AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF


Application No. 13473/87
by P.
against the United Kingdom


        The European Commission of Human Rights sitting in private on
11 July 1988, the following members being present:

                MM.  C.A. NØRGAARD, President
                     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
                     H. VANDENBERGHE
                Mrs.  G.H. THUNE
                Sir  Basil HALL
                MM.  F. MARTINEZ
                     C.L. ROZAKIS
                Mrs.  J. LIDDY

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


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

        Having regard to the application introduced on 1 October 1987 by P.
against the United Kingdom and registered on 22 October 1987 under file No.
13473/87;

        Having regard to the report provided for in Rule 40 of the
Rules of Procedure of the Commission;

        Having deliberated;

        Decides as follows:

THE FACTS

        The applicant is a British citizen born in 1942 and resident
in Glasgow.  He is represented by Fergus S. Ewing, a solicitor
practising in Scotland.  The facts as submitted by the applicant may
be summarised as follows.

        The applicant owns and occupies his home, a detached villa, in Glasgow,
Scotland.  As occupier, the applicant is responsible for paying rates to the
local authority in respect of this property.  The applicant also owns business
premises in B., for which he must also pay rates.  Following the revaluation of
the rateable value of his properties in 1985 and an increase of the rates due,
the applicant entered a valuation appeal complaining, inter alia, that similar
properties in England were charged considerably less in rates. From the
precognition of the chartered surveyor who acted as expert witness in the
proceedings, it does not appear that there was any dispute as to the method of
assessment or as to whether it was in accordance with statutory provisions.
However, while in Scotland a revaluation had taken place in 1985, none had been
carried out in England and Wales since 1973 and the surveyor stated that this
was the major if not sole cause of the disparity complained of by the
applicant.  The appeal was heard before the Strathclyde Region Local Valuation
Panel on 2 April 1987 and the applicant was informed by letter dated 7 April
1987 that the Panel found sufficient and adequate evidence as to similar
property in the Strathclyde region to justify the valuation and that in these
circumstances it was not entitled to look at property outside Scotland for
purposes of comparison.  The applicant was precluded from appealing against
this decision by S.15 of the Local Government Financial Provisions (Scotland)
Act 1963 as amended by S.19 of the Rating and Valuation Amendment (Scotland)
Act 1984.

        The valuation of rates in this case was carried out pursuant
to the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1975 as amended by the Rating
and Valuation (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 1984, which provide for the
implementation of a rating system in Scotland, which though in most
essentials similar to the rating system in England and Wales, does
differ in procedural matters.  For example, revaluations take place
automatically in Scotland unless revoked by the Secretary of State,
whereas in England a revaluation has to be commissioned by the
Secretary of State.  Also in Scotland, revaluations are carried out by
the Assessor, while in England, they are carried out by the Inland
Revenue.


COMPLAINTS

        While the rates levied in respect of his properties are not
unrepresentative of similar property in the Strathclyde region, the
applicant complains that since the revaluation in 1985 the level of
rates payable is greater than for a comparable property situated in
England by 25 - 250 %.  The applicant complains that this difference
of treatment of business and ordinary ratepayers in Scotland
constitutes discrimination against a national minority.  The applicant
invokes Article 14 (Art. 14) of the Convention read in conjunction with Article
1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1) to the Convention.

THE LAW

        The applicant complains that as the owner of a home and of
business premises in Scotland, he is liable to heavier rates than
those payable in respect of similar properties in England.  He invokes
Article 14 (Art. 14) of the Convention read in conjunction with Article 1 of
Protocol No. 1 (P1-1) to the Convention.

        Article 14 (Art. 14) of the Convention provides that:

        "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."

        Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1) provides that:

        "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 Commission recalls that Article 14 (Art. 14) of the Convention
protects the enjoyment of rights and freedoms guaranteed under the
Convention from 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 applicant complains of a difference in the level
of rates payable between two regional jurisdictions within the United
Kingdom and alleges that this is discrimination against a national
minority.

        The Commission notes in this regard that in many, if not all,
of the Contracting States, different legal jurisdictions exist in
different geographical areas within the State (e.g. cantons, communes,
Länder, etc).  The Commission considers that Article 14 (Art. 14) does not
require a state to operate a uniform system of rate valuation
throughout its national territory.  Thus the mere existence of
variations between such jurisdictions within a State does not
constitute discrimination within the meaning of Article 14 (Art. 14) of the
Convention.  Moreover, there is no indication that the impact since
1985 on the applicant's properties of the differentiation between
England and Scotland as concerns the frequency of revaluation of the
rates in force was based on "association with a national minority" or
on any other ground mentioned in Article 14 (Art. 14).  The Commission
accordingly finds no appearance of a violation of Article 14 of the
Convention in conjunction with Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (Art. 14+P1-1).

        It follows that this application is manifestly ill-founded
within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2 (Art. 27-2) of the Convention.

        For these reasons, the Commission


        DECLARES THE APPLICATION INADMISSIBLE.



  Secretary to the Commission        President of the Commission



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