THE FACTS

Whereas the facts apparently not in dispute between the Parties may be
summarised as follows:

The applicant is a citizen of the United Kingdom, born in 1927 and
resident in London.

The applicant owns three houses in the London Borough of B. In June
1961, the Borough Council - then Q Borough Council - gave instructions
that a survey should be carried out in an area which was the area where
the applicant's houses are situated. This survey was carried out by two
Public Health Inspectors between July 1961 and October 1963. The result
of that inspection was that the Chief Public Health Inspector made a
report to the Council. In November 1963 the Council adopted a
recommendation of its Public Health Committee that the offices of the
Council be authorised to commence preparing a representation to the
Minister of Housing for slum clearance of that area under the Housing
Act 1957 (hereinafter referred to as the 1957 Act).

On .. January 1964, the Chief Public Health Inspector to the Q Borough
Council represented to the Public Health Committee of that Council that
a number of properties in A, including the applicant's houses, were
unfit for human habitation and that the most satisfactory method of
dealing with the conditions in that area was the demolition of all the
buildings.

The Council's committee considered this report and recommended that the
Council should pass resolutions declaring that they were satisfied that
the dwelling houses in 16 clearance areas referred to, all of which are
within the Compulsory Purchase Order area, are unfit for human
habitation, and that the most satisfactory method of dealing with the
conditions in the area was to demolish all the buildings. The Council
adopted this report on .. February,19664 and resolved to purchase the
properties under Section 43, paragraph (1) of the 1957 Act.

On .. August, 1964, the Council, acting under Section 43 (3) of the
1957 Act, made the A Redevelopment (Extended Area) Compulsory Purchase
Order No. 1 1964, which covered 22 1/2 acres with approximately 450
houses involved of which 266 were declared unfit for human habitation.
The Order was deposited for inspection by interested parties on and
after .. September, 1964, and the required statutory notices were
served on owners, lessees and occupiers. The Order was submitted to the
Minister on .. October,1964. The applicant's properties were included
in the schedule to the Order as houses unfit for human habitation.

On .. September, 1964, an objection to the Compulsory Purchase Order
was made by the applicant. The grounds for objection were stated to be
that the houses were not unfit and should not be compulsorily acquired
in any event. The applicant also claimed a "well maintained" payment
if, by some chance, the circumstances gave rise to compulsory purchase.

On .. June,1965, the Town Clerk of B was informed by the Minister (the
area of the Borough of Q having, by that time, become part of the area
of the London Borough of B) that a public local enquiry would be held
at 10.30 a.m. on .. November,1965 at the Town Hall, W, and a formal
notice for publication was sent to him on .. September, 1965.

The notices served on the applicant under paragraph 3 (4) of the Third
Schedule to the 1957 Act stated as principal grounds for unfitness in
respect of all the applicant's houses deficiencies in repair,
stability, freedom from damp, drainage and sanitary conveniences, and
facilities for the storage of food.

On .. October, 1965, the applicant wrote to the Ministry asking for the
inquiry to be adjourned and the venue changed. On .. October, 1965, the
applicant, as Chairman of the A Property Owners and Residents
Association (which Association had become formed two weeks previously),
together with many other members of the Association, went to the
Ministry of Housing and Local Government to complain that the
Association had not had enough time to collect the views of their
members and prepare a collective case by .. November, 1965;  and that
people affected by the Order did not realise its implications. The
Association also wished the venue of the inquiry to be changed from W
to A.


On .. October, 1965, the Association were informed that the inquiry
would be opened, as arranged, on .. November, 1965, but that it would
be held at A instead of at W.

At the opening of the inquiry the applicant stated that he had served
a writ on the Council claiming that the declaration of the clearance
area was null and void, and submitted that the inquiry was therefore
also unlawful. The inspector appointed by the Minister to conduct the
inquiry announced that this and other objections to the formalities
would be reported to the Minister, but he did not consider there to be
sufficient reason for adjourning the inquiry or altering the procedure.

The applicant, at the inquiry, called five witnesses;  three tenants,
a builder an decorator and surveyor and valuer. He argued that the
classification of the houses as "fit" and "unfit" was misleading; that
the tree houses should not be so classified or included in  a clearance
area;  that if it were decided that the properties were unfit, payment
of good maintenance grants should be made;  that the Council's
statement of case had not been properly served on objectors; and that
he had insufficient time to prepare his case. He further alleged that
the issue had been prejudiced by previous discussions between the
Council and the Ministry. He complained also about the size of the
order and the procedure of the inquiry was also questioned.

