (Swiss), Mr G. Mifsud Bonnici (Maltese), Mr J. Makarczyk (Polish), Mr P. Jambrek (Slovenian) and Mr U. Lohmus (Estonian), and also of Mr H. Petzold, Registrar, and Mr P.J. Mahoney, Deputy Registrar.
Judges Gflc?kl?, Pettiti, Morenilla and Mifsud Bonnici expressed dissenting opinions and these are annexed to the judgment.
The judgment will be published shortly in Reports of Judgments and Decisions 1998 (obtainable from Carl Heymanns Verlag KG, Luxemburger Stra?e 449, D-50939 Kfln). Judgments are available on the day of delivery on the Courts internet site (www.dhcour.coe.fr).
2. This summary by the registry does not bind the Court
Subject to his duty of discretion, the Registrar is responsible under the Rules of Court for replying to requests for information concerning the work of the Court, and in particular to enquiries from the press.
Registry of the European Court of Human Rights
F 67075 Strasbourg Cedex
Contact: Mr Roderick LIDDELL
Telephone: (0)3 88 41 24 92; fax: (0)3 88 41 27 91
A P P E N D I X
Articles referred to in the release
Article 50 of the Convention
If the Court finds that a decision or a measure taken by a legal authority or any other authority of a High Contracting Party is completely or partially in conflict with the obligations arising from the ... Convention, and if the internal law of the said Party allows only partial reparation to be made for the consequences of this decision or measure, the decision of the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.
Article 1 of Protocol No. 1
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.