In the case of Scollo v. Italy (1),

      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 Rules of Court A (2), as a Chamber composed of the
following judges:

      Mr R. Ryssdal, President,
      Mr F. Matscher,
      Mr L.-E. Pettiti,
      Mr B. Walsh,
      Mr C. Russo,
      Mr S.K. Martens,
      Mr A.N. Loizou,
      Mr L. Wildhaber,
      Mr G. Mifsud Bonnici,

and also of Mr H. Petzold, Registrar,

      Having deliberated in private on 23 March and 1 September 1995,

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

1.  The case is numbered 24/1994/471/552.  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.

2.  Rules A apply to all cases referred to the Court before the entry
into force of Protocol No. 9 (P9) and thereafter only to cases
concerning States not bound by that Protocol (P9).  They correspond to
the Rules that came into force on 1 January 1983, as amended several
times subsequently.


1.    The case was referred to the Court by the European Commission of
Human Rights ("the Commission") on 7 July 1994, 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. 19133/91) against the Italian Republic lodged with the Commission
under Article 25 (art. 25) by an Italian national,
Mr Francesco Salvatore Scollo, on 19 November 1991.

      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
application 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 1 of Protocol No. 1 and Article 6 para. 1 of the
Convention (P1-1, art. 6-1).

2.    In response to the enquiry made in accordance with Rule 33
para. 3 (d) of Rules of Court A, the applicant stated that he wished
to take part in the proceedings and designated the lawyer who would
represent him (Rule 30).

3.    On 22 August 1994 the President of the Court decided that, in the
interests of the proper administration of justice, this case should be
referred to the Chamber constituted on 18 July 1994 to hear the case
of Spadea and Scalabrino v. Italy (1) (Rule 21 para. 6).  That Chamber
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 in the presence
of the Registrar, were Mr F. Matscher, Mr L.-E. Pettiti, Mr B. Walsh,
Mr S.K. Martens, Mr A.N. Loizou, Mr L. Wildhaber and
Mr G. Mifsud Bonnici (Article 43 in fine of the Convention and Rule 21
para. 4) (art. 43).
1.  Case no. 23/1994/470/551.

4.    As President of the Chamber (Rule 21 para. 5), Mr Ryssdal, acting
through the Registrar, consulted the Agent of the Italian Government
("the Government"), the applicant's lawyer and the Delegate of the
Commission on the organisation of the proceedings (Rules 37 para. 1 and
38).  Pursuant to the order made in consequence, the Registrar received
the Government's and the applicant's memorials on 18 and
31 January 1995 respectively.  The Delegate of the Commission did not
submit any written observations.

5.    On 20 March 1995 the Commission produced the file on the
proceedings before it, as requested by the Registrar on the President's

6.    In accordance with the decision of the President, who had given
the applicant and his lawyer leave to use the Italian language
(Rule 27 para. 3), the hearing took place in public in the Human Rights
Building, Strasbourg, on 21 March 1995.  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 V. Esposito and
Mr G. Colla, magistrati, on secondment to
      the Legislation Office, Ministry of Justice,           Counsel;

(b) for the Commission

Mr B. Conforti,                                             Delegate;

(c) for the applicant

Mr E. Sinigaglia, avvocato,                                  Counsel,
Mr M. de Stefano, avvocato,                                  Adviser.

      The Court heard addresses by Mr Conforti, Mr Sinigaglia,
Mr de Stefano, Mr Raimondi and Mr Colla.



7.    Mr Francesco Salvatore Scollo lives in Rome.

8.    On 14 June 1982 he bought a flat that had been let to a Mr V.
since 1962.  The rent for this flat was subject to control by the
public authorities.  The lease had been tacitly renewed until Law
no. 392 of 27 July 1978 came into force, by which it had been extended
until 31 December 1983.

9.    In a registered letter received on 20 January 1983 the applicant
informed Mr V. that he intended to terminate the tenancy when the lease
expired, that is to say on 31 December 1983, and asked him to move out
of the flat by that date.

