APPLICATION/REQUÉTE N° 11949/815 D.P. v/the UNITED KINGDOM D.P. c/ROYAUME-IJNI DECISION of 1 Dozmber 1986 on the admissibility o1 the applicatio n DÉCISION du 1°- décembre 15~86 sur la recevabilité de la requ€te Article 6, paragraph 1 of the Convention : a) A dispute between landlord arul tenant over tl:e obligations resulting frotn the lease concerus civil rights and obligations . b) 77 isprovision does not require States to establish review jursdictions tc deal with dispm'es in respect of which sll quesaions of fact and law come within the,jurisdiction of lower coun.s. Article 8, paragraph 2 nf the Convention : Eviction of a tenant from property following annubnent of the lease. In the present case, interference in accordance with the 17w and necessary in a democrati( society fer the protection of the rights of others. Article 13 of the Convention : When the right claimed is of a civil character, the guarantees of Article 13 are su,oerseded by those of Anicle t para. 1. Arfli-le 14 of the Convenlion in conjunction with Article 6 ol'the Convention and Arflcle 1 of the Fïrst Protocol : It is not discrimirwtory to exclude appeal from decisions given in summary proceedings try lower ecurts whose,jurisdiction is limited to actiotts of a particular monetary value . Article 1, paragraph 1 of the First Protocol : a) In view of the premium paid on conciusion of a contract for long lease, the rights of the lessee under English iâw must be considered as "possessions". 195 b) The second sentence of this paragraph is only aimed at expropriationin the true sense. c) 77ie fact that an action between private individuals concerning rescision of a long Î lease is decided by a court on the basis of the law in force does not in itself engage ( the responsibility of the State under Article 1 of Protocol No . 1 . Article 6, paragraphe 1, de la Convention : a) Un litige entre propriétaire et locataire sur les obligations découlant du bail port esurdesdroitsetobligationsdecaractère civil. b) Cette disposition n'oblige pas les Etats à instituer des tribunaux de recours pour cortnaPtre de litiges dont toutes les questions de fait et de droit sont de la comdes tribunaux inférieurs. pétence Article 8, paragraphe 2, de la Convention : Expulsion du locataire du logement ,' à la suite de la résiliation du bail. En l'espèce, ingérence prévue par la loi et i, nécessaire dans une société démocratique à la protection des droits d'autrui . Article 13 de la Convention : Lorsque le droit revendiqué est un droit de caractère civil, les garanties de l'article 13 s'effacent devant celles de l'article 6 par. 1. Article 14 de la Convention, combiné avec l'article 6 de la Convention et avec l'article 1 du Protocole additionnel : Il n'est pas discriminatoire d'exclure l'appel de décisions rendues selon une procédure rapide par les tribunaux inférieurs dont la compétence est limitée à une certaine valeur litigieuse. Article 1, paragraphe 1, du Protocole additionnel : a) Compte tenu du loyer initial versé à la conclusion du contrat, les droits de i'emphytéote en droit anglais doivent être considérés comme un Rbienr. b) La deuxième phrase de ce paragraphe ne vise que l'expropriation proprement ~ dite. c) Le fait qu'un litige entre particuliers sur la résiliation d'un bail emphythéotique est tranché par un tribunal sur la base du droit en vigueur n'engage pas, en luimême, la responsabilité de FEtat sur le terrain de l'article 1 du Protocole additionnel . THE FACTS (français : voir p. 214) The facts as they have been submitted on behalf of the applicant may be summarised as follows. The applicant is a British citizen born in 1934 and at present residing in London. In the proceedings before the Commission she is represented by Messrs . Bindman & Partners, solicitors, of London NWI . 196 T'he applic.mt lived in a flat knosvn as 25 Chutchdale Court ("the flat") from 1959 until the landlord, a company, recovere(i possession of the property on 29 March 1982. She initially occupied the flat under a monthly tenancy agreement . paying rent monthly . Jn July 197'i the landlord granted to the applicant a long lease of the flat for aerm of 99 years in consideration of a premiuin (capital payment) of £ 6,000 . This grant of a lease brought the lease within the system of long leasehold tenure. A long leasehold is an intu:rest in property . 'rhe following are sotrie of the characteristics o1' a long lease . a) The tenant pays the landlord a capital sum or prernium which may bc a figure as high as the premium on purchasing a freehold interesi . b) The duration of the lease is fixed often for a term of 99 years or morer.) A. rent is usually low or negligible in comparison witti a market rent . (1) The obligations to repair or rebuild may be sirnilar or equivalent to those of a freehelder, with direci liability on the tenant to repair or indemnify the landlord for all repaii-s thal he undertakes . e) The tenant holding a property under a long lease may sell the lease to a third party, who then acquires the tenanf s rights and obligations under the lease for Ihe remainder of its duration . In practice existing leases ai-e commonly bought and sold on the property market without the landlord playing any part in the transaction . An existing lenant may also grant an "under-lease" of the property. t) The capital valae cf the !andlora"s interest in a propeny let on a IDng 3ease arises from two sources : fir,rt the rent payable under the lense and secondly the prospect of reversion. of the property to him at the end of the lease . At the beginning of a very long lease the value of the reversion ntay be very little and the total market valuc of the landlord's interest may therefore amount to little more than the capitalised value of the rent . The capital value oJ the tenant'.s inrerest arises from his right to occupy the house under the lease, an(i the time for which Ihat right will subsist is of critical impon :ance in relation to its value- At the beginning of a very long lease the value of the tenant's intereat may be more or less equivalent to a"freehold" interest (i .e. an outrighl owner's interest), if the rent payable is a rominal one. g) 'rhe lease, however, is a. wasting asset. As the lease progresses the value of the tenant's interest in the property diminishes, whilst the value of the landlord's interest increases . At the end of the lease the tenant's interest c^ases to exist . 