AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF

                      Application No. 11796/85
                      by W.
                      against Austria


        The European Commission of Human Rights sitting in private
on 10 July 1989, the following members being present:

              MM. C.A. NØRGAARD, President
                  J.A. FROWEIN
                  S. TRECHSEL
                  F. ERMACORA
                  G. SPERDUTI
                  E. BUSUTTIL
                  G. JÖRUNDSSON
                  A.S. GÖZÜBÜYÜK
                  A. WEITZEL
                  J.-C. SOYER
                  H.G. SCHERMERS
                  H. DANELIUS
                  G. BATLINER
                  J. CAMPINOS
                  H. VANDENBERGHE
             Mrs.  G.H. THUNE
             Sir  Basil HALL
             MM.  F. MARTINEZ
                  C.L. ROZAKIS
             Mrs.  J. LIDDY
             Mr.  L. LOUCAIDES

             Mr.  H.C. KRÜGER, Secretary to the Commission

        Having regard to Article 25 of the Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;

        Having regard to the application introduced on 12 August 1985
by W. against Austria and registered on 8 October 1985 under file No.
11796/85;

        Having regard to:

      - the report provided for in Rule 40 of the Rules of
        Procedure of the Commission;

      - the Commission's decision of 29 February 1988 to bring the
        application to the notice of the respondent Government and
        invite them to submit written observations on its
        admissibility and merits;

      - the observations submitted by the respondent Government on
        26 May 1988 and the observations in reply submitted by the
        applicants on 15 July 1988;

        Having deliberated;

        Decides as follows:

THE FACTS

        The facts of the case as submitted by the parties may
be summarised as follows:

        The applicants, Austrian citizens born in 1935 and 1936
respectively who live on their farm in Hartkirchen, Upper Austria,
are represented by Mr.  Peter Wiesauer, a lawyer practising in Linz.
They complain of agricultural land consolidation proceedings
(Flurbereinigungsverfahren) under the Upper Austrian Agricultural Land
Planning Act (Flurverfassungs-Landesgesetz).

        The proceedings were instituted by the Agricultural District
Authority (Agrarbezirksbehörde) of Linz on 22 July 1975.  The
valuation of the lands included in the consolidation proceedings was
fixed by a decision of 13 August 1976 against which the applicants did
not appeal.

        On 13 October 1978 the authority ordered the provisional
transfer (vorläufige Übernahme) according to the draft consolidation
plan (Neueinteilungsplan) to which the applicants had declared their
consent.  The applicants were thereby required to transfer five
parcels comprising an area of 25,206 m² of agricultural land to other
parties.  Pursuant to Section 22 of the Provincial Act the latter
acquired conditional property rights subject to confirmation of the
attribution of these parcels in the final consolidation plan
(Flurbereinigungsplan).  The applicants acquired corresponding rights
in their compensation parcels (Abfertigungsgrundstücke).  They did not
appeal against this measure.

        On 1 September 1978 the municipal council (Gemeinderat) of
Hartkirchen adopted an area zoning plan (Flächenwidmungsplan) according
to which the applicants' former parcels continued to be designated as
agricultural land although certain adjoining parcels had been
redesignated as building plots (Bauland) in 1976 and 1978.  The plan
was approved by the Provincial Government (Landesregierung) of Upper
Austria on 10 October 1978.  Upon request of the new owners, the
municipal council subsequently decided on 16 November 1979 to
amend the above zoning plan and to also designate the five parcels
which had earlier belonged to the applicants as building plots.  The
amendment of the zoning plan was approved by the Regional Government
on 16 April 1980 and became final on 6 May 1980.  The applicants state
that contrary to the law they were in no way associated to these
proceedings and that they learnt thereof only when construction work
started on the land, the new owners having divided the parcels and
having sold certain plots.

        The Government submit that, in view of the redesignation of
the adjoining land, the applicants must have been aware since 1976
that a redesignation of their former land was likely to occur as
well.  The applicants contest this.

        On 10 August 1982 the applicants applied to the Agricultural
District Authority to exclude the parcels in question from the
consolidation proceedings and return them to the applicants.  They
claimed that these parcels were lands of special value (Flächen mit
besonderem Wert) which according to the applicable legislation
(Section 19 para. 10 of the Provincial Act) must in principle be left
to the previous owners.  In the alternative the applicants requested
the attribution of equivalent compensation parcels designated as
building plots, and in the further alternative the adjudication of
monetary compensation (Geldwertentschädigung).  At the same time they
demanded compensation (Schadenersatz) for the loss of interest
(Zinsverlust) allegedly suffered by the fact that they had not
themselves been able to sell the parcels in question as building
plots.  On the basis of a square metre price of AS 400 and an interest
rate of 10% they provisionally claimed a loss of AS 1,600,000 in
respect of two years since the change of designation.