The inspector made an inspection of the relevant properties and his
report noted that the three properties with which this application is
concerned had been built ninety to one hundred years earlier. The
report confirmed the "unfit" classification as regards two of the
applicant's houses on the grounds given by the Council, and also that
they did not qualify for "well maintained" payments. With regard to the
third, the inspector found that the house had few serious defects and
was not unfit. However, he considered that the acquisition by the
Council of this was reasonably necessary for the purpose of securing
a cleared area of convenient shape and dimensions or for the
satisfactory development or use of the cleared area.

The Minister's decision on the issues raised was given in a letter
issued on .. December, 1966. No. ... P Road was reclassified as "added
land", which meant that compensation for that property would be at full
market value. Subject to that modification, all three properties were
included in the Compulsory Purchase Order as confirmed by the Minister.

The applicant brought a motion in the Queen's Bench Division of the
High Court of Justice to quash the Compulsory Purchase Order.

The grounds of this motion were set out as follows:

"Neither the Council nor its officers either on its behalf or in
pursuance of their statutory duty in that behalf at any time considered
whether any method of dealing with the conditions alleged to exist in
the relevant area other than the demolition of all the buildings in
that area would be the most satisfactory method of dealing with the
alleged conditions but acted throughout in pursuance of a preconceived
design to acquire the dwelling houses in the said area and in
particular those the property of the applicant's compulsorily on a
basis of site value only as houses included in a clearance area as
houses unfit for human habitation.

Neither the Council nor its Officer on whose report it acted were ever
satisfied in a bona fide manner or at all that the most satisfactory
method of dealing with the conditions in an area declared to be a
clearance area was the demolition of all the buildings therein.

After the properties in the area had been classified by the Council as
"unfit", the Minister met the representatives of the Council for
discussions concerning the Compulsory Purchase Order.

Before the inquiry was held by the Minister, the Minister authorised
by letter a programme of building which included part of the building
works included in the Council scheme for the redevelopment of the area
covered by the Compulsory Purchase Order.

The procedure at the inquiry held by the Minister did not provide
sufficient opportunity for applicants and objectors generally to have
reasonable knowledge of the case the Council had prepared against them.

The inquiry was held in conditions which placed objectors at an
overwhelming disadvantage, covering as it did the compulsory purchase
of over four hundred houses in a multiplicity of ownerships.

The Minister, through his inspector appointed to hold the inquiry,
indicated that the object of the inquiry was to ascertain whether the
properties were unfit or not, whether they were to qualify for "well
maintained" payments, whether the Council could discharge its statutory
rehousing obligations and whether the Council could carry out its
proposals if the Order were confirmed.

The Minister through his inspector indicated that he did not want time
spent on evidence concerning the condition of the properties as he
would be inspecting these himself, and that no representations would
be heard after the inquiry had been closed. The inspector did invite
representations during inspection.

The inspector did not inspect the properties, which formed the basis
of his findings concerning fitness or unfitness, in a manner which
could by any reasonable standard be found acceptable.

The inspector did not report to the Minister on the hardships and
injustice involved of which he was informed many times during the
inquiry.

The Minister did not take into consideration the many applications for
Certificates of Fitness sewed pursuant to Section 69 of the Housing Act
1957.

In the premises the applicants were substantially prejudiced in their
interests in property owned by them and rights which might otherwise
have been exercisable by them in respect thereof."

The High Court, however, dismissed on .. October, 1967 the motion by
Order dated .. November, 1967. In the grounds of the decision the court
held that under paragraph 2 of the Fourth Schedule to the Housing Act
1957 its powers on the applicant's motion were limited to a finding
only as to whether or not the Compulsory Purchase Order concerned was
within the powers of the Act or any requirements of this Act had not
been complied with. Subject to these two grounds, the Order could not
be questioned in any legal proceedings whatsoever, either before or
after the Order has been confirmed. Consequently it was beyond the
powers of the court to consider whether the inspectors or the Minister
of Housing had been wrong on questions of fact or opinion falling
within their powers. In particular, it was not possible for the Court
to consider the question as to whether individual properties had been
wrongly classified as being unfit for human habitation and should
therefore not have been demolished.