197 The long lease ("the lease") granted to the applicant contained the following terms, inter aCia : a) The lease was for the duration of 99 years . b) There was a covenant by the applicant to pay a ground rent of f 10 per annum by two equal half-yearly payments . c) There was a further covenant by the applicant to pay "by way of further and additional rent" a service charge representing her proportional share of th expensesandoutgoingsincuredbythelandlordininsurance,repair, maintenance, renewal, etc . of the building .d)Aclause4(ii)whichprovidedthatiftherentwasnotpaidwithin21day s of becoming payable the lessor had the right to re-enter the premises and forfeit the lease. A clause such as clause 4 (ii) is found in virtually all leases. e) Recital C recorded that the landlord proposed to grant leases on substantiall yidenticaltermstothosecontainedintheleasetenantsofotherflatsinthe building . Relations between the applicant and the landlord were characterised by continual disagreements regarding the amounts of the service charge and the quality of certain external painting for which the tenants of Churchdale Court were charged .Onacountofhercomplaintsabouthesematers,theaplicantatonepointwithel d payment of the service charge due under the terms of the lease . The landlord brought an action in the County Court against the applicant in August 1978 for payment of the service charge . In view of the terms of clause 4 (ii) of the lease, the landlord also argued that because the applicant had not paid the service charge, which wa sdefinedintheleaseasrent,shouldbeforfeited . Non-payment of rent i in practice the only ground upon which a lease can be forfeited .On9February1981,afterahearingatwhichtheapplicantappearedinperso n the judge made an order that the landlord was entitled to recover from the applicant the arrears of rent amounting to £ 299 .36 together with costs which were to be assessed at a later date. The order went on to provide that unless the applicant paid the sum outstanding on or before 7 April 1981 she would have to give up possession of the flat and the lease would be forfeited. In March 1981 the applicant, acting in person, lodged her appeal . In January 1982, after taking legal advice, the applicant withdrew her appeal . In November 1981 the applicant went to the County Court to enquire whethe rshecouldinfactbevicted . The official to whom she spoke told her that the origina lordernolongerexistedandafterconsultinghisrecordshewroteoutwhatpurporte d to be a copy of the order . He omitted any reference to the order for possession which had been made on the condition that the applicant did not pay the money she owed the landlord .198 Tlie form the court official ured to write out the order was the incorrect form to use and inappropriate, since it was for use only for simple money judgments and not for where there was an order for possession. Oa 1Februaiy 1982, nearly 10 months after the landlord could have taken steps to enforoe the judgment, the landlord's solicitors wrote to the applicant asking her to pay Ihe judgment sum together with additional outstanding charges immediately, failing which the landlord would be forced to proceed with forfeiture of the lease . The applicant took no effective action on this request and 3 weeks later, on 24 Febmary, the landlord's solicitors again wrote to the applicant warning her that unless 1he inatter was dealt with immediately, the bailiffs would he instructecl to take possession of the flat and forfeit the lease . The applicant failed once more to take any action and after a further month, the applicant was informed on 26 Mareh 1982 that the bailiffs would be taking possession on 29 March 1982 . On 29 March 1982 the County Court bailiff attende3 at the flat . The applicant thereupon offerecl to pay the sunt due and said that she woulc obtain the money within the hour. The landlord's agent refused this ofier and the applicant was evicted . On the same, day the applicant took the sum of £ 314 .36 to the Coumy Coun to pay the judgment debt and warrant of execution fee . She was unable to do so as she dic. not have ihe bailiff's reference number . On I Arril 1982 the applicant paid into court the judgment debt which was subsequently taken out of coun : by the landlord in satisfaction of its monetary claim . The applicant, without the authority of the landlord or he court, regained access to the flat, and lived there for a period of months and was later evieted once more l'ollowing fûrther possession proceaAings by the landlord . The applicaut's leasehold title which had been registered at HM Land Registry was closed on 15 March 1983 following ari application for its closure by the landlord . The effect of this closure was to completely eradicate the applicemt's leasehold title once closed it cannot be re-opened since it ceases to exist . The applicant then sought to obtain relief from, forl'eiture of her lease through the courts . The two forums for hearing applications of this nature are the High Court and the County Court . Which jurisdiction is used wifl depend upon the rateable value of the lanef in question and is the choice of the plaintiff. The County Court may only hear an action for the recovery of land where the rateable value of the land does not exceed £ 1,000 . rhe High Court can hear claims concerning any amount . 7hus less valuable premises fall within the concurrent jurisdiction of the High Court and County Court, whereas rnore valuable properties will be within the exclusive jurisdiction of the High Court . 