        The Agricultural District Authority refused to deal with the
application.  In a letter of 17 January 1983 it referred to Section 20
para. 6 of the Provincial Act according to which any compensation
claims can be raised only within a period of six months after the
consolidation plan has become final.  The authority observed that in
the present case the consolidation plan had not yet been issued
although it was shortly to be expected.

        In the absence of a decision within the statutory time limit,
the applicants on 8 August 1983 requested a transfer of jurisdiction
(Devolution) to the higher authority, i.e. the Provincial Land Reform
Board (Landesagrarsenat), pursuant to Section 73 of the Code of General
Administrative Procedure (Allgemeines Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz).
The Provincial Board took its decision on 17 November 1983.  Insofar as
the applicants had asked for a decision excluding their former parcels
from the consolidation area, the Board assumed jurisdiction, but
rejected the applicants' claim as unjustified.  The Board did not
allow a transfer of jurisdiction as regards the applicants' further
claims.  It considered that the District Authority had rightly refused
to take a decision on the attribution of other compensation parcels
and on the issue of financial compensation.

        The applicants addressed an appeal to the Supreme Land Reform
Board (Oberster Agrarsenat) which, however, declared the appeal
inadmissible on 1 February 1984.  This decision was subsequently
confirmed by decisions of the Constitutional Court (Verfassungs-
gerichtshof) of 27 June 1984 and of the Administrative Court
(Verwaltungsgerichtshof) of 25 September 1984.

        However, the applicants had appealed to the Administrative
Court also immediately from the Provincial Board's above decision of
17 November 1983.  This appeal was in part allowed on 20 March 1984.
The Administrative Court confirmed the Provincial Board's decision
insofar as it had refused to exclude the applicants' former parcels
from the consolidation proceedings.  However, it quashed the
Provincial Board's decision insofar as the Board had refused to assume
jurisdiction concerning the issues of alternative compensation parcels
and monetary compensation.

        Accordingly the Provincial Board gave a new decision on these
issues on 18 October 1984.  It observed that the damage claimed was not
of a nature for which the law (Section 20 of the Provincial Act)
provided monetary compensation (i.e. temporary disadvantages caused
by the consolidation proceedings).  The applicants' claim for financial
compensation was in fundamental conflict with the provisions of the
law according to which lands of special value must in principle
be compensated by land of the same kind (Section 19 para. 10 of the
Provincial Act).  The provisional transfer of lands had become final
and therefore it was not possible to change the distribution of
parcels pending the proceedings.  However, the provisional transfer
did not prejudge the final consolidation plan which had to take into
account the entitlement which the applicants might have to be
compensated in land of special value in view of the redesignation of
their former land (Sections 15 and 16 of the Provincial Act).  This
concerned not necessarily all land which they had contributed because
an area zoning plan was still under consideration at the competent
local authority.  The agricultural authorities had no jurisdiction
concerning that matter.

        However, the local authority had informed the Provincial
Board of a recent plan to designate the applicants' compensation
parcels as a building area.  Details were not yet known.  In any event
the questions concerning the designation of the land in the area
zoning plan were preliminary questions (Vorfragen) for the agricultural
authorities which could take their decision on the final consolidation
plan only when these preliminary questions had been settled.  Only
after the decision had been taken on the consolidation plan would the
Provincial Board be competent to examine in the context of appeal
proceedings whether or not the applicants had been lawfully
compensated by their parcels.  Their request to decide this question
immediately was therefore inadmissible.

        The applicants appealed against this decision to the
Constitutional Court.  However, on 24 June 1985 the Court refused to
deal with the case as it considered that there was no issue of
specific relevance under constitutional law (Article 144 para. 2 of
the Federal Constitution).  The Provincial Board's decision did not
involve a breach of the constitutional right of property, and the
right to a decision by the lawful judge could only be violated if the
(Federal) Agricultural Proceedings Act (Agrarverfahrensgesetz) had
been wrongly applied.  The question whether or not this had been the
case could be decided by the Administrative Court to which the case
was referred according to the applicants' request.