As regards the applicant's separate allegations the Court held that the
Council had, in fact, adequately considered the matters referred to in
the applicant's motion and that it had not acted in pursuance of a
preconceived design. Furthermore, the Minister of Housing had not acted
in a manner which was incompatible with his obligation to perform
quasi-judicial functions. Referring to the applicant's allegations
concerning the inquiry the judge pointed out that he could only
interfere on this ground if the defects in the way this inquiry was
conducted were so fundamental that there was really nothing that could
fairly be called an inquiry at all. As the Council had complied with
their statutory obligations and the usual procedure, the failure to
produce several documents and plans before the inquiry did not make the
inquiry defective to such an extent. The inquiry was not held contrary
to the principles of natural justice and consequently the applicant's
allegations were to be rejected.

The Court furthermore held that it was beyond its powers to consider
the hardships resulting from the rules that only site vile would be
paid as compensation for houses which are unfit for human habitation.
It pointed out that this was a matter of the policy of Parliament and
that it was not competent to mitigate its consequences.

The applicant did not lodge an appeal with the Court of Appeal. He
complains that any further remedy would have been ineffective, the
Court having no power to act where the correct procedure had been
followed;  if procedures were duly observed it could furthermore not
be said that the authorities acted contrary to natural justice.

The applicant alleges violation of Article 6 of the Convention and of
Article 1 of the First Protocol.

As to the violation of Article 6 of the Convention he points out as
follows:

The procedures of the Council of B were carried out in a grossly unfair
manner. The decision was based on a report from the Public Health
Inspector but the buildings were classified without inspection. The
result was that many houses were classified unfit that were not unfit.
Moreover, no opportunity was given by the Council for owners to be
heard before houses were classified or before the Clearance Order was
made.

He complains also that the Council of the London Borough of B, in
determining this matter, had not acted impartially nor was the Council
an impartial tribunal.

As far as the Minister's procedure was concerned the applicant states
that the Minister's decision was takin in an unfair and partial manner.
The unfairness began, as the applicant alleges, with the Minister's
approval of the B Building Scheme in authorising a programme of
building which included part of the clearance area. This authorization
was given after the objections to the Compulsory Purchase Order had
been sent to the Minister. The inquiry held by the Minister, in
particular, contradicted the principles of natural justice and was
unfair and biased in favour of the Council insofar as a vast volume of
documentation was produced at the inquiry which was not made available
to objectors beforehand.

As to the violation of Article 1 of the First Protocol the applicant
sets out as follows:

The Council makes a Compulsory Purchase Order and the Minister of
Housing confirms the Order. The owner has his property taken from him
and is given compensation. The amount of compensation given for houses
which are fit for human habitation is based on the market value of the
property. If the property concerned was classified as unfit for
habitation, the amount of compensation is based on the site value only.
An objection made to the Minister may be disregarded if the Minister
is satisfied that the objections relate to the question of
compensation. This may be the subject of determination by the Lands
Tribunal, which, however, may not alter the basis of compensation, i.e.
site value.

The applicant alleges that he was expropriated without adequate
compensation. He states that, due to the arbitrary classification of
his houses as unfit for human habitation, he is only entitled to a
compensation under Section 59 of the Housing Act, which means site
value instead of market value. He alleges that there was no domestic
remedy of any kind available to prevent confiscation of an unfit house
if the procedure laid down by the 1957 Act was observed, because the
Court cannot alter the basis of compensation which was decreed by
Parliament.

PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COMMISSION

The application was lodged with the Secretariat of the Commission on
22nd December, 1967, and entered in the special register provided for
by Rule 13 of the Commission's Rules of Procedure on 17th June, 1968.

On 31st May, 1969, the case was submitted to a group of three members
for a preliminary examination in accordance with Rule 34 of the Rules
of Procedure. On 17th July, 1969, the Commission examined the
application and decided to give notice to the United Kingdom Government
in accordance with Rule 45, paragraph (3) (b) of its Rules of Procedure
of this application and to invite it to submit their observations on
the question of admissibility.

The United Kingdom Government submitted its observations on 23rd
September, 1969, and the applicant submitted his observations in reply
on 3rd November, 1969.

