In the Caleffi case*,

The European Court of Human Rights, sitting, in accordance with
Article 43 (art. 43) of the Convention for the Protection of Human
Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("the Convention")** and the
relevant provisions of the Rules of Court***, as a Chamber composed
of the following judges:

        Mr R. Ryssdal, President,
        Mr J. Cremona,
        Mr Thór Vilhjálmsson,
       Mrs D. Bindschedler-Robert,
        Mr F. Gölcüklü,
       Sir Vincent Evans,
        Mr C. Russo,
        Mr S.K. Martens,
        Mr J.M. Morenilla,

and also of Mr M.-A. Eissen, Registrar, and Mr H. Petzold, Deputy

Having deliberated in private on 25 January and 24 April 1991,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on the
last-mentioned date:

Notes by the Registrar

* The case is numbered 27/1990/218/280.  The first number is the
case's position on the list of cases referred to the Court in the
relevant year (second number).  The last two numbers indicate the
case's position on the list of cases referred to the Court since
its creation and on the list of the corresponding originating
applications to the Commission.

** As amended by Article 11 of Protocol No. 8 (P8-11), which came
into force on 1 January 1990.

*** The amendments to the Rules of Court which came into force on
1 April 1989 are applicable to this case.


1.      The case was referred to the Court by the European
Commission of Human Rights ("the Commission") on 21 May 1990,
within the three-month period laid down by Article 32 para. 1 and
Article 47 (art. 32-1, art. 47) of the Convention.  It originated
in an application (no. 11890/85) against the Italian Republic
lodged with the Commission under Article 25 (art. 25) by a national
of that State, Mr Massimo Caleffi, on 20 September 1985.

The Commission's request referred to Articles 44 and 48 (art. 44,
art. 48) and to the declaration whereby Italy recognised the
compulsory jurisdiction of the Court (Article 46) (art. 46).  The
object of the request was to obtain a decision as to whether the
facts of the case disclosed a breach by the respondent State of its
obligations under Article 6 para. 1 (art. 6-1).

2.      In response to the enquiry made in accordance with Rule 33
para. 3 (d) of the Rules of Court, the applicant stated that he
wished to take part in the proceedings and designated his lawyer
(Rule 30).  On 25 July 1990 the President gave him leave to use the
Italian language (Rule 27 para. 3).

3.      On 24 May 1990 the President of the Court decided that, in
the interests of the proper administration of justice, this
case - together with the Pugliese (II) and Vocaturo cases* - should
be considered by the Chamber constituted on 26 March 1990 to hear
the Brigandì, Zanghì and Santilli cases** (Rule 21 para. 6).  It
included ex officio Mr C. Russo, the elected judge of Italian
nationality (Article 43 of the Convention) (art. 43), and
Mr R. Ryssdal, the President of the Court (Rule 21 para. 3 (b)).
The other seven members, whose names had been drawn by lot, were
Mr J. Cremona, Mr Thór Vilhjálmsson, Mrs D. Bindschedler-Robert,
Mr F. Gölcüklü, Mr R. Bernhardt, Mr S.K. Martens and
Mr J.M. Morenilla (Article 43 in fine of the Convention and Rule 21
para. 4) (art. 43).  Subsequently, Sir Vincent Evans, substitute
judge, replaced Mr N. Valticos, who was unable to take part in the
further consideration of the case and had initially replaced, for
the same reason, Mr Bernhardt (Rules 22 para. 1 and 24 para. 1).

Notes by the Registrar

* 25/1990/216/278 and 28/1990/219/281

** 2/1990/193/253, 3/1990/194/254 and 5/1990/196/256

4.      As President of the Chamber (Rule 21 para. 5), Mr Ryssdal,
through the Registrar, consulted the Agent of the Italian
Government ("the Government"), the Delegate of the Commission and
the lawyer for the applicant on the need for a written procedure
(Rule 37 para. 1).  In accordance with the order made in
consequence, the Registrar received the applicant's memorial
on 28 September 1990 and the Government's memorial on 15 November.
In a letter received on 18 January 1991 the Secretary to the
Commission informed the Registrar that the Delegate would submit
his observations at the hearing.

5.     Having consulted, through the Registrar, those who would be
appearing before the Court, the President had directed on
21 November 1990 that the oral proceedings should open
on 22 January 1991 (Rule 38).