199 As a general rule possession actions tend to be quicker and cheaper in the County Court and the High Court is the more appropriate venue when difficult points of law are involved . The relevant law relating to applications for relief from forfeiture available to the applicant at the date in question can be summarised as follows : a) Section 146 of the Law of Property Act 1925 - This provision regulates the enforcement of a right of re-entry or forfeiture under a lease by action or otherwise. A tenant facing possession proceedings based on forfeiture for breach of any covenant, other than payment of rent, may apply for relief against forfeiture of his leasehold interest . Jurisdiction to grant such relief may be exercised by either the High Court or the County Court . b) Section 210 of the Comnwn Law Procedure Act 1852 - This entitles a tenant to apply for relief against forfeiture at any time within six months after execution of a possession order . This remedy is only available where proceedings for possession for non-payment of rent were originally instituted in the High Court . c) Section 191 of the County Courts Act 1959 - The provisions provide exhaustively for the circumstances in which forfeiture may be avoided where proceedings are brought in the County Cou rt in the following terms : 191 . Provisions as to forfeiture for non-payment of rent. `(I) Where a lessor is proceeding by action in a County Court (being an action in which a County Court has jurisdiction) to enforce against a lessee a right of re-entry or forfeiture in respect of any land for non-payment of rent, the following provisions shall have effect :- (a) If the lessee pays into court not less than five clear days before the return date all the rent in arrear and the costs of the action, the action shall cease, and the lessee shall hold the land according to the lease without any new lease ; (b) if the action does not cease as aforesaid and the court at the trial is satisfied that the lessor is entitled to enforce the right of re-entry or forfeiture, the court shall order possession of the land to be given to the lessor at the expiration of such period, not being less than four weeks from the date of the order, as the court thinks fit, unless within that period the lessee pays into court all the rent in arrear and the costs of the action ; (c) if within the period specified in the order, the lessee pays into court all the rent in arrear and the costs of the action, he shall hold the lan d 200 according to the lease without any new lease, but if the lessee cloes not. withir the said period, pay into court all the rent in arrear and :he costs of the action, the order shall be enforcecl in the prescribed manner, and so torg as the order remains unreversed the lessee shall be bar--ed from all relief ; I?rovided that, where the lessor is proceeding in the same action to enforce a right of re-entry or forfeiture on any other grcund as well as for non-payrnent of rent, ot to enforce any other claim as well as the right of re-entry or 1'orfeiture and the claim fo ; arrears of rent, paragraph (a) of this subsection shall not aFply, and nothing in this subsection shall be taken to affect the power of the court to make any order which it woul(I oth?rwise have power to niake as respects the right of re-entry or forfeiture on that otIn :r ground . ;2) Where any such action as aforesaid is brough : in a C'ounty Court and . at :he time ol' the commencement of the action, one-half year's rent is in arrear and the les .or has a right to re-enter for non-payment thereof and no sufficient distress is co be founcl on the prenrises counteivailing the arrears ther . due, the service of the summons in the action in the prescribed manner shall stand in lieu of a demand and . re-eritry . (3) Where a lessor has enf'orced a ;ainst a lessee, by re-entry withont action, a right of re-entry or forfeiture as respects any land for rion-payment of rent, the lessee may, if the net annual value for rating of the land is not above the Cotinty Court lirnit, at any time within six months from tae date on whici the lessor re-entered apply to the County Court for relief, and on any such application the court may, if it thinks 8t, grant to the lessee such relief as the High Conrt could have granted . (4) Nothhig in this section shall be taken to affect the provisions of subsection (4) of section one hundred and forty-six of the Law of Property Act 1925. (5) For the purposes of this section - (a) the expression "lease" includes an original or derivative un9er-lease, also an agreement for a lease where the lessee has become entitlr,d to have his lease granted, also a grant at a fee faim rent or securing a rernt by condition ; (b) the expression "lessee" includes an original derivative under-lessee and the persons derivi ng title under a lessee, also a grantee under any such gran: as aforesaid and the persons deriving title under him ; (c) the expression "lessor" includes an original or derivative under-lessor and the persons deriving title under a lessor, also a . person making such grant as aforesaid and the persons deriving title urider him ; 201 (d) the expression "under-lease" includes an agreement for an underlease where the under-lessee has become entitled to have his under-lease granted ; (e) the expression "under-lessee" includes any person deriving title underj an under-lessee . " d) Section 23 of the Administration of Justice Act 1965 - This provision allows the court to extend the period during which the landlord's possession is postponed to permit the tenant to pay the arrears due, provided that possession has not already been obtained under the possession order. Hence, in the County Court, the statutory provisions permit a tenant to seek to delay a possession order, and ensure a minimum period of notice before a posorder can be implemented . If payment of arrears is made during this period, session the possession proceedings are terminated . By contrast, the High Court has a discretion to set aside a possession order and give relief againt forfeiture in a six month period after a lease has been forfeited . Since the date that possession was obtained, and forfeiture took place in the present case, English law has been amended so that a lessee may apply to the County Court to grant relief against forfeiture within six months of the date on which the