10.   In a writ issued on 24 February 1983 and served on 4 March 1983,
Mr Scollo gave Mr V. notice to quit and summoned him to appear before
the Rome magistrate (pretore) on 22 March 1983.

      On 22 April 1983 the magistrate formally confirmed the notice to
quit and set the date of eviction at 30 June 1984.  The decision was
made enforceable the same day and was served on the tenant at the
beginning of October 1983.

11.   Subsequently, on an application by Mr V., the magistrate deferred
execution until 31 October 1984, pursuant to Law no. 94 of
25 March 1982, which had extended existing leases for a period of two
years.  Nevertheless, the tenant remained in occupation even after that

12.   The applicant then began enforcement proceedings, by means of a
notice dated 24 November 1984 that was served on Mr V. on
5 December 1984.  He required Mr V. to quit the premises within ten
days of receiving the notice and informed him that if he did not leave
of his own accord, the order for possession would be enforced.

13.   In a notice served on 19 December 1984 the bailiff informed
Mr V. that he would be evicted on 23 January 1985.  When the bailiff
went to the flat on that date, however, the tenant refused to leave.

      The bailiff arranged to make his next visit to the premises on
13 March 1985, but in the meantime emergency legislation (Legislative
Decree no. 12 of 7 February 1985, which became Law no. 118 of
5 April 1985) came into force.  This had been made necessary by an
exceptionally severe housing shortage in certain cities, including
Rome.  Enforcement of evictions was suspended until 30 June 1985.  In
the instant case, as the applicant had obtained an order for possession
before 30 June 1983, he was entitled under Law no. 118 to enforce it
from 1 July 1985 onwards.

14.   Between then and the entry into force, on 29 October 1986, of
Legislative Decree no. 708, of the same date, suspending forcible
evictions until 31 March 1987, the bailiff made nine attempts to evict
Mr V., who on each occasion refused to leave the flat.  Legislative
Decree no. 708 (which became Law no. 899 of 23 December 1986) gave the
Prefect (prefetto) power to grant police assistance to enforce
evictions in the cases provided for.

15.   Between 1 April 1987 and 8 February 1988 the bailiff made eight
unsuccessful attempts to evict Mr V.  In a deed dated 3 November 1987
Mr Scollo made a solemn declaration under sections 2 and 3 of Law
no. 899 of 23 December 1986 that he needed to recover his flat in order
to live there with his family.  He said that his case should
accordingly be given priority.

16.   On 8 February 1988 a new series of laws came into force
suspending forcible evictions until 30 April 1989.

17.   Between 1 May 1989 and 15 October 1991 the bailiff made eighteen
unsuccessful attempts to persuade the tenant to leave.  In the meantime
(on 1 and 24 September 1989) the applicant's lawyer wrote two letters
to the prefectoral committee which had been set up pursuant to Law
no. 61 of 21 February 1989 and had power to grant police assistance,
pointing out that his client's case had priority.  He cited the fact
that the tenant had ceased to pay the full rent and stated that his
client needed the flat.  He emphasised that Mr Scollo was a diabetic,
71% disabled and unemployed.

      The prefectoral committee did not reply, even though a fresh
declaration of necessity had been enclosed in the first letter it
received.  In this second declaration Mr Scollo had stated that he
could not immediately occupy a second flat he had been obliged to buy
in 1989, on account of the extensive work required to convert the

18.   On 1 December 1989 the applicant brought proceedings in the
magistrate's court, arguing that the suspension of forcible evictions
was not applicable to his case, as the tenant had been refusing to pay
part of the rent since November 1987.  On 12 December the magistrate
ordered the parties to appear on 7 February 1990.  On that date Mr V.
paid the sums due and the case was struck out of the list.

19.   On 31 January 1995 Mr Scollo informed the European Court that
after a further visit by the bailiff on 5 January 1995 he had recovered
his flat on 15 January.


20.   On the basis of the Commission's report, Italian legislation on
residential property leases may be summarised as follows.