6.     On 27 November 1990 the Commission produced the file on the
proceedings before it, as the Registrar had requested on the
President's instructions.

7.     On 15, 17 and 21 January 1991 five trade union associations
(the provincial organisations of the Confederazione Generale
Italiana del Lavoro, Confederazione Italiana Sindacati Lavoratori
and Unione Italiana Lavoratori, and also the Associazione sindacale
aziende petrolifere and Consorzio industriale zona Ariccia,
castelli Romani e aree limitrofe) sought leave under Rule 37
para. 2 to submit written comments.  On 22 January the President
decided not to grant them leave.

8.     The hearing took place in public in the Human Rights
Building, Strasbourg, on the appointed day.  The Court had held a
preparatory meeting beforehand.

There appeared before the Court:

(a) for the Government

Mr G. Raimondi, magistrato, on secondment to
 the Diplomatic Legal Service, Ministry of
 Foreign Affairs,                                       Co-Agent,

Mr G. Manzo, magistrato, on secondment to
 the Ministry of Justice,                                Counsel;

(b) for the Commission

Mr G. Sperduti,                                         Delegate;

(c) for the applicant

Mr M. de Stefano, avvocato,                              Counsel,

Mr R. Vaccarella, avvocato,                              Adviser.

The Court heard addresses by them, as well as their replies to its


9.      Mr Massimo Caleffi, an Italian citizen, lives in Rome.
The facts established by the Commission pursuant to Article 31
para. 1 (art. 31-1) of the Convention are as follows
(paragraphs 15-20 of its report - see paragraph 11 below):

"15. On 21 November 1977 the applicant brought an action against
[Società italiana degli autori ed editori (S.I.A.E.)], by which he
was employed, before the Rome magistrate's court (pretore), seeking
recognition of his right to a professional qualification
corresponding to the work he had been doing since 1 April 1972 and
payment of a sum equivalent to the resulting difference in

16. On 26 September 1979 the Court ordered [S.I.A.E.] to pay the
sum of 15,433,243 Italian lire, calculated to allow for inflation
and including interest at the statutory rate.

17. [S.I.A.E.] made the payment but on 18 December 1979 it appealed
against the magistrate's court's decision.  This decision was
completely reversed by a decision of the Rome District Court of
20 May 1980, which refused all the applicant's demands.  The text
of the decision was deposited with the registry on
27 September 1980.

18. On 19 December 1980 the applicant appealed to the Court of
Cassation.  On 6 February 1984 the Court of Cassation granted the
appeal and referred the case to the Velletri District Court.
The text of the judgment was deposited with the registry on
17 April 1984.

19. On 11 April 1985 the applicant requested the court to which the
case had been referred to order [S.I.A.E.] to pay the sum of
79,311,490 lire, which he alleged was due to him for the period
from 1979 until his retirement on 8 February 1983.

20. The hearing before the relevant division of the court was set
for 16 December 1985.  On 29 May 1985 the parties' representatives
requested that the hearing be brought forward in order for a
friendly settlement of the case to be effected.  On 1 June 1985
this request was acceded to and the hearing was brought forward to
1 July 1985.  On that date the applicant agreed to relinquish any
claim against [S.I.A.E.] in exchange for the sum of 20,908,784 lire
and for reimbursement of the procedural costs and lawyers' fees."


10.     In his application of 20 September 1985 to the Commission
(no. 11890/85), Mr Caleffi complained of the length of the civil
proceedings he had brought.  He relied on Article 6 para. 1
(art. 6-1) of the Convention.

11.     The Commission declared the application admissible on
10 March 1989.  In its report of 6 March 1990 (made under
Article 31) (art. 31), it expressed the unanimous opinion that
there had been a violation of Article 6 para. 1 (art. 6-1).  The
full text of the Commission's opinion is reproduced as an annex to
this judgment*.

* Note by the Registrar: For practical reasons this annex will
appear only with the printed version of the judgment (volume 206-B
of Series A of the Publications of the Court), but a copy of the
Commission's report is obtainable from the registry.


12.     At the hearing on 22 January 1991 the Government confirmed
the final submissions in their memorial, and asked the Court to
hold that "there [had] been no breach of the Convention".