SUBMISSIONS OF THE PARTIES

The submissions of the parties may be summarised as follows:

1. The principal issues of the law governing the compulsory acquisition
of land under Part III of the Housing Act 1957

(a)  Government's observations

Background of the Housing Act 1957:

During the period from 1800 until 1975 (when the Public Health Act of
that year gave local Government authorities wide powers in relation to
drainage and water supply, the cleansing of houses, and the conditions
of streets and buildings), over three million houses were built in
England and Wales. There were no restrictions on the erection of
houses, nor was there any provision for ensuring adequate standards of
sanitation. Many houses were built cheaply and at a hight density. The
period since 1866 has been marked by a continuously increasing effort
to deal with the problems of dwelling houses unfit for human habitation
erected during that earlier period and later. Later scale programmes
for the clearance of unfit dwellings, or "slum clearance", and their
replacement by houses erected according to adequate standards of
building and sanitation did not, however, get under way until after the
adoption, after the first Great War, of the "site value" principle,
that is to say the payment of compensation for lands acquired for slum
clearance on the basis of the value of the cleared site with no element
for the buildings thereof or their materials. The financial burden on
local government authorities (and hence on the community) of clearing
slums and rehousing their inhabitants at rents which do not show an
economic return on the capital costs of new housing was, and remains,
considerable, and it was concluded that effective measures on any scale
could be attempted only if the cost of clearance were commensurate with
the value of the land and no public moneys were paid for structures or
material which, by definition, had come to the end of their useful
lives and were acquired, simply in the process of clearance, to be
cleared away. Apart from the question of the financial burden to the
community, the "site value" basis of compensation is logically
justifiable since a structure unfit for human habitation should have
no rental value as a house and thus no capital value as one.

The effectiveness of the site value principle was demonstrated when,
following the introduction of the concept of "clearance areas" in the
Housing Act 1930, it became the duty of local Government authorities
which instituted clearance programmes either to acquire slum houses and
to demolish them themselves or to order the houses to be demolished by
the owners.
In the twenty-eight years preceding 1919, only 32 clearance schemes
were completed in the whole country. But from 1931 to 1939, about
300,000 houses were cleared or closed, the rate of clearance rising
from 1,784 in 1931 to 71,747 in 1938. During the second Great War and
for some years afterwards the clearance programme was suspended. It was
resumed in 1955, and since then more than 820,000 houses have been
demolished or closed under slum clearance programmes in England and
Wales; yet, following a survey carried out in 1967, it is estimated
that there are still some 1,800,000 unfit houses remaining, about
1,000,000 of which are in potential clearance areas.

The Housing Act 1957 is the principal Housing Act for England and Wales
and consolidates previous enactments. Parts II and III contain the law
dealing with the clearance of unfit houses. Certain changes have been
effected by later Acts, in particular by the Housing Act 1969, but the
changes, even if they had applied at the material time, would not have
affected the treatment of any of the three properties in question.
Accordingly the legislation will be described as it existed at the
material time.

Part III (sections 42 to 75) of the 1957 Act contains powers, similar
to those introduced in earlier legislation, for dealing with any area
containing unfit houses where the most satisfactory method of dealing
with the conditions in the area is the demolition of all the buildings
in it, with the object of doing away with the social evil of bad
housing and enabling the local government authorities to secure the
proper redevelopment of the land.

The criteria by which the unfitness of a house for human habitation is
to be judged for the purposes of the 1957 Act are set out in section
4 of that Act. The section does not attempt to define a specific test
but requires regard to be had to the condition of the house in respect
of repair, stability, freedom from damp, natural lighting, ventilation,
water supply, drainage and sanitary conveniences, and facilities for
the storage, preparation and cooking of food and for the disposal of
waste water. A house is deemed to be unfit for human habitation if, and
only if, it is so far defective in one or more of those matters that
it is not reasonably suitable for occupation in that condition.

Various duties are imposed on local Government authorities under the
1957 Act to take action in respect of unfit houses. Section 3 required
local Government authorities to cause their districts to be inspected
from time to time to ascertain whether any houses are unfit for human
habitation. In particular, Part III, section 42, provides that a local
Government authority, where they are satisfied that the houses in an
area unfit for human habitation and that the most satisfactory method
of dealing with these conditions is the demolition of all the
buildings, shall declare the area to be a clearance area. The clearance
area is to be defined on a map in such a manner as to exclude buildings
that are not unfit. The section also provides that before a local
Government authority declare a clearance area, t hey shall satisfy
themselves that, insofar as suitable accommodation for persons who will
be displaced is not available, the authority can provide or secure the
provision of such accommodation - a provision which places a
considerable financial burden on the community. The Minister of Housing
and Local Government is required to be informed of the declaration and
of the number of the occupants of the buildings in the area.