      Since 1947 the public authorities in Italy have frequently
intervened in residential tenancy legislation with the aim of
controlling rents.  This has been achieved by rent freezes
(occasionally relaxed when the Government decreed statutory increases),
by the statutory extension of all current leases and by the
postponement, suspension or staggering of evictions.

      1.  As regards the statutory extension of tenancies

      The last statutory extension of all current leases, with the
exception of certain cases specifically prescribed by the Law, was
introduced by Law no. 392 of 27 July 1978 and remained in force until
31 December 1982, 30 June 1983 or 31 December 1983, depending on the
dates on which the leases were signed.

      It should, however, be noted that, as regards buildings used for
purposes other than housing, the statutory extension of current leases
prescribed by section 1 (9 bis) of Law no. 118 of 5 April 1985 was
declared unconstitutional in a decision (no. 108) handed down by the
Constitutional Court on 23 April 1986.  In its decision the court held
that the statutory restrictions imposed on property rights under
Article 42 of the Constitution, with a view to ensuring social justice,
made it possible to regard controls imposing restrictions as
legitimate, provided that such controls were of an exceptional and
temporary nature, but that perpetuating such restrictions was
incompatible with the protection of property rights embodied in
Article 42 of the Constitution.

      In its decision the Constitutional Court also pointed out that
the statutory six-month extension of leases prescribed by Law no. 118
should not be considered in isolation but within the context of tenancy
provisions as a whole.  The court drew particular attention to the fact
that this extension succeeded other statutory extensions and could mark
the beginning of new restrictions on freedom of contract in this field.
Moreover, the statutory extension of leases had the effect of
prolonging contracts in which the rent, notwithstanding the increases
allowed in accordance with rises in the cost of living, were not even
approximately in line with current socio-economic conditions.  Further,
the Law concerned did not give the lessor the possibility of regaining
possession of the property except in cases of absolute necessity.

      The Constitutional Court also held that Law no. 118, inasmuch as
it provided for a blanket extension of current leases without taking
into consideration the particular economic circumstances of lessors and
lessees - as would have been necessary to ensure social justice -,
infringed the principle of the equality of citizens before the law
embodied in Article 3 of the Constitution.

      2.  As regards enforcement

      Numerous provisions have established rules for the postponement,
suspension or staggering of the enforcement of judicial decisions
ordering tenants to vacate the premises they occupy (ordinanze di

      A first suspension was introduced by Legislative Decree no. 795
of 1 December 1984.  The provisions set forth therein were incorporated
in Legislative Decree no. 12 of 7 February 1985, which became Law
no. 118 of 5 April 1985.  It covered the period from 1 December 1984
to 30 June 1985.  This legislation also provided for the staggered
resumption of forcible evictions on 1 July 1985, 30 September 1985,
30 November 1985 or 31 January 1986, depending on the date on which the
judgment recording the end of the lease had become enforceable.

      Section 1 (3) of Law no. 118 stipulated that such suspensions
were not applicable if repossession of the premises had been ordered
because arrears of rent were owed.  Similarly, no suspension could be
ordered in the following cases:

      (a) where, after conclusion of the contract, the lessor required
the property for his own use or for that of his spouse or his children
or grandchildren, for residential, commercial or professional purposes,
or where a lessor who intended to use the premises for one of the
above-mentioned purposes (a) offered the tenant similar accommodation
at a rent which he could afford and which was not more than 20% higher
than the previous rent and (b) undertook to pay the costs of the
tenant's removal (Article 59, first subsection, paragraphs 1, 2, 7 and
8, of Law no. 392 of 27 July 1978 ("Law no. 392")); and

      (b) where, inter alia, a lessor urgently needed to regain
possession of his flat as accommodation for himself, his children or
his ascendants (Article 3, first paragraph, sub-paragraphs 1, 2, 4 and
5, of Legislative Decree no. 629 of 15 December 1979, which became Law
no. 25 of 15 February 1980 ("Law no. 25")).

      A second suspension was introduced by Legislative Decree no. 708
of 29 October 1986, which became Law no. 899 of 23 December 1986.

