Cyprus at the European Court of Human Rights

A Critical Appraisal of the Court’s Jurisprudence on the Rights to Property and Home in the Context of Displacement


The authors grapple with questions raised by the Court’s reversal in its approach to the violations of the rights to home and property of Cypriot displaced persons resulting from the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus. In the 4th interstate application of Cyprus v. Turkey, the Court found Turkey in violation of the rights to home and property of hundreds of thousands of Greek Cypriot internally displaced persons resulting from the invasion and occupation of northern Cyprus. Such findings were also firmly established in a handful of individual applications, most prominent amongst which is the landmark case Loizidou v. Turkey. However, a couple of decades following these judgments the findings of violations were jettisoned by the inadmissibility decision in Demopoulos and others v. Turkey.

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Costas Paraskeva is an Assistant Professor of Public Law at the University of Cyprus with a PhD on ongoing reforms of the ECtHR. He has written several books on Cyprus Constitutional and Administrative Law and articles on human rights issues. He is a member of the Cyprus Bar Association.

Eleni Meleagrou is admitted as an Attorney at Law to the Maryland Bar, to the roll of solicitors, Law Society of England, and Wales, and to the Cyprus Bar Association. She specialises in human rights law in her practice and writing work.


 1 Subject Matter, Objectives

 2 Historical and Political Background

 3 The echr System/Mechanism of Protection of Human Rights

 4 Involving the echr in the Internal Displacement of Greek – Cypriots

 5 Overview of the Chapters

1The Right to Property under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1
 1 Introductory Remarks

 2 The Right to Property in the Court’s Jurisprudence
 2.1 Structure of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1

 3 “Possessions”

 4 “Legitimate Expectations”

 5 Transitional Caselaw
 5.1 Claims for Restitution That Fail to Satisfy Statutory Requirements Do Not Constitute “Legitimate Expectations”

 5.2 Hope of Survival of “Old” Property Rights

 6 Interference with the Right to Property
 6.1 The second and first Rule: Deprivation or Interference with the Substance of the Right?

 7 Lawfulness

 8 Legitimate Aim

 9 Proportionality – Fair Balance

 10 Margin of Appreciation – Article 1 of Protocol No. 1

 11 Transitional Caselaw
 11.1 Restitution in a Transitional Context

 12 Execution of the ECtHR’s Judgments
 12.1 Remedies for Violations of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 under the Court’s Case Law

2The Right to Home under Article 8
 1 Scope of Article 8

 2 Positive Obligations

 3 Compliance with Article 8.2
 3.1 Lawfulness

 3.2 Legitimate Aim

 3.3 Necessary in a Democratic Society and the Margin of Appreciation

 4 Protection of the Right to Respect for Home
 4.1 Notion of Home in the Context of Displacement – an Autonomous Concept

 4.2 Meaning of Home

 5 Right to Respect for Home and Right to Property – Interrelated Yet Distinct

 6 Margin of Appreciation: The Right to Respect for Home and the Right to the Peaceful Enjoyment of Property, a Comparative Analysis
 6.1 Connors v. the United Kingdom – Proportionality Requirements for Intimate Rights

 6.2 Ivanova and Cherkezov v. Bulgaria

 7 Remedies for Violations Article 8

3Turkish Objections to Admissibility of the Cyprus Cases
 1 The Government of Cyprus Turns to Strasbourg for Justice

 2 Individual Applications by Greek Cypriot idp s

 3 Objections Ratione Loci
 3.1 Extraterritorial Application of the echr

 3.2 Turkey’s Effective Control over Northern Cyprus

 4 Objections Ratione Temporis
 4.1 The ECtHR’s Temporal Jurisdiction – Continuing Situation

 4.2 The 6-Month Rule – Continuing Situation- Effects of the Passage of Time

 4.3 The Court’s Temporal Jurisdiction in the Cyprus Cases Alleging Continuing Violations of Rights to Home and Property

 5 Exhaustion of Domestic Remedies

 5.1 General Principles of Exhaustion of Domestic Remedies

 5.2 Inapplicability of the Rule of Exhaustion: Legal and Political Context, Special Circumstances, Administrative Practice

 5.3 Application of the Rule of Exhaustion of Domestic Remedies in the Cyprus Cases

4The Violations of the Right to Property and Home of Greek Cypriot idp s
 1 Introductory Remarks

 2 Violations of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the echr

 3 Violations of Article 8

 4 Application of the Pilot-Judgment Procedure in the Context of Displacement
 4.1 Pilot Judgment Procedure

 4.2 The Case of Xenides-Aresti: The Application of the Pilot-Judgment Procedure to the Post-Loizidou Cases

5Protection of idp s Rights to Property and Home under CoE Standards and the echr
 1 Who Are the Internally Displaced?

 2 UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and the Pinheiro Principles
 2.1 idp s – Peaceful Enjoyment of Possessions and the Right to Return under the UN and Pinheiro Principles

 3 CoE General Standards on Internal Displacement
 3.1 Recommendation CM/Rec (2006)6

 3.2 pace Resolution 1708(2010)

 3.3 pace Recommendation 1901(2010)

 3.4 Poulsen Report

 3.5 Restitution and Compensation

 3.6 The Right of idp s to Return to Their Homes

 4 echr Jurisprudence on Internal Displacement

6ipc: A Remedy for the Violation of the Rights to Respect for Home and Enjoyment of Property of the Cyprus idp s? (The Demopoulos Inadmissibility Decision)
 1 Introductory Remarks

 2 The Court’s Context – mise en scène

 3 The Application of the Principle of Exhaustion of Domestic Remedies

 4 ipc: The Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 Violation, the Law, the Remedy
 4.1 Introductory Remarks

 4.2 Legal Ownership: A Changing Concept

 4.3 … and a Change in the Violation

 4.4 Ownership – Legal Title and the Passage of Time

 4.5 Remedies under the ipc Law

 4.6 Restitution and the Passage of Time

 5 Concluding Remarks
 5.1 “No Problem therefore Arises as Regards the Impugned Discretionary Nature of the Restitutionary Power under Law no. 67/2005”

 5.2 The Right of the Cyprus idp s to Respect for Home in the Shadow of Demopoulos

7Concluding Remarks

List of Cases



This book is a resource for students, scholars, human rights lawyers and personnel at the ECtHR considering applications from European ‘trouble spots’ generating increasing numbers of internally displaced persons.
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