Greece encouraged to accelerate reforms, in line with the European Court of Human Rights’ judgments
Strasbourg, 07.06.2006 - The Committee of Ministers encouraged yesterday the Greek authorities to complete the national forest and land register in order to comply with the European Court of Human Rights’ judgments of 2003 and 2004 relating to violations of property rights (cases of Papastavrou; Katsoulis).
The Committee also encouraged the rapid development of a domestic remedy for compensation of bona fide possessors of land affected by reafforestation decisions and involved in lengthy litigation pertaining to their ownership of forests. The Committee noted in this respect that the European Court’s case law had been granted direct effect in Greek law in similar cases.
The above-mentioned judgments highlighted the problems inherent in the present lack of a functioning, up-to-date national forest register and found violations of the applicants’ property rights due to reafforestations by the respondent State of plots of land considered by it as its own but possessed bona fide by the applicants.
The second case also relates to the applicants’ right to a fair trial due to excessively lengthy proceedings before the Supreme Administrative Court.
Under the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Court’s judgments require the adoption by the respondent States, under the Committee supervision, of all measures necessary to grant the applicants appropriate redress and to prevent new similar violations in the future (http://www.coe.int/T/E/Human_Rights/execution/).
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