        The Administrative Court rejected the applicants' complaints
by a decision of 19 November 1985.  It observed that by the
provisional transfer of lands the applicants had received compensation
parcels according to their own wishes whose designation as
agricultural land had not been changed.  Therefore they had not
suffered any temporary disadvantages in respect of which they could
claim a financial compensation.  It was true that their former parcels
had subsequently been designated as a building area.  However,
this change of designation was to be taken into account in the final
consolidation plan.  It was not possible to change the provisional
transfer.  Section 68 of the Code of General Administrative Procedure
which the applicants had invoked in this respect was not applicable
since a modification of the decision on the provisional transfer would
interfere with the rights of the new owners.

        In the main proceedings the applicants had in the meantime, on
17 January 1984, requested a transfer of jurisdiction from the
Agricultural District Authority to the Provincial Land Reform Board.
They had referred to Section 7 (a) of the Agricultural Proceedings Act
which required the agricultural authorities to issue the final
consolidation plan within a period of three years from the provisional
transfer of lands.

        However, by a decision of 7 June 1984 the Provincial Board
refused to assume jurisdiction.  It acknowledged that it was the purpose
of Section 7 (a) of the Agricultural Proceedings Act to ensure that the
consolidation plan was issued not later than three years after the
provisional transfer had become final.  However, having regard to
Section 73 of the Code of General Administrative Procedure this
statutory time limit could be considered as violated only if the delay
was exclusively the fault of the competent authority.  In the present
case no fault lay with the Agricultural District Authority.  It had
continuously been engaged in the preparation of the consolidation
plan, but its work had been delayed by (a) the planning of a new
federal road across the consolidation area;  (b) litigation in the
applicants' case and in the case of another party which had involved
the necessity to send the file to various other authorities during
lengthy periods;  (c)  the proceedings concerning the modification of
the area zoning plan.  These proceedings fell in the jurisdiction of
the local authority and concerned a preliminary issue (Vorfrage) to
the Agricultural District Authority's decision.  The latter had
contacted the local authority with a view to expediting the proceedings
even before the applicants' request for a transfer of jurisdiction.
However, the Agricultural District Authority could not take a decision
until the area zoning proceedings were completed.  An interruption
(Aussetzen) of the proceedings was legally justified in these
circumstances and therefore the Agricultural District Authority could
not be held responsible for the delay.

        The applicants' appeal against this decision was rejected by
the Supreme Land Reform Board on 6 March 1985.  It confirmed the
Provincial Board's holding that a transgression of the statutory three
years time limit in Section 7 (a) of the Agricultural Proceedings Act
was unlawful only if it was exclusively the fault of the authority.
There was no fault if there existed an unsurmountable obstacle.  The
fact that proceedings concerning the modification of the area zoning
plan were still pending constituted such an obstacle: The Agricultural
District Authority was required to take into account the area zoning
and building plans (Section 12 para. 2).  The latter were excluded
from the competence of the Agricultural District Authority which could
not reasonably act before the decision of the competent local
authority.  The local authority had indicated on 14 May 1984 that it
was considering measures which would permit the allotment of land
designated as a building area to the applicants.  In these
circumstances it was fully justified that the Agricultural District
Authority had suspended its proceedings.

        The applicants appealed to the Constitutional Court which,
under Article 144 para. 2 of the Federal Constitution, again refused
to deal with the matter.  Its decision of 23 November 1985 invoked the
same reasons as the decision of 24 June 1985 (see above).

        The case was referred to the Administrative Court which on
8 April 1986 likewise rejected the applicants' complaints.  It
confirmed the decision of the Supreme Land Reform Board according to
which the Provincial Board's refusal to assume jurisdiction had been
justified at the relevant time having regard to the obstacle which
prevented the Agricultural District Authority from taking a decision.
The Court added that the applicants' objections against the land
compensation which they had received by the provisional transfer (i.e.
the fact that this land was designated only for agricultural purposes,
and that its area was insufficient) concerned the determination of
lawful compensation parcels and thus a matter reserved for consideration
in connection with the final consolidation plan.