landlord recovered possession . The County Court jurisdiction has therefore been brought into line with that exercised by the High Court under Section 210 of the Common Law Procedure Act 1852 . The amendment does not, however, apply retroactively . The steps taken by the applicant having lost possession of the flat were as follows : On I April 1982, the applicant, acting in person, made an application to th eCountyCourtfor"re-entryintomyhouse" . This application was dismissed on 5 April 1982 . In May 1982, solicitors on behalf of the applicant applied to the County Court for relief against forfeiture. The application was dismissed on 14 June 1982 on the ground that, under Section 191 (1) of the County Courts Act 1959, the judge had no jurisdiction to grant the relief sought and the applicant was "barred from all relief" (Section 191 (I) (c) of the County Court Act 1959) . Costs were awarded against the applicant . The judge expressed the view that, had he had jurisdiction, he would have been inclined to grant relief. In July 1982, the applicant applied to the High Court for relief against forfeiture pursuant to Section 210 of the Common Law Procedure Act 1852 and for her i leasehold title in the Land Registry to be re-opened. The judge dismissed the application on 21 December 1983 on the ground that he had no jurisdiction to grant relie f 202 by virtue of Seclion 191 (1) of the Courity Courts Act 1959 and ordered that the applicmt pay the landlord's costs . The judge stated ~:hat, had he had power to grant relief, he would have done so . 7'he applicant served Notice of Appeal against ihis cirder and on April 1985 the Court of Appeal heard the applicant's appeals against : (a) the order dated 5 April 1982 dismissing the applicant's application foi reentrrv into the flat : (b) the order dated 1 .3 lunr. 1982 dismissing the applicant's application for relief against forfeiture under Section 191 of the County Courts Act 1959 : (e) the order of 21 December 1983 dismissing the applicant's application for relief against forfeiture under Secticn 210 of the Common Law Proeedure Act 1852 . Dismissing all three appeals on I May 1985, the Court c-f Appeal held unanimously that the effect of Section 191 (1) (c) of the 1959 Act was to bar an evicteA tenant against whom proceedings had been brought in the County Court from any remedy once Irossession had been taken by the landlord . Leave to appeal to the liouse ot Lords was refus :d. In July 1985 the applicant commenced proceedings by originating summons in the Coumy Court for a declaration that tier tenancy subsisted . 'The application was based on the landlord's acceptance of rent after they had purported to forfeit the applicant's lease . Counsel for the applicant howevei- advised that no grouna existed for continuing to prosecute the action and in October 1985 her application for a declaration that her tenancy subsisted was dismissed . COMPLAINTS 'fhe applicant claims to be the victirn of a violation of Artiele 1 of the Protocol No. I and Articles 6, 8, 13 and 14 of the Convention . 'Phe applicant maintains that by reason of the laws of 8ngland an(i VJales she has been deprived of propeiiy unjustifiably and on unjust terms . She submits that the legislaion operates unjustly in the following ways in particular : a) it pernritted, or did not prevent, the landlord's re-possession of the applicant's premises and forfeiture of the lease ; b) it lailed to provide any, or any sufficient, remedy in respect of the interference with Ihe applicant's right to proierty . The applicant maintains that the rights under the Convention on which she relies imply not only a negative obligation to abstain from acting but also an ce rtain circurnstances a positive duty, and the applicant contends that tbe Government failed to legislate adequately to protecc the rights claimed by the applicant. 203 Article I of Protocol No. t (a) General The applicant maintains that she has been "deprived of . . . possessions" in breach of the conditions laid down in the second sentence of Article I of Protocol No. 1 . Even if that sentence is not applicable, she has in any event been a victim of unjustified interference with the right to peaceful enjoyment of her possessions in breach of the first sentence . (b) Deprivation of possessions The applicant's principal submission is that she has been deprived of her possession of the flat, that provision being given its natural and ordinary meaning : The legislation existing in England and Wales at the relevant time allowed thei landlord to deprive the applicant of all her possessions . The applicant refers mutatis mutandi.s to the Commission's Report in the James case (No . 8793/79, James an dOthersv . the United Kingdom, Convn . Report, para . 103). The applicant also contends that Applications No . 8588/79 and No . 8589/79,1 Bramelid and Malmstrüm v . Sweden (Dec. 12.10.82, D.R. 29 p. 82), were wronglÿ decided and should not be followed . The plain words "No one should be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest . . ." are not cut down by reference~ to the public interest. The applicant maintains that the "public interest" should only be invoked as' a limitation where it serves a legitimate social interest, for example, the division ofl inherited property, the division of matrimonial estates following the breakdown ofl marriage and the seizure and sale of property in the course of execution . This sociali interest finds its expression in other Articles of the Convention under the rubric ofl the "rights and freedoms of others" . It is not permissible to seek to limit the ambiti of the deprivation rule in the manner in which the Comnrission has sought in its decision on the admissibility of those applications . In support of the applicant's contention that the deprivation of her property was . not justified in the public interest, the applicant argues inter alia : (I) The applicant contends that the reasoning of the Commission at paras . 122- 125 and 134-140 of its Report in the case of James and Others (supr (i) requires that : (a) the deprivation must be effected in pursuance of a legitimate aim "in the public interest" (para . 