THE FACTS Whereas the facts presented by the Applicant may be summarised as follows: The Applicant is a German citizen, born in 1924, and living in Unna/Germany. On ... February, 1960, he fell and broke a leg in a snow-covered street. As a result, he was treated in a hospital for approximately 4 months. By letter of ... March, 1960, the Applicant presented a claim for damages to the Town of Unna, submitting that the accident occurred on the sidewalk in front of a municipal school which he intended to hold liable, as well as the school housekeeper responsible. The competent insurance company to which the municipal authorities transmitted his letter, rejected the claim by reason of absence of negligence on the part of the municipality and its employee. Subsequent letters of the Applicant reiterating the claim were without success. On ... February, 1963, the Applicant addressed to the Regional Court (Landgericht) of Dortmund a petition for legal aid to sue the Town of Unna and, on a subsidiary basis, its employee. He did not include the appropriate proof of his lack of means but filed at the same time a claim against both defendants, drawn up and signed by him personally. He also stated that he was ill and wanted to submit additional legal arguments after his recovery. The defendants submitted that the 3 years' period of limitation under German law for actions in tort had expired. The Court held, on ... March, 1963, that, for this reason, the proposed action did not have a sufficient chance of success and therefore denied legal aid. In its decision the Court found, on the one hand, that the Applicant had not been prevented from petitioning for legal aid at a time when it was still possible to obtain a decision before the time-limit expired. It found, on the other hand, that the statement of claim (Klageschrift) filed at the same time as the petition did not constitute a proper cause of action lodged in due time as it was not signed by a lawyer as required in actions before a Regional Court. On ... April, 1963, the Applicant brought a new petition for legal aid together with a formal statement of claim signed by a lawyer and with proof of lack of means. This petition, however, was rejected, both by the Regional Court of ... June, 1963 and, on appeal (Beschwerde), by the Court of Appeal (Oberlandesgericht) of Hamm on ... August, 1963 on the ground that the action, although now lodged in proper form was, in any event, too late as the time-limit had already expired. The Applicant then appealed against the first decision of the Regional Court of ... March, 1963 but, again, the Court of Appeal upheld the decision on ... November, 1963, and this was notified to the Applicant on ... December, 1963. Against the latter decision the Applicant lodged a constitutional appeal (Verfassungsbeschwerde) on the ground of a violation of Articles 3, 20 paragraph 1, and 103 paragraph 1 of the German Basic Law. The constitutional appeal was dated 11th January, 1964 (Saturday) and, according to the Applicant, posted on that same day but it arrived at the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) on 14th January, 1964, which was one day too late. The Applicant therefore asked that the time-limit for filing a constitutional appeal should be extended by reason of this unforeseeable delay. Without going into this question the Federal Constitutional Court, by a unanimous decision of a Group of Three under Article 93 bis, paragraph 3, of the Law on the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgerichtsgesetz), on ... February, 1964, rejected the appeal without stating further reasons as manifestly ill-founded. The Applicant alleges violations of Article 6, paragraph 1 first sentence, of the Convention and Article 1, paragraph 1, of the First Protocol to the Convention. Under Article 50 of the Convention he asks for compensation to be paid by the Federal Republic of Germany in the amount of his original claim against the Town of Unna including interest and expenses during the various proceedings. He argues that he has not been granted a fair hearing by the Regional Court, because his petition for legal aid and the statement of claim joined to it and signed by him personally were not considered to have the same effect as a claim filed immediately by an attorney. He is of the opinion that a poor person, as well as a person who is able to pay his lawyer's fees, must enjoy the full period of limitation and should not be forced to petition for legal aid before the expiration of the time-limit in order to obtain from the Court a decision on the question of legal aid. The Applicant further submits that the Regional Court has denied him a fair hearing by failing to wait for the additional legal arguments he had mentioned in his statement of claim. For these reasons the original decision of the Regional Court and the later decisions upholding it constitute, in the opinion of the Applicant, a deprivation of his possessions, viz. of his claim against the Town of Unna and its employee, violating the general principles of international law. In support of his opinion, the Applicant quotes from Böckstiegel's treatise on Article 1 of the Protocol to the Convention (Die allgemeinen Grundsätze des Völkerrechts über Eigentumsentziehung, eine Untersuchung zu Artikel 1 des Zusatzprotokolls zur Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention, Berlin 1963). THE LAW Whereas the Applicant complains of the refusal of free legal aid in respect of certain civil proceedings; whereas he further complains that the time taken by the court proceedings in the determination of an application for free legal aid makes it necessary for an applicant to institute such proceedings at a date which will allow him subsequently enough time to institute civil proceedings before the expiration of the time-limit therefor; whereas he states that, in fact, he only applied for legal aid very shortly before the expiration of such time-limit and that the Court's decision in this respect was given after, and on the ground of, the expiration of that time-limit which had made the institution of civil proceedings impossible; whereas he submits that an application for legal aid should be equivalent to an institution of civil proceedings and that, when such application is made before the expiration of the time-limit for the institution of civil proceedings, the Applicant should be considered to have complied with that time-limit; Whereas otherwise he is prejudiced in his application for legal aid; Whereas Article 6, paragraph (3) (c) (Art. 6-3-c), of the Convention provides for the granting of free legal aid in criminal cases exclusively and where the interests of justice so require; whereas the Commission has frequently stated (see inter alia decision on Application No. 727/60,Yearbook Volume III, page 308) that the right to free legal aid in civil cases is not as such guaranteed by the Convention; Whereas the Applicant has, however, expressly invoked Article 6, paragraph (1) (Art. 6-1), of the Convention; whereas it may be that, in certain circumstances, the refusal of free legal aid could amount to a denial of a "fair hearing" in the determination of civil rights within the meaning of this provision; whereas, however, in the present case, the Applicant's request for free legal aid was rejected on the ground that his civil claim had no longer any hope of success as he had failed to comply with the conditions established by law, in particular, to institute such civil proceedings before the relevant time-limit had expired; whereas the imposition of such conditions for the granting of free legal aid cannot be considered to be a denial of a "fair hearing"; Whereas therefore, in this respect, the Application is manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2),of the Convention; Whereas the Applicant further complains that the Regional Court, when rejecting his request for free legal aid filed on ... February, 1963, failed to await the arrival of his additional legal arguments and that the Court thereby denied him a "fair hearing"; whereas, in this respect, it is to be observed that the Court, on ... February, 1963, invited the Applicant to make any further submissions within ten days and whereas the Court announced its decision on ... March, 1963; Whereas the Commission is thus satisfied that the Applicant had full opportunity to present his case before the Court; whereas, therefore, in this respect, the Application is also manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2),of the Convention; Whereas, finally, the Applicant alleges that the dismissal of his claim for damages was an act depriving him of his possessions in violation of the general principles of international law as guaranteed in Article 1 of the Protocol to the Convention (P1-1); whereas the first paragraph of this Article (P1-1-1) provides that "every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions" and that "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"; whereas it does not appear that the Regional Court, in deciding that the Applicant's claim was barred by the statute of limitation, either interfered with the Applicant's right to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions or deprived him of them; Whereas, in any event, the general principles of international law invoked by the Applicant do not apply to the protection of the property of nationals of the State against which the claim is made (see decision No. 511/59, X. v. Iceland, Yearbook III, page 424); Whereas it follows that, in this respect, the Application is also manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2) of the Convention. Now therefore the Commission declares this Application inadmissible.