13.     Mr Caleffi complained that his civil action had not been
tried within a "reasonable time" as required under Article 6
para. 1 (art. 6-1) of the Convention, according to which:

"In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ...
everyone is entitled to a ... hearing within a reasonable time by
[a] ... tribunal ..."

The Government disputed this view; the Commission on the other hand
agreed with it.

14.     The period to be taken into consideration began on
21 November 1977 when S.I.A.E. was summoned to appear before the
magistrate's court.  It ended on 1 July 1985 when a friendly
settlement was reached.

15.     The reasonableness of the length of proceedings is to be
assessed in the light of the particular circumstances of the case
and the criteria laid down in the Court's case-law (see, inter
alia, the H. v. France judgment of 24 October 1989, Series A
no. 162, p. 21, para. 50).

16.     According to the Government, the period in question
considered as a whole was not unreasonable, as the dispute was
heard by four courts.  The period of over three years which it took
the Court of Cassation to hold a hearing could be explained by that
Court's excessive workload and the duty in general to examine cases
in the order in which they were received.  As for the eight months
that the court to which the case was then referred took to fix a
hearing date, this period too resulted from the number of cases on
the list and the time the registry had to wait before receiving the
documents in the case.

The applicant conceded that responsibility for the periods between
27 September and 19 December 1980 and between 17 April 1984
and 11 April 1985 could not be attributed to the Italian
authorities; he needed them for preparing the subsequent stages of
the proceedings and negotiating with the opposing party.

17.     As regards the excessive workload, the Court points out
that under Article 6 para. 1 (art. 6-1) of the Convention everyone
has the right to a final decision within a reasonable time in the
determination of his civil rights and obligations.  It is for the
Contracting States to organise their legal systems in such a way
that their courts can meet this requirement (see, most recently,
the Santilli judgment of 19 February 1991, Series A no. 194-D,
p. 61, para. 20).

Employment disputes by their nature call generally for expeditious
decision (see in particular, mutatis mutandis, the Obermeier
judgment of 28 June 1990, Series A no. 179, p. 23, para. 72).  The
Italian authorities moreover acknowledged this by amending the
special procedure used in such cases in 1973; the changes
introduced included a shortening of the time-limits normally
applicable in civil proceedings.  In the present case none of them
was complied with.  This was particularly so during the cassation
proceedings, when over three years elapsed before the hearing
(19 December 1980 - 6 February 1984).

There has therefore been a violation of Article 6 para. 1
(art. 6-1).


18.     According to Article 50 (art. 50),

"If the Court finds that a decision or a measure taken by a legal
authority or any other authority of a High Contracting Party is
completely or partially in conflict with the obligations arising
from the ... Convention, and if the internal law of the said Party
allows only partial reparation to be made for the consequences of
this decision or measure, the decision of the Court shall, if
necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party."

A. Damage

19.     The applicant claimed 10,000,000 Italian lire as
compensation for non-pecuniary damage.

According to the Government, a finding that there had been a
violation would in itself constitute adequate just satisfaction.

The Commission left the matter to be determined by the Court.

The Court considers that the applicant undoubtedly suffered
non-pecuniary damage.  Making an assessment on an equitable basis,
it awards him the amount claimed.

B. Costs and expenses

20.     Mr Caleffi also claimed 3,000,000 lire for costs and
expenses incurred before the Convention organs.

Having regard to the evidence in its possession and its relevant
case-law, the Court awards him the amount sought.

C. Publication of the judgment

21.     Finally, the applicant requested that the present judgment
be published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale della Repubblica italiana
and in the principal national daily newspapers.  The Commission's
Delegate made no observations on this point.

The Court, agreeing with the Government, finds that it has no
jurisdiction under the Convention to order the Italian State to
take such measures (see, mutatis mutandis, the Zanghì judgment of
19 January 1991, Series A no. 194-C, p. 48, para. 26).


1.      Holds that there has been a violation of Article 6 para. 1
(art. 6-1);

2.      Holds that the respondent State is to pay to Mr Caleffi
10,000,000 (ten million) Italian lire in respect of non-pecuniary
damage and 3,000,000 (three million) lire for costs and expenses;

3.      Dismisses the remainder of the claim for just satisfaction.

Done in English and in French, and delivered at a public hearing in
the Human Rights Building, Strasbourg, on 24 May 1991.

Signed: Rolv RYSSDAL

Signed: Marc-André EISSEN