135) ; (b) the interference with the individual's rights must be proportionate to the' legitimate aim pursued (ibid.); ~ (c) in assessing whether there is no reasonable relationship of proportionality ~, between the interference with the individual's rights and the public interest 204 objectives being pursued it mnst be cansidered whether in atl the circumstances a disproportionate or "excessive" burden has been imposed on the individaal (para. 136) ; (d) having regard to the wide margin of appteciaeion left to States in this area, a violalion of Article l of Protocol No . l could only be held to ariae from the atisence or inadequacy of compensation "if it were clearly establislted that there was a real and substantial disproportion between the burden imposed on the individual and wha[: could reasonably be considered justifiable in the light of the public interest objectives being pursued by the national authoritie,s" (para. 139). (2) The facts on which the applicant relies to indicate that the burden borne by her by the malâng of the ipossession order and the forfeiture of her lease was disproportionate to what could reasonably be considered suitable for the protection of the landlord's rights are : (a) The: debt due to the landlord was £ 299 .36, together with a£ 15 bailiffs fee. The costs of the action whicl[ she was ordered to pay have not been assessed . (b) The applicant paid the sum of £ 31436 itito Court on I April 1982 and the landlord acceDted the payment in satisfaction of the money judgment. (c) The, applicant valued her flat at the relevant time at about £ 30,000 . She had paid £ 6,000 for it in 1975 and orn any view i[ was clearly worth very snbstantially more than ttie debt which she owed . (d) Ad~.quate pro[ection of the landlord's legitimate interest could have been ensured by significantly less drastic means . Exeeution could have been levied against the applicant's personal belongings which were worth considerably more thar . the judgment sunts . Even if such drastic means were jnstified, the law should provide for the landlord to accourn to the applicant for the net pi-oceeds of disposal of the flat after deduction of their debt, their costs and thei[- costs of sale . (e) The judges in the jtidgment on 21 December 1983 (D .P. v . Victoria Square Property Co . Ltd. and Others [1984] 2 All ER 92) concluded that the applicant ought to be gran[:ed relief againit forfeiture in all the circumstances of the case . The applicant relies, in particular on the following passag~ :s in the jndgment : i. "I start, therefore, with ttiis : the lessors' right of re-entry was intendecl to pi-ovide security for paymeni by the lessee, the [applicant], of rent and senice charge due under the lease . She has, albeit very belatedly, paid the outstanding rent and service charge. She paid into court the reqnisite sum on 1 April 198 2 205 and it has been paid out to the lessor entitled thereto. Why, in these circumstances, should it be right that the lessee, the [applicant], should lose her lease worth many thousands of pounds?" (At page 99, paras . F-G) ii. "The landlords have received all the rent and service charge due to them . They can be compensated for any additional expense to which they have been put by her behaviour . What factor in the history of the case can justify a result by which, in addition, they recover and she loses an asset worth, on her view f 30,000 and on any view many thousands of pounds?" (At page 99, para . J) iii. "I regard such loss as a wholly disproportionate penalty for her to suffer for her delayed payment of the judgment debt . . ." (At page 100, para. E) iv. "The fact that the value of the land brought the case within the County Court jurisdiction and that the lessor elected to bring the proceedings in the County Count means that she cannot be granted relief and has lost her case . This difference in result seems to me to lack rational justification and to be unjust to the [applicant] however much she may be the author of her own misfortune." (At page 105, paras . C-D) (f) The landlord conceded that the applicant would have been entitled to relief against forfeiture if they had obtained their possession order in the High Court . (At page 100, paras . A-B) (g) The Government and the legislature have recognised the injustice of cases such as the applicant's by introducing and passing Section 55 of the Administation of Justice Act 1985, which has provided for relief from forfeiture in the County Court on a similar basis to that available in High Court proceedings . c) Peaceful enjoyment of possessions The applicant's alternative submission is that she was denied the peaceful enjoyment of her possessions . The taking of the applicant's property, the applicant's eviction therefrom and the extlnction of her leasehold interest have manifestly interfered with her peaceful enjoyment of the flat and the moveable property therein . The applicant refers to the judgment of the Court dated 23 September 1982 in the case of Sporrong and Lbnnroth (Series A no . 52 p . 26, para . 69) in which the I Court held that : "[Where there has been an interference with the peaceful enjoyment of possessions] the Court must determine whether a fair balance was struck between the demands of the general interest of the community and the requirements of i the protection of the individual's fundamental rights . . . . The search for this balance is inherent in the whole of the Convention and is also reflected in the structure of Article 1 ." ~ 206 The applicart also refers to ttie Comrnission's own decision on admissibility in Bramelid and Malmstrbm v . Sweden (supra) in which the Commission decided that : "The Conurission tnust nevertheless make sure that in determining the effects on property of legal relations between individuals, the law does not create such inequality ttiat one per'son could be arbitrarily anc, unjustly deprivec of the property in favour of another. " The applicant submits that the legal position in the United K ingdom at the time of the matters