        The Agricultural District Authority issued this plan by a
decision of 16 July 1986.  By this decision the situation created by
the provisional transfer was changed concerning the applicants to whom
part of their former land (9,680 m²) was returned.  On the whole they
obtained 19,909 m² designated as a possible future building area
(Bauerwartungsland).  It was further noted that already in 1974 they had
received monetary compensation in respect of certain parcels
(agricultural, building, and future building areas) which they had
been required to contribute for the construction of the new federal
road.  Their request to be compensated on the ground that the value of
their former parcels had increased as a consequence of their
reclassification was rejected.  The authority observed that before the
provisional transfer these parcels had been designated as agricultural
land and the applicants had accordingly obtained other agricultural
land in exchange.  The subsequent change of classification was taken
into account in the determination of the final compensation parcels.
The applicants had not suffered any temporary damage and were not
legally entitled to any financial compensation.

        An appeal against this decision is now pending before the
Provincial Land Reform Board in which the applicants claim that the
compensation parcels assigned to them are less valuable than those
which they contributed.  They allege having suffered a loss of more
than four million AS.

        In connection with the above proceedings the applicants also
tried to seize the civil courts in order to prevent construction work
on their former property which in the official land register (Grundbuch)
was still registered in their name.  They brought an action in the
Regional Court (Kreisgericht) of Wels against a couple who had bought
part of this land as a building plot, seeking an injunction which
would prevent them from starting construction work.  However, on
16 October 1985 the Regional Court denied its jurisdiction
(Unzulässigkeit des Rechtsweges).  It observed that Section 102 of the
Provincial Act transferred to the agricultural authorities, for the
duration of the consolidation proceedings, the jurisdiction concerning
all property disputes in the consolidation area.  On 21 February 1986
the Linz Court of Appeal (Oberlandesgericht) quashed this decision on
the applicants' appeal.  However, on 19 June 1986 the Supreme Court
(Oberster Gerichtshof) restored it, thus finally confirming that the
civil courts had no jurisdiction in the matter.

        The applicants asked for permission to build two fodder silos
on the compensation parcels assigned to them near their farmhouse.
However, the permission was refused on the ground that they were only
provisional owners of the land in question.

COMPLAINTS

        The applicants allege violations of Article 6 para. 1 and
Article 14 of the Convention as well as of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1
to the Convention.

        The applicants complain of the organisation of the Land
Reform Boards which in their view do not constitute independent and
impartial tribunals within the meaning of Article 6 para. 1.  They
argue that the Boards comprise expert members who have to submit
certain opinions in the course of the proceedings and who nevertheless
subsequently take part in the voting.  Moreover, these expert members
and, indeed, the majority of the Boards are civil servants who outside
their functions in the Boards are subject to instructions of the
Government.

        The applicants further complain under Article 6 para. 1 that
the agricultural proceedings which determined their civil rights were
not conducted within a reasonable time.  The statutory time limit for
issuing the consolidation plan expired in 1981.  The argument used
by the Agricultural District Authority that its proceedings were held
up by the necessity to await the outcome of the area zoning procedure
is not correct.  The local authority undertook in February 1984 not to
change the zoning plan without the agreement of the Agricultural
District Authority.  However, the latter repeatedly asked the local
authority to change the zoning plan, thus unnecessarily delaying the
proceedings.  When the consolidation plan was finally issued in 1986,
it showed a number of deficiencies which had to be raised on appeal.
The end of the proceedings is not foreseeable.

        Under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 the applicants allege an
unlawful expropriation of their land without compensation.  As a
result of the fact that the agricultural land which they lost by the
provisional transfer was subsequently designated as a building area
while the land which they obtained was not, they allegedly suffered a
damage of several million AS. Their attempts to be compensated either
in equivalent land or in money were all unsuccessful and the
applicants were simply referred to the final consolidation plan.  The
applicant's temporary damage was increased by the delay until the
consolidation plan was issued.  This plan moreover did not attribute
appropriate compensation parcels to them.  As a consequence they ran
into financial difficulties and were compelled to sell their forest in
order to be able to carry out necessary repair work at the farm
building.

        With regard to their complaint under Article 14 of the
Convention the applicants submit that the increase in value of the
land which they had contributed, which was brought about by its
subsequent reclassification, in fact accrued to other parties.
Moreover, other parties obtained building permits in respect of
certain former parcels of the applicants while the consolidation
proceedings were still pending and while the parcels in question were
still registered in the applicants' name in the official land
register.  The applicants, however, were refused permission to build
on a parcel which had been transferred to them from another party.

PROCEEDINGS

        The application was introduced on 12 August and registered on
8 October 1985.