When an order has been made under section 42 declaring an area to be
a clearance area, section 43 (1) of the 1957 Act provides that the
local government authority shall secure the clearance of the area in
either of the following ways, or by a combination of both of them;

-  by making a clearance order requiring owners to demolish the
buildings (but leaving the ownership of the land unaffected); or

-  by purchasing the land, and themselves carrying out or arranging for
the carrying out of demolition.

In the latter case, the local government authority may make a
compulsory purchase order, authorising them to purchase compulsorily
land in the clearance area and any necessary "added land" (section 43
(3)). Such an order does not take effect unless confirmed by the
Minister. A local government authority which have so acquired land
compulsorily are under a duty (section 47) to cause the buildings to
be vacated so soon as may be, and to demolish the buildings within six
weeks of their being vacated or such longer period as may, in the
circumstances, be reasonable (or, alternatively, to sell or let the
land subject to a condition requiring demolition).

Procedure regulating compulsory purchase

The procedure for authorising compulsory purchase under Part III of the
1957 Act is set forth in Part I of the Third Schedule to the Act. All
owners, lessees, and occupiers (except tenants for a month or less have
a right to object to the order, and are required to be served with
notice to that effect before the order is submitted to the Minister.
If objections are made, a public local inquiry or hearings held by an
inspector appointed by the Minister, and the inspector reports thereof
to the Minister, before a decision on confirmation is reached. In the
case of objectors who allege that their houses are not unfit, paragraph
3 (4) of the Third Schedule to the Act requires the local government
authority to serve separate individual notices stating what facts they
allege as their principle grounds for being satisfied that the houses
are unfit. After considering the inspector's report and the objections,
the Minister may, if he thinks fit, confirm the order. Where the
Minister confirms the order, he may do so with or without modification
and, in particular, he may modify the order in respect of houses which
he considers are not unfit, either to exclude them from the order
absolutely or to authorise their purchase as "added lands. "Added land"
is "land which is surrounded by the clearance area ... the acquisition
of which is reasonably necessary for the purpose of securing a cleared
area of convenient shape and dimensions, and any adjoining land the
acquisition of which is reasonably necessary for the satisfactory
development or use of the cleared area"; see section 43 (2) of the 1957
Act. Compensation paid for "added land" which is compulsorily acquired
is assessed on a basis different from that applicable to unfit houses.

Compensation

Subject to certain exceptions, to which reference is made below,
compensation is paid for land compulsorily acquired under Part III of
the 1957 Act on the basis of site value.

Exceptions to the provision that payment of compensation is to be on
the basis of site value, when property is compulsorily acquired under
Part III of the 1957 Act, are made in the following cases:

-  "added land" (see above), where compensation is paid on the basis
of the market value of the land and buildings;

-  where inspection has shown a house to have been "well maintained",
a supplementary grant is paid to the person responsible for such
maintenance;

-  when the slum clearance drive was resumed in 1956, temporary
provision (intended to expire in 1965, but subsequently extended) was
made for supplementary payments to owner-occupiers who had bought their
houses between 1939 and 1955, while slum clearance was in abeyance, to
bring their compensation up to the market value of their houses as if
they had not been found unfit.

Judicial review

Paragraph 2 of the Fourth Schedule to the 1957 Act provides that any
person aggrieved by a clearance order or a compulsory purchase order
may question its validity, on the ground that it is not within the
powers of the Act or that any requirement of the act has not been
complied with, by making an application for the purpose to the High
Court, which has power to quash the order, either generally or in so
far as it affects any property of the applicant, if satisfied that the
order is ultra vires the Actor that the interests of the applicant have
been substantially prejudiced by non-compliance with any provision of
the Act. Paragraph 3 of that Schedule provides that such an order shall
not be questioned in any other legal proceedings.

(b)  Applicant's observations

The United Kingdom Government indicate that there would be financial
burden on local government authorities if the market value had to be
paid for houses on land deemed unfit by local government.

According to the applicant there can be no justification for
confiscation of buildings by local government.

The fallacy of the arguments used by the United Kingdom Government
seeking to support the confiscation of property as being in the public
interest is illustrated by a brief perusal of the very figures the
United Kingdom Government produces.

Reference is made to a survey carried out in 1967 which refers to an
estimate that there are still 1,800,000 houses remaining, of which
1,000,000 are in potential clearance areas. This "survey" was the basis
of a Government publication "Old Houses into New Homes", and published
in April 1968.

