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Broniowski v Poland, (application no. 31443/96), 22 June 2004

Facts: The applicant’s grandmother was repatriated after Poland’s eastern border had been redrawn along the Bug River after World War II. Poland undertook to compensate those who repatriated and had to abandon their properties. However, since the entry into force of the Local Government Act of 10 May 1990, local administration, while still obliged to meet these compensation claims, has had insufficient land to meet the various demands. The applicant, entitled to compensatory property, has not yet received compensation for the property abandoned by his grandmother.

Complaint: breach of Article 1 of the Convention because the applicant’s entitlement to compensation for property abandoned in the territories beyond the Bug River had not been satisfied.

Holding: The Court found a violation of the applicant’s right to property, under Article 1 of the Convention. Through appropriate legal measures and administrative practices, Poland must secure the implementation of the property right in question in respect of the remaining

Reasoning: Considering the impact on the applicant over many years of the Bug River legislative scheme as operated in practice, the Court concluded that, as an individual, the applicant had had to bear a disproportionate and excessive burden which could not be justified in terms of the legitimate general community interest pursued by the authorities. Accordingly, there had been a violation of Article 1.

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