        On 29 February 1988 the Commission decided to bring the
application to the notice of the respondent Government and to invite
them, pursuant to Rule 42 para. 2 (b) of the Commission's Rules of
Procedure, to submit before 6 May 1988 observations in writing on the
admissibility and merits of the application.  The time-limit was
subsequently extended at the Government's request until 6 June 1988.

        The Government submitted their observations on 26 May 1988 and
the applicants replied thereto on 15 July 1988.

        On 14 October 1988 the Commission decided to grant the
applicants free legal aid.

THE LAW

1.      With regard to the consolidation proceedings by which their
land was affected, the applicants allege several violations of
Article 6 para. 1 (Art. 6-1) of the Convention.  Insofar as relevant, this
provision reads as follows:

        "In the determination of his civil rights and
obligations ... everyone is entitled to a fair and public
hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and
impartial tribunal established by law.  ..."

        The Government do not contest the applicability of this
provision to the proceedings complained of.  The Commission, recalling
the Ettl, Erkner and Hofauer, and Poiss judgments of the Court (Eur.
Court H.R., judgments of 23 April 1987, Series A no. 117:  Ettl p. 16,
para. 32; Erkner and Hofauer p. 60, para. 62; and Poiss p. 102,
para. 48), finds Article 6 para. 1 (Art. 6-1) to be applicable.

        The applicants consider the organisation of the agricultural
authorities to be in breach of Article 6 para. 1 (Art. 6-1).  In their
submissions the Land Reform Boards are not independent and impartial tribunals
as their majority is constituted of civil servants who, in other functions, are
subject to instructions of the Government, including expert members who submit
opinions in the course of the proceedings and subsequently take part in the
voting.  However, analogous complaints were examined by the Court in the
above-cited Ettl judgment, where it came to the conclusion that, despite the
participation of civil servants and expert members entitled to vote, the Land
Reform Boards satisfied the requirements of Article 6 para. 1 (Art. 6-1) (ibid,
pp. 17-19, paras. 33-41).  For the reasons stated by the Court, the applicants'
complaints in this respect must accordingly be rejected as being manifestly
ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2 (Art. 27-2) of the
Convention.

2.      The applicants then complain that their civil rights and obligations
have not been determined within a "reasonable time" as required by Article 6
para. 1 (Art. 6-1) of the Convention.  They submit that the proceedings,
starting on the date of the provisional transfer in October 1978, must be
considered as a whole and therefore have lasted already more than ten years.

        The Government, on the other hand, observe that there were
several proceedings, each with a different object, which should be
examined separately. The applicants did not appeal against the
valuation of the land and the provisional transfer; on the contrary
they expressly declared their consent to these measures.  A first
dispute concerning their civil rights arose on 10 August 1982 when
the applicants requested that their former land be excluded from the
consolidation area, alternatively that they be compensated for the
increase in value following the redesignation of this land. This
dispute was finally determined within three years, three months and
six days (Administrative Court decision of 19 November 1985).  A
further - parallel - dispute arose on 17 January 1984 when the
applicants complained of the delay in the consolidation proceedings,
requesting a transfer of jurisdiction to the higher authority.  This
dispute was finally determined within two years two months and
twenty-four days (Administrative Court decision of 8 April 1986).  A
third dispute arose in the summer of 1985 when the applicants brought
a court action seeking an injunction against construction work on
their former land.  It was determined within about one year (Supreme
Court decision of 19 June 1986).  A fourth dispute is pending since
July 1986 when the applicants lodged an appeal against the
consolidation plan.  In the Government's view none of the periods
involved is excessive.  Even if the above proceedings should be
regarded as a whole, their overall length (more than six years since
August 1982) is justifiable having regard to the extreme complexity of
the matter and the necessity to wait for planning decisions to be
taken in the public interest.

        Although both parties have referred to certain judicial
proceedings, there is no complaint concerning their length.  The
Commission must accordingly limit its examination to the
administrative proceedings before the agricultural authorities.  As
regards these latter proceedings, the Commission notes the
disagreement between the parties as to whether they constitute a
series of separate proceedings to be considered individually, or one
set of continuous proceedings to be considered as a whole.  It further
notes the disagreement between the parties as to the date when a
dispute concerning civil rights first arose and as to whether, in the
determination of this dispute, a reasonable time has been exceeded. In
the light of these submissions of the parties, and having regard to
the Erkner-Hofauer and Poiss judgments of the Court (loc. cit.), the
Commission finds that the applicants' above complaint cannot be
rejected as being manifestly ill-founded as it raises difficult and
complex questions of law and fact whose determination requires an
examination of the merits.