      It covered the period from 29 October 1986 to 31 March 1987 and
in sections 2 and 3 provided for the same exceptions as the provisions
in the preceding legislation.

      Law no. 899 of 23 December 1986 also established that the Prefect
was competent to determine the criteria for authorising police
assistance in evicting recalcitrant tenants, after consulting a
committee including representatives of both tenants and landlords.

      Section 3 (5 bis) of Law no. 899 of 23 December 1986 also
provided for the automatic suspension until 31 December 1987 of
forcible evictions of tenants entitled to subsidised housing.

      A third suspension was introduced by Legislative Decree no. 26
of 8 February 1988, which became Law no. 108 of 8 April 1988.  It first
covered the period from 8 February 1988 to 30 September 1988 and was
subsequently extended from the latter date to 31 December 1988.

      A fourth suspension was introduced by Legislative Decree no. 551
of 30 December 1988, which became Law no. 61 of 21 February 1989, and
covered the period up to 30 April 1989.  In regions suffering from
natural disasters the suspension remained in force until
31 December 1989.

      With the exception of urgent cases, this Law also provided that
police assistance in enforcing evictions would only be authorised in
gradual stages over a period of forty-eight months from 1 January 1990
and set up a prefectoral committee responsible for deciding which cases
required police intervention most urgently.

      All the aforementioned laws and decrees also contained provisions
relating to the financing of subsidised housing and to housing


21.   Mr Scollo applied to the Commission on 19 November 1991.  He
complained of an interference with his right to the peaceful enjoyment
of his possessions, as secured by Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1).
Relying on Article 6 para. 1 (art. 6-1) of the Convention, he also
alleged that his case had not been heard within a reasonable time on
account of the implementation of legislative provisions suspending the
enforcement of evictions, together with the impossibility of having
eviction enforced when this course of action was theoretically open to

22.   The Commission declared the application (no. 19133/91) admissible
on 5 April 1993.  In its report of 9 May 1994 (Article 31) (art. 31),
it expressed the opinion by twenty-one votes to two that there had been
a violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1) and by twenty-two
votes to one that it was not necessary to examine the complaint under
Article 6 para. 1 (art. 6-1) of the Convention.  The full text of the
Commission's opinion and of the two dissenting opinions contained in
the report is reproduced as an annex to this judgment (1).
1.  Note by the Registrar: for practical reasons this annex will appear
only with the printed version of the judgment (volume 315-C of
Series A of the Publications of the Court), but a copy of the
Commission's report is obtainable from the registry.


23.   In their memorial the Government asked the Court to hold that
there had been no breach of either Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 or
Article 6 para. 1 (P1-1, art. 6-1) of the Convention.



24.   In addition to Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 and Article 6
para. 1 (P1-1, art. 6-1)) of the Convention in respect of the right to
a hearing within a reasonable time, the applicant relied before the
Court on Article 14 of the Convention read in conjunction with the
first of those provisions (P1-1, art. 14) and on Article 6 para. 1
(art. 6-1) in respect of the right of access to a court.

      In the Court's view, however, the latter two complaints are
outside the scope of the case as defined by the Commission's decision
on admissibility (see, among other authorities, mutatis mutandis, the
Brincat v. Italy judgment of 26 November 1992, Series A no. 249-A,
p. 10, para. 16).


25.   According to the applicant, the fact that for a prolonged period
it had been impossible for him to recover his flat, owing to the
implementation of emergency legislative provisions on residential
property leases, had infringed his right to the peaceful enjoyment of
his possessions, enshrined in Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1), which

      "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 (P1-1) 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."