cornplained of did not strike a fair balance betwee :n the protection, ot her right to property on the one hand and the landlord's- rights arid the requirements of gene,ral interest that judgments of the courts should be respeci-ed on the caher. In the applicant's sûomission the circumstances of her case created an inequality in her disfavour which was so arbitrary und unreasonable a :; to constitute a violaticn of the right to the peaceful enjoyntent of her possessions. Article 8 of the Convention - :Right to respect fur the applicant's hom e The applicaat further relies in the alternative upon Article 8 of the Convention . The interference was not "necessary in a democratic society" because it was wholly disproporlionate to the legitimate aim wlrich it was sought to achieve . Article 6 para. l of the Convention - Access to a court 7'he applicant contends that she has been denied access to a eourt with jurisdictiori to hear her civil claim on the merits . Sectior, 210 of the Common Law Procedurc Act 1852 entitles tenants to apply for relief againsi : forfeiture after having lost possession where the action for possession was brou .ght in the High Court . Because the action in the present case was brought in the County Court chis remedy was not open to the applicant by virtue of Section 191 of the County Courts Act 1959 . Bo(h the County Court and the High Court to which the applicant applied would have given relief to he.r, had they had jurisdiction to do so . The provision thereby placed a hindrance on the applicaut's access to court . 'Phe applicant contends that Ihe applications were never dealt with on tie merits (see, inutari.c rrrurandi .r, paragrapi 86 of the judgment of the Court in the Sporrong and L6nnroth case) . Alternatively, such lirnitatiens as were placed on the applicant's right to a court were not justified in that : fa) they did not pursue any or any legitimate aim ; alternatively (b) there vias no reasonable relationship of proportionality between the aint ~jursued and the total bar placed upon the applicarit's right of access to court . 207 The applicant refers, in particular, to the fact that she was not legally represented when the possession order was made. Article 13 of the Convention - Effective remedy The applicant submits that she has been denied a remedy before a national authority in respect of her claims of violations of her rights under Article 1 of Protocol No . 1 and Ariicles 6, 8 and 14 of the Convention . Article 14 of the Convention - Discrimination The applicant submits that she has been a victim of arbitrary and unjustifiabl ediscriminationinthenjoymentofherightsunderArticle I of Protocol No. I and { Articles 6, 8 and 13 of the Convention . The discrimination which she alleges is due to the fact that possession prohaving been instituted in the County Court, neither that court, nor the High ceedings Court, had jurisdiction to hear her claim to relief from forfeiture by virtue o fSection191(1)oftheCountyCourtsAct1959 . In comparison, a tenant agains t whom possession had been ordered in the High Court could have been entitled t oaplytotheHighCourtforeliefunderSection210oftheComonLawProcedure Act 1852 . There was thus, the applicant claims, an unjustifiable difference of treatin respect of persons in a similar position . ment a) The distinction between High Court and County Court jurisdiction, based upon the rateable value of the properties concerned, is an arbitrary distinction benefiting richer tenants who are able to afford properties with rateable value sinexcesof1,0,tothedetrimentporertenantswhowereposiblyin need of greater protection . b) The judge in the High Court considered that the difference "seems [ ...i to lack rational justification and to be unjust to [the applicant] . .. c) The Government and the legislature moved swiftly to remove the anomaly once it had been pointed out . THE LAW I . The applicant complains first that the forfeiture of her lease in favour of the landlord constituted an interference with her rights protected by Article I of Protocol No. 1, which provides 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 . 208 Tne preccdiug provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the right ot a State to eniorce such laws as it deenas necessary to control the use of property in accordance with the. general interest or to secur° the payment of laxes or orher contributions or penalties . " The applicant contends that she was rleprived of her possessions contrary to the second sentence of this provision . She also alleges that the loss she suffered by virtue of the forreiture, and her inability to obtain relief against it, was wholly disproportionate to the debt which she owed to the landlorc ., which, fuitherniore, .he paid to the landlord alter the lease was forfeited . The Commission considers that it must first e<amine the way in which State responsibility ariies in the presetit case for the malters about which the applicant complains. h is clear that the Surte has not directly deprived the applicant of lier possessions by taking them into its possession, or otherwise expropriating froni ;ter . The forfeiture order was ntade by the County Court, and imDtemenred the ternis of the lease regulating Ihe private law contractual arrangements betwcen the applicant as tenant and the landlord in relation to the applicant's occupation of the tla :. In this respect, therefore, ttie present application is essentially dilferent from Application No . 13793/79, James and Others v . the United Kingdom (Comm . Report 11 .5 .84) which concerned iegislation which gave tenants with leases predating the legislatioa in question the ~ight fo purchase the freehold interest in the houses of which they were the tertants on prescribed terms . The Commission recalls in this respect its decision on the admissibility of Applications Nos . 8588/79 and 8589/79, 13ramelid and Malmstrilm v. Sweden (D .R . 