27 mai 2012

ECtHR: fixing structutal problems annuls previous violations of human rights, Altunay, 42936/07

Mr Mehmet Altunay acquired land of 603 m2 for agricultural purposes in Turkey in 1999 (§ 3). However in 2007 the Turkish Court of Cassation annulled the title to property: the administration made a mistake in recognising him this property, since it was a State forest. He didn’t receive any compensation and filed an application to the European Court of Human Rights. In 2009 the Turkish Court of Cassation amended its case law in recognising the right to compensation.

Mr Altunay argued that the fact of violation shall be determined at the time the respective facts took place, i.e. as it was in 2007. The Strasbourg judges dismissed the action in explaining that fixing a structural problem annuls all previous violations of human rights (§ 33), and proposed him to apply for compensation at home. The ECtHR reasoning is very practical: too many applications.

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