3.      The applicants further complain of a violation of Article 1 of
Protocol No. 1 (P1-1) to the Convention.  This provision reads as
follows:

"Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful
enjoyment of his possessions.  No one shall be deprived of his
possessions except in the public interest and subject to the
conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of
international law.

The preceding provisions shall not, however, in any way
impair the right of a State to enforce such laws as it deems
necessary to control the use of property in accordance with the
general interest or to secure the payment of taxes or other
contributions or penalties."

        The applicants submit that there has been an unlawful
expropriation of their land without compensation:  after the
redesignation of their former land they could neither secure the
exclusion of this land from the consolidation area, nor the allotment
of the same or equivalent land, nor a financial compensation.

        The Government submit in reply that the applicants had
consented to the provisional transfer of their agricultural land to
other parties and that they received equivalent agricultural land in
exchange as their provisional property.  After the increase in value
of their former land brought about by its redesignation as building
land, the applicants had a right under Austrian law to receive
equivalent land of special value.  Insofar as the compensation parcels
due to them have not yet been finally determined, the applicants have
not yet exhausted the domestic remedies as their appeal against the
consolidation plan of July 1986 is still pending.  Insofar as the
applicants complain of an interference with their property rights
pending the final decision on the consolidation plan, the Government
observe that the situation is different from the Erkner-Hofauer and
Poiss cases (loc. cit.) as the applicants essentially complain of the
effects of the redesignation of their former land brought about after
the provisional transfer at the request of the new owners.  The
applicants could also have asked for a redesignation of the land
provisionally assigned to them.  In the Government's view the
applicants cannot claim to be victims of an interference with their
property rights within the meaning of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1),
as this provision does not give them any right to profit from the
increase in value of land which they have already given up.  Even if
an interference with the applicants' property rights could be assumed,
it would be of a temporary nature and not disproportionate, contrary
to the requirements of the first sentence of the first paragraph or
the second paragraph of Article 1 (Art. 1).

        The Commission, agreeing with the Government, finds that the
domestic remedies have not been exhausted as regards the compensation
due to the applicants in the consolidation plan.  As regards the
question whether there has been an unjustified interference with the
applicants' property rights pending the final adoption of this plan,
the Commission, having considered the parties' arguments and the
Erkner-Hofauer and Poiss judgments of the Court (loc. cit.), finds
that the applicants' above complaint cannot be rejected as being
manifestly ill-founded as it raises difficult and complex questions of
law and fact whose determination requires an examination of the
merits.

4.      The applicants finally complain that they have been discriminated
against, contrary to Article 14 (Art. 14) of the Convention.  This provision
reads as follows:

"The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in
this Convention shall be secured without discrimination
on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language,
religion, political or other opinion, national or social
origin, association with a national minority, property,
birth or other status."

        The applicants submit that there has been discrimination, as
regards the enjoyment of their property rights within the meaning of
Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1) to the Convention, in that they were
treated less favourably than the new provisional owners of their
former land to whom the benefit of the increased value brought about
by the redesignation of this land accrued and who, contrary to the
applicants, were granted building permits.

        The Government submit that the applicants have failed to
invoke the principle of equality in their complaints to the
Constitutional Court and thus have not exhausted the domestic
remedies, and that, in any case, they have failed to substantiate
their complaint.

        The Commission notes the applicants' argument that they tried
to secure equal treatment with the new owners by their applications to
the agricultural authorities and by the action which they lodged with
the civil courts.  The Commission finds that the applicants' complaint
of discrimination is so closely linked to the issue under Article 1 of
Protocol No. 1 (P1-1) that it cannot be separated.  This part of the
application must therefore also be reserved for an examination of the
merits.

        For these reasons, the Commission

1.      DECLARES INADMISSIBLE the applicants' complaint that the
        organisation of the agricultural authorities was not
        in conformity with the requirements of Article 6 para. 1
        (Art. 6-1) of the Convention;

2.      DECLARES ADMISSIBLE the remainder of the application,
        without prejudging the merits of the case.


Secretary to the Commission               President of the Commission



   (H.C. KRÜGER)                               (C.A. NØRGAARD)