29 p. 64), which analysed the scope of application of tae second sentence of Article I of Protocol No. I, and in particular the deprivation rute . The Commission there identifred that the drafting of this provision shows clearly that the deprivation rule is generally intended to refer to acts whereby the State lays hands on, or authwisee a tlrird party to lay harids on, a particular piece of property for a purpose which is to serve the public intc.rest . This analysiP. wa> contirmed in Applicauion No. 8793/79 (supra) which concerned the authorisation of the "zxpropriation" from a landlord by tenants in the circurnstances provided firor in the Leasehold Re forTn Act 1967. As the Cemmission found in the cases of Bramelid and 14almstrdm (supra), transfl:rs of property may be autttorised by legislation in circunistances which have nothirig to do wiih the notien of public inlerest as it arises in the context of expropriation . In those cases the Commiasion examined Swedish legislation which was the practical expression of a policy concerning private companies, and dire_tly concerning relations between shareholders . 7'he Contmission there found that ttie second sentertce of Article 1 of Protocol No . I had no application . 209 In the present case, the relations between the applicant and the landlord were regulated by a private contract (the lease) which set out the mutual obligations of the parties. The terms of the lease were neither directly prescribed nor amended by legislation, although substantial quantities of legislation regulate the operation of leases in a general way, mainly with a view to protecting the position of tenants . Thus, for example, in order to gain possession of the flat, the landlord had to take proceedings before the cou rts to obtain a possession order, without which eviction of the applicant would have been unlawful . In view of the exclusively private law relationship between the pa rties to the lease the Commission considers that the responsiblity of the respondent Governmen tcanotbengagedbythemerefacthathelandlordbyitsagents,whowereprivat e individuals, brought the applicant's lease to an end in accordance with the terms of that lease, which set out the agreement between the applicant and the company . The question arises as to whether any other aspect of the applicant's complain tunder Article t of Protocol No . l would give rise to a breach of the State's responsibility under the Convention . It is true that the landlord issued proceedings in the domestic courts in order to forfeit the applicant's lease . This fact alone is not however sufficient to engage State responsiblity in respect of the applicant's rights to property, since the public authority in the shape of the County Court merely provided a forum for the determination of the civil right in dispute between the parties . In contending that State responsibility for an interference with rights protected by the Convention arises in respect of this complaint, the applicant seeks to requir ethataStateisubjectopositiveobligationtoprotecthepropertyrightsofan individual in the context of their dispute with another private individual . It is not necessary for the purposes of the present decision to attempt an exhaustive description of the circumstances in which such an obligation may arise . In the present case the applicant and the landlord had entered into contractual arrangements set out in the lease, which expressly provided for the applicant's tenancy to terminate if rent remained unpaid once demanded. Furthermore, such a provision is a common feature of tenancy agreements under the legal systems of all the Member States of the Council of Europe . Under English law, in view of the premium paid on their grant or assignment, leases are clearly 'property' which may be dealt with and is registered as an interest in land . Furthermore, in view of the value which may attach to such a lease, and the civil nature of any dispute arising about its interpretation, the courts of the domestic legal system are available to protect the different interests of the parties by providing an independent and impartial tribunal which may determine any dispute fairly . 210 Sach a possibility is providecl under English law, inter alia'iy virtue of Section 191 (1)(c) of the 1959 Act . It is also relevant to reeall that the applicant does not allege any supervening act of the domestic authorities, by way of legislation or administrative action, which affected her private law rights as contained in the lease from its inception . The fact that udgment was given against the applicant and her lease v3as forfeited cannot be compared with such direct State action, since it is the function of the ccurts to determine disputes between parties, with the inevitable consequence that one party may ultimately be unsuccessful in the litigation in question . it would rnot appear that the mere fact that an individual was the unsuccess Pul party to private litigation concerning lris tenancy arrangements with a private landlord could be sufficient to engage State responsibility for ai alleged violation of .Article 1 of Protocol No . 1 . Hence, the respondent Government were not required under this provision to take further measures to secure the applicant's peaceful enjoyment of her possessions . It follows that in this case the Commission fiuds that the outcome of the proceedings in which the applicant was involved, which resulted in the forfeiture of her lease did not give rise to a violation of the rights protected by Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 . Her complaint is to this extent manifestly ill-founded and must be rejected in accordance with Article 27 para. 2 of the Conventien . 2. The applicant also invokes Article 8 of the Convention in respect of the forfeilure of her lease . She contends that her eviction from her home constitutes an unjustified interFerence with the right to respect for her home protected by Article S. Article 8 provides as follows : °`1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his coi-respondence. ~2 . There shall be no interference bv a public authority with the exercise oP this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety oT the ecmnomic well-being of thc country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or motals, or for the protection of the tightt, and freedoms of others. " However, the Commission notes that it has alteady found that Article 1 of Protocol No . I does not require the State to take further nieasures to prevent an interference vvith the applieant'3 rights . The substance of the applicent's complaint tinder Article 8 of the Convention is the same, but the Commission finds that any interferenee vvith the applicant's righi : to respect for her home which the forfeitire of her lease engendered was in conformity with Article 8 para . 