A.    The applicable rule

26.   Article 1 (P1-1) guarantees in substance the right of property.
It comprises three distinct rules.  The first, which is expressed in
the first sentence of the first paragraph (P1-1) and is of a general
nature, lays down the principle of peaceful enjoyment of property.  The
second rule, in the second sentence of the same paragraph (P1-1),
covers deprivation of possessions and makes it subject to certain
conditions.  The third, contained in the second paragraph (P1-1),
recognises that the Contracting States are entitled, amongst other
things, to control the use of property in accordance with the general
interest, by enforcing such laws as they deem necessary for the
purpose.  However, the rules are not "distinct" in the sense of being
unconnected: the second and third rules are concerned with particular
instances of interference with the right to peaceful enjoyment of
property.  They must therefore be construed in the light of the general
principle laid down in the first rule (see, among other authorities,
the Mellacher and Others v. Austria judgment of 19 December 1989,
Series A no. 169, pp. 24-25, para. 42).

27.   Like the Commission, the Court notes that in this case there was
neither a transfer of property nor, contrary to Mr Scollo's
submissions, a de facto expropriation.  At all times the applicant
retained the possibility of alienating his property and received rent -
in full until October 1987 and only in part between November 1987 and
February 1990 (see paragraphs 17 and 18 above).

      As the implementation of the measures in question meant that the
tenant continued to occupy the flat, it undoubtedly amounted to control
of the use of property.  Accordingly, the second paragraph of
Article 1 (P1-1) is applicable.

B.    Compliance with the conditions in the second paragraph (P1-1)

28.   The second paragraph (P1-1) reserves to States the right to enact
such laws as they deem necessary to control the use of property in
accordance with the general interest.

      Such laws are especially common in the field of housing, which
in our modern societies is a central concern of social and economic

      In order to implement such policies, the legislature must have
a wide margin of appreciation both with regard to the existence of a
problem of public concern warranting measures of control and as to the
choice of the detailed rules for the implementation of such measures.
The Court will respect the legislature's judgment as to what is in the
general interest unless that judgment is manifestly without reasonable
foundation (see the Mellacher and Others judgment previously cited,
pp. 25-26, para. 45).

      1.  Aim of the interference

29.   The applicant argued that the laws in issue had no legitimate
aim; in substance, the fact that the respondent State had no effective
housing policy had deprived him of his right to dispose of his flat,
since the tenant's interests alone had been protected.  The Government
were not entitled to justify the emergency legislation by invoking the
general interest.

30.   Like the Commission, the Court observes that the legislative
provisions suspending evictions during the period from 1984 to 1988
were prompted by the need to deal with the large number of leases which
expired in 1982 and 1983 and by the concern to enable the tenants
affected to find acceptable new homes or obtain subsidised housing.

      To have enforced all evictions simultaneously would undoubtedly
have led to considerable social tension and jeopardised public order.

31.   In conclusion, the impugned legislation had a legitimate aim in
the general interest, as required by the second paragraph of
Article 1 (P1-1).

      2.  Proportionality of the interference

32.   As the Court stressed in the Mellacher and Others judgment
previously cited (p. 27, para. 48), the second paragraph of Article 1
of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1) must be construed in the light of the
principle laid down in the first sentence of the Article (P1-1).
Consequently, an interference must strike a fair balance between the
demands of the general interest of the community and the requirements
of the protection of the individual's fundamental rights (see, among
other authorities, the Sporrong and Lo╠łnnroth v. Sweden judgment of
23 September 1982, Series A no. 52, p. 26, para. 69).  The concern to
achieve this balance is reflected in the structure of Article 1 (P1-1)
as a whole (ibid.), and therefore also in its second paragraph (P1-1).
There must be a reasonable relationship of proportionality between the
means employed and the aim pursued (see the James and Others v. the
United Kingdom judgment of 21 February 1986, Series A no. 98, p. 34,
para. 50).

33.   Mr Scollo contended that the interference in question was
disproportionate.  He emphasised that he was a "small property-owner"
who wanted to occupy his own flat in order to live there with his
family and he criticised the inertia of the Italian State, which, by
ignoring his two "declarations of necessity", had obliged him to incur
debts in order to buy another flat.