The full title of this survey reads "A National Sample Survey on the
Condition of Houses". Some 6,000 houses were surveyed to give a report
on the condition of 15,000,000 houses, i.e. one house in every 2,500.

With regard to the survey carried out by local authorities in 1956, and
which was mentioned by the Government, the applicant points out that
this was a very complete survey carrying no element of "sampling" and
was carried out by 1,467 local government authorities, i.e. those
actually charged with the responsibility of the classification of
unfitness. It is shown that the total number of unfit houses revealed
by this complete survey was about 850,000. The Minister's Annual Report
published in 1957 referred to this survey as "a detailed examination".

It will be seen that since 1955 some 820,000 houses have been
demolished or closed underslum clearance programmes. The year 1955
provided demolition etc. of 25,229 houses. It will be seen therefore
that the total number demolished etc. since 1956, i.e. the year of the
detailed examination, was about 800,000. According to these figures all
unfit houses had been demolished etc. by 1967.

Following the sample survey, it is alleged that there are a further
1,800,000 unfit houses. In addition between the years 1955 and 1967
some 1,174,027 Improvement Grants were made covering houses which as
a result cannot be labelled unfit.

The applicant therefore supports that these figures illustrate the
unreliability of both argument and figures submitted by the respondent
Government.

2. Government's observations on the admissibility of the application

(a)  As regards the complaints under Article 1 of the First Additional
Protocol:

The applicant alleges that he was deprived of two houses without
compensation in accordance with the provisions under Housing Act 1957,
Section 59. The applicant's silence as to the third house for which
compensation was payable on the basis of market value, taken together
with the applicant's statement concerning the alleged violation of
Article 1 of the First Protocol, make it clear that this complaint is
in substance a complaint about the basis of compensation as prescribed
by Section 59 (2) of the 1957 Act.

The first paragraph of Article 1 of the First Protocol excepts from the
right secured by that Article a deprivation of property "in the public
interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the
general principles of international law". The United Kingdom Government
submit that it is well established in the jurisprudence of the
Commission that Article 1 does not require that measures taken by a
State with respect to its own national are to be subject to the general
principles of international law and, in particular, does not require,
as a separate condition, that compensation shall be paid when the
property of a State's own nationals are acquired in the public interest
and subject to the conditions provided for by law. In this connection,
the respondent Government refer to the Commission's decision in
Application No. 1870/63, Yearbook, Vol. 8, p. 218. It follows from this
that Article 1 does not in such cases require any particular standard
of compensation.

The applicant does not raise any question in respect of the public
interest or compliance with the conditions of domestic law. It is
apparent from this statement in respect of Article 1 of the Protocol
and from the application form itself (in which the applicant explains
why he did not prefer a further appeal, a step which Article 26 of the
Convention would require if this aspect of the acquisition of the
properties were in issue) that it is not disputed that the applicant
was deprived of the properties "subject to the conditions provided for
by law". The United Kingdom Government wish to draw the Commission's
attention to the determination to that effect in the judgment of the
High Court on the applicant's motion.

With regard to the question whether the compulsory acquisition of the
applicant's property was in the public interest, it is submitted that
measures taken pursuant to the legislation evolved in the United
Kingdom to deal with the problem and social evils of slum housing
conditions, involving the clearance of areas of such housing with a
view to their redevelopment to provide housing of a satisfactory
standard, are plainly measures taken in the public interest; and that
the compulsory acquisition of this property was such a measure. In this
connection, the United Kingdom Government wish to refer the Commission
to its decision in Application No. 3039/67, Collection of Decisions,
Vol. 23, p. 66.

The United Kingdom Government therefore submit that, for these reasons
the applicant's complaint of the violation of his rights under Article
1 of the First Protocol is incompatible with the provisions of the
Convention or, in the alternative, manifestly ill-founded and should
be considered inadmissible under Article 27 (2) of the Convention.

(b)  Submissions regarding alleged violation of Article 6 of the
Convention

The applicant alleges that in the determination of his civil rights he
was not afforded a fair hearing by na independent and impartial
tribunal, and in his statement in respect of Article 6 (1) of the
Convention specifies two matters as constituting a violation of the
rights guaranteed by that paragraph, namely the action taken by the
former Q Borough Council in declaring a clearance area (which he refers
to as the "B determination") and the action taken by the Minister in
confirming the compulsory purchase order made by the Commission (which
he refers to as the "Minister's determination"). The applicant's
criticism of the latter determination also extends to the conduct of
the proceedings before the inspector appointed by the Minister to hold
the public local inquiry, and the United Kingdom Government would refer
the Commission to the High Court's findings on the inquiry which are
set out in the judgment at Annex C.