2 as a measure vvhich wasin accordance with the law and necessary in a demceratic soeiery "for the protection of the rights of others" . This espect of her complaini_ is therefore manifestly illfouncled within the meaniug of Article 27 para . 2 thereof. 211 3. The applicant further invokes Article 6 of the Convention and complains that she was denied access to court since, following the service of the possession order IIl and the forfeiture of her lease, there was no jurisdiction in the County Court for her to claim relief from forfeiture, whereas such jurisdiction would have existed in the High Court under Section 210 of the Common Law Procedure Act 1852 . The dispute between the applicant and her landlord as to her obligations under the lease, and the question as to whether or not it should be ordered forfeit, involved the determination of her civil rights and obligations . Accordingly, Article 6 para . 1 of the Convention guarantees to the applicant the right to a fair hearing before an independent and impartial tribunal in accordance with the law . It appears that the applicant had an opportunity for such a hearing before the County Court and she does not contest the fairness of those proceedings . The applicant complains at the absence of a superior review jurisdiction, but Article 6 para . I of the Convention cannot be interpreted to require the existence of a further jurisdiction to review or expand upon the jurisdiction provided by an inferior court, where that first court is capable of determining all questions of fact and law . It appears that the County Court was capable of determining all questions of fact and law relating to the applicant's dispute with her landlord and in these cirthis aspect of her complaint is manifestly ill-founded within the meaning cumstance s of Article 27 para . 2 of the Convention . 4. The applicant further invokes Article 14 of the Convention and alleges that she has been the victim of arbitrary and unjustified discrimination in the enjoyment of her rights under the Convention, and in particular those under Article I of Protocol No. 1 and Articles 6, 8 and 13 of the Convention .Theapplicantcomplainsthatthisdiscriminationliesinthedifferenceintreatment between litigants in the County Court and litigants in the High Court, in view of the restriction on the availability of a remedy against forfeiture in the County I Court once a possession order has been made and a lease forfeited . The difference in circumstances about which the applicant complains arises from the different procedures which are followed by the High Court and the County Court in proceedings concerning forfeiture of leases . Hence Section 191(l)(c) of the 1, 1959 Act bars a tenant, against whom a possession order has been implemented ,fromalrelief,whereasSection210oftheComonLawProcedureAct185 2 entitles tenants who have lost possession as a result of an order made by the High Court to apply for relief against forfeiture for a limited period . However, Section 23 of the Administration of Justice Act 1965 enlarged the rights already contained in Section 191 of the 1959 Act for a tenant against whom proceedings are taken in the County Court for forfeiture of a lease to apply for further time for payment of the due rent prior to the implementation of a possession order . 212 'rhe Comrnission finds in these circumstances, that the difference arising between proceecings in the High Court and proceedings in the County Cowt reflects the limited jurisdiction of the County Court, and she unlimited jurisdiction of the High Court . Furthermore, proceedings in the County Court are designed w ..th au eye to greater simplicity than those in the High Court, with a resultant reduction in costs and complexity . It appears that the provisions of Section 191(l)(c) of the 1959 Act reflect this goal by ensuring the linality cif the decision of the County Court, subject only :o appeal to the Coutt of Appeal. In these circumstances, the Conimfssion finds tha, : the di=ference in treatnrent about which the applicant complains pursues a legitimate aim and is not so disproportionate in its results as to give. rise to a violation of Article 14 of the Convention . It follows that this aspect of the aiplicants complairit is manifestly ill-founded within the uieaning of Article 27 para . 2 of the Convention . 5 . The applicant furiher invoM:es Article 13 of th, Convemion and complainr, that she has not been afforded an effective remedy before a national authority in respect of hee claims of violations of her rights under the Articles of the Conventioti and Protocol No . I referred to above . However, the Commission has already fourd that the appli,ant had aNailable to her a court remedy as required by Aiticle 6 parL . 1 of the Convention in respect of her dispute with her landlord, and the question whether she should be granted relief from forfeiture, notwithstauding, that th,- proceedings against her for non-payrnem of rent were conducted in the County Court . However, in accordance w:th the Commission's established case-law . Article 6 para. 1 of the Convention provides a more rigorous procedural guarantee than Article 13 of the Convention arid therel`ore operates a. a[ex specia7is with regard to a civil right, to the exclusion of the niore general prcrvision> of Article 13 of the Cono ention . It follows that this aspect of her ecmplaint is manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 para . 2 of the Convention . For these reasons, the Commissio n DECLARES THE APPLICATION INADMISSIBLE . 213