34.   The Government maintained that when, in February 1983, Mr Scollo
brought the proceedings in question, the only ground adduced to justify
the tenant's eviction had been the end of the current lease.
Mr Scollo's declaration that it was absolutely necessary for him to
recover his property in order to live in it with his family had not
been made until 3 November 1987.  Furthermore, the situation had not
continued up to 15 January 1995, when Mr V. vacated the premises, but
had ended by 6 June 1994, when Mr Scollo wrote to the Prefect of Rome
informing him that he no longer needed his flat as he was occupying
another one, which he had bought in 1989.

      It followed that, regard being had to the exceptional housing
shortage it had to deal with, the Italian State had not gone beyond the
margin of appreciation allowed by Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1).

35.   The Court notes that housing shortages are an almost universal
problem of modern society.

      In order to deal with this problem, the Italian Government
adopted a series of emergency measures designed firstly to control rent
increases through rent freezes mitigated by occasional rises and
secondly to extend the validity of existing leases.  The situation in
Italy became more complex when the industrialisation of the large
northern cities sucked in people from the most disadvantaged regions
and from rural areas in general.

36.   In 1982 and 1983, when the last statutory extension, brought in
by Law no. 118, expired, the Italian State considered it necessary to
resort to emergency provisions to postpone, suspend or stagger the
enforcement of court orders requiring tenants to vacate the premises
they occupied.  However, these measures provided for exceptions under
which, among other things, landlords who urgently needed to recover
their property or who were owed arrears of rent could obtain police
assistance to enforce eviction.

37.   In order to determine whether these provisions were proportionate
to the aim it was sought to achieve - protecting the interests of
tenants on low incomes and avoiding the risk of any prejudice to public
order - the Court, like the Commission, considers it necessary to
ascertain whether, in the instant case, Mr Scollo's tenant was treated
in such a way that a balance was maintained between the relevant

38.   The Court accepts the Government's argument that Mr Scollo did
not have an urgent need to recover his property for the whole of the
period concerned, but does not accept the conclusion drawn from it.

      Notwithstanding Mr Scollo's "solemn" declaration of
30 November 1987, which should have meant that he was given priority
for the granting of police assistance to enforce eviction, the Prefect
never issued an order to that effect, and the attempts of the bailiff,
acting on each occasion at Mr Scollo's request, were wholly
unsuccessful.  In addition, Mr Scollo's lawyer twice wrote to the
prefectoral committee (on 1 and 24 September 1990) emphasising that his
client's case should be dealt with speedily, as he needed the flat, had
no job and was 71% disabled; moreover, since 30 November 1987 Mr V. had
not been paying him the full rent.

      The competent authorities took no action whatsoever in response
to these two requests, even though a fresh "declaration of necessity"
had been enclosed in the first letter (see paragraph 17 above).

39.   Although in the instant case the statutory conditions for
enforcement of eviction during the period when this procedure was
suspended were satisfied, Mr Scollo did not recover his property until
15 January 1995, and then only because the tenant left of his own
accord.  In the meantime, he had been obliged not only to buy another
flat but also to bring an action to settle the problem of the partly
unpaid rent (see paragraphs 17 and 18 above).

      3.  Conclusion

40.   The Court concludes that, by adopting emergency measures and
providing for certain exceptions to their application (see
paragraph 20 above), the Italian legislature was reasonably entitled
to consider, having regard to the need to strike a fair balance between
the interests of the community and the right of landlords, and of the
applicant in particular, that the means chosen were appropriate to
achieve the legitimate aim.  However, the restriction on Mr Scollo's
use of his flat resulting from the competent authorities' failure to
apply those provisions was contrary to the requirements of the second
paragraph of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1).  It follows that there
has been a breach of that Article (P1-1).


41.   The applicant also complained of the excessive length of the
enforcement proceedings.  He relied on Article 6 para. 1 (art. 6-1) of
the Convention, which provides:

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

42.   Before the Commission the Government contested the applicability
of this provision (art. 6-1).  They argued that, as there had not been
any real proceedings, what was in fact at issue was a guarantee that
the rights recognised in a judicial decision would be enforced, a
matter covered in the present case by Article 1 of Protocol No. 1

      At the hearing before the Court the Government did not return to
this point; they advanced the new argument that the situation might
raise an issue of access to justice.

