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Carbonara and Ventura, (24638/94) [2000] ECHR 205, 30 May 2000)

Facts: The applicants are Italian nationals who were deprived of their land by the local authorities under the "constructive-expropriation rule" that had been established by the Italian courts and that precluded restitution if works commenced in the public interest had been completed. The applicants waited several years for their land to be formally expropriated and for compensation.

Complaint: the applicants complained of a violation of their right to property guaranteed by Article 1

Holding: the ECHR found a violation of Article 1(protection of property)

Reasoning: The rule on constructive expropriations set by the Italian courts had been applied inconsistently, which resulted in unforeseeable or arbitrary outcomes and deprived litigants of effective protection of their rights. The Italian court had also unforeseeably applied the limitation period from the date of completion of the works so the applicants were denied the possibility of obtaining damages.

 

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