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Belvedere Alberghiera S.R.L. v. Italy

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image of Human Rights Case Digest

The first and most important requirement of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 is that any interference by a public authority with the peaceful enjoyment of possessions should be lawful. While a court had quashed with retrospective effect a resolution passed by municipal authorities to take over the applicant's land as being unlawful and not in the public interest, this did not result in restitution of the land, since the Italian Consiglio di Stato held that the transfer of property to the authorities had become irreversible under the rule of constructive expropriation. The requirement of lawfulness means that rules of domestic law must be sufficiently accessible, precise and foreseeable. The case-law on constructive expropriations had evolved in a way that had led to the rule being applied inconsistently, a factor which could result in unforeseeable or arbitrary outcomes and deprive litigants of effective protection of their rights and was, as a consequence, inconsistent with the requirement of lawfulness.


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