43.   The Delegate of the Commission expressed the view that it was
doubtful whether in the instant case there had been any enforcement
proceedings comparable to those the Court had previously dealt with,
most recently in the Silva Pontes v. Portugal case (judgment of
23 March 1994, Series A no. 286-A).

44.   Even if, in the instant case, it is not possible to speak of
enforcement proceedings in the strict sense, the Court considers that
Article 6 para. 1 (art. 6-1) is applicable, regard being had to the
purpose of the proceedings, which was to settle the dispute between the
applicant and his tenant.  The period in question began on
4 March 1983, when Mr V. was summoned to appear before the magistrate
(see paragraph 10 above).  It ended on 15 January 1995, when the tenant
vacated the premises of his own accord (see paragraph 19 above).  It
therefore lasted just over eleven years and ten months.

      If an eviction is to be enforced, the interested party must take
the initiative, and Mr Scollo did not spare any effort to obtain
satisfaction, applying on numerous occasions to the bailiff, who
systematically requested police assistance, as is proved by all the
reports on his visits to Mr V.'s flat.  However, the prefectoral
committee and the Prefect never acted on these requests.

      While not overlooking the practical difficulties raised by the
enforcement of a very large number of evictions, the Court considers
that the inertia of the competent administrative authorities engages
the responsibility of the Italian State under Article 6 para. 1
(art. 6-1).

45.   There has accordingly been a breach of that provision (art. 6-1).


46.   By Article 50 (art. 50) of the Convention,

      "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

47.   Mr Scollo first claimed 13,634,280 Italian lire (ITL) for
pecuniary damage, representing the bailiff's fees and the fees of a
lawyer in the enforcement proceedings.  He also requested ITL
30,000,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage, alleging that he had
suffered from not being able to recover his flat for a long time, and
that during the period when he and his family had been obliged to lodge
with his mother his living conditions had been very difficult.

48.   The Government maintained that the sum claimed in respect of the
alleged pecuniary damage was unrelated to the alleged violations, since
proceedings for the enforcement of an eviction necessarily entailed
costs.  They also cited a recent judgment of the Court of Cassation,
as a result of which, they said, it was now possible to recover
bailiff's and lawyer's fees from a tenant.  With regard to
non-pecuniary damage, the Government considered that if the Court found
a violation, this would of itself constitute sufficient just
satisfaction; in the alternative, the sum claimed was excessive.

49.   The Delegate of the Commission considered that the applicant was
entitled to just satisfaction but left the amount to the Court's

50.   The Court does not accept the Government's argument.  In the
circumstances, the applicant cannot be expected to bring an action
against his tenant, who has already been negligent in paying his rent.
It further considers that the applicant also sustained non-pecuniary
damage.  It accordingly decides to award the sums claimed for pecuniary
and non-pecuniary damage in full.

B.    Costs and expenses

51.   Lastly, the applicant sought reimbursement of the costs and
expenses incurred before the Convention institutions, which he put at
ITL 14,280,000.

52.   The Government left the matter to the Court's discretion.  Having
regard to the information in its possession and to its case-law on this
question, the Court considers the amount sought reasonable and awards
it in full.


1.    Holds that there has been a breach of Article 1 of
      Protocol No. 1 (P1-1);

2.    Holds that there has been a breach of Article 6 para. 1
      (art. 6-1) of the Convention;

3.    Holds that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within
      three months, 13,634,280 (thirteen million six hundred and
      thirty-four thousand two hundred and eighty) Italian lire for
      pecuniary damage, 30,000,000 (thirty million) lire in respect of
      non-pecuniary damage and 14,280,000 (fourteen million two hundred
      and eighty thousand) lire in respect of costs and expenses.

      Done in English and in French, and delivered at a public hearing
in the Human Rights Building, Strasbourg, on 28 September 1995.

Signed: Rolv RYSSDAL

Signed: Herbert PETZOLD