Although the applicant criticises the "B determination" and the
"Minister's determination" on the grounds that the proceedings of the
Council in the one case, and of the inspector and the Minister in the
other case, did not satisfy the requirements of paragraph (1) of
Article 6, it is by no means clear from the application what is the
nature of the civil right or rights which the applicant alleges to have
been the subject of a determination on either occasion. It is the
submission of the United Kingdom Government that no matter which fell
to be determined, or was determined, by the Council or the Minister
constituted a civil right within the meaning of Article 6 (1).

It has been, and remains, the contention of the United Kingdom
Government that on the true construction of Article 6 (1) (in both the
English and French texts), only something which is justiciable in the
courts of the State concerned can properly be regarded as a civil right
within the meaning of that Article. Paragraph (1) of Article 6 deals
with the determination of civil rights and obligations and of criminal
charges; paragraph (2) deals further with the determination of criminal
liability; and it is submitted that, when Article 6 is considered as
a whole, it is clear that the Article is intended to regulate only he
determination by courts and tribunals of such rights and liabilities
as are accorded by national law. Moreover, in the French text, the
words "cause" and "contestations" necessarily imply that the paragraph
is intended to regulate the conduct of proceedings for the
determination of issues which are justiciable in the courts or
tribunals of the country concerned. In support of this proposition, the
United Kingdom Government rely on the decision of the Commission, in
Application No. 1329/62, Collection of Decisions, Vol. 9, p. 28, that
this Article applies only to proceedings before courts of law and that
the right to have a purely administrative decision based upon
proceedings in court is not as such included among the rights and
freedoms guaranteed by the Convention.

In the submission of the United Kingdom Government, the proposition is
not inconsistent with the decision of the Commission in Application No.
1931/63, Yearbook, Vol. 7, p. 212, in which it is said that the term
"civil rights and obligations", employed in Article 6 (1) of the
Convention, cannot be construed as a mere reference to the domestic law
of the High Contracting Party concerned, but on the contrary, relates
to an autonomous concept which must be interpreted independently of the
rights existing in the law of the High Contracting Parties, even though
the general principles of the domestic law of the High Contracting
Parties must necessarily be taken into consideration in any such
interpretation. The Commission has not, to the knowledge of the United
Kingdom Government, in any of its decisions concluded that something
which is not recognised as a right or obligation in the domestic law
of the country concerned is to be regarded as a civil right or
obligations within the meaning of Article 6 (1).

The only justiciable issues in relation to actions taken under the
relevant provisions of the 1957 Act are whether a clearance order or
a compulsory order are within the powers of the Act, or whether the
interests of the applicant are substantially prejudiced by any
non-compliance with the requirements of the Act. These questions were
not in issue in, and the subject of, the "B determination" of the
"Minister's determination".

The United Kingdom Government are, however, mindful of the Commission's
decisions on Applications Nos. 3435, 3436, 3437 and 3438/67,
(Collection of Decisions, Vol. 28, P. 109); they therefore submit that
the matters which fell to be determined, and were determined, by the
Council and the Minister did not constitute a civil right within the
meaning of Article 6, paragraph (1), of the Convention on the following
alternative ground.

In its consideration of the "autonomous concept" of civil rights within
the meaning of Article 6, paragraph (1), of the Convention, the
Commission has concluded, as appears from the quotation set out in
paragraph 37 above, that the issue of what is and what is not a civil
right is to be decided solely by an analysis of the claim itself. It
has also, in two lines of cases, isolated the two following criteria:

(a)  First the United Kingdom Government refer to Applications Nos.
2991 and 2992/66 (Collection of Decisions, Vol. 24, p. 116). From these
decisions, it would appear to follow that a "right" which is not a
right protected by the Convention is not a civil right within the
meaning of Article 6, paragraph (1), of the Convention. (The United
Kingdom Government wish to emphasise that this is a negative, not a
positive proposition).

(b)  In a second line of cases the Commission has decided that a
distinction is to be drawn between matters falling under public law and
matters falling under private law, and that Article 6 (1) does not
apply  to matters falling under the former. In this