G.L. v. Italy

in Human Rights Case Digest
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An interference with property under the second paragraph of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 must strike a “fair balance” between the demands of the general interest and the requirements of the protection of the individual's fundamental rights. There must be a reasonable relationship of proportionality between the means employed and the aim pursued. In determining whether this requirement is met, the State enjoys a wide margin of appreciation with regard both to choosing the means of enforcement and to ascertaining whether the consequences of enforcement are justified in the general interest for the purpose of achieving the object of the law in question. The Italian system of staggering of the enforcement of court orders of evictions is not in itself open to criticism, having regard in particular to the margin of appreciation permitted. However, such a system carries with it the risk of imposing on landlords an excessive burden in terms of their ability to dispose of their property and must accordingly provide certain procedural safeguards so as to ensure that the operation of the system and its impact on a landlord's property rights are neither arbitrary nor unforeseeable. In this case, the landlord had to wait six years and could not apply to a judge for either enforcement or compensation for the delay. Moreover, the right to a court also protects the implementation of final, binding judicial decisions, which cannot remain inoperative to the detriment of one party. Accordingly, the execution of a judicial decision cannot be unduly delayed. While States may, in exceptional circumstances and by availing themselves of their margin of appreciation to control the use of property, intervene in proceedings for the enforcement of a judicial decision, the consequence of such intervention should not be that execution is prevented, invalidated or unduly delayed or, still less, that the substance of the decision is undermined.

G.L. v. Italy

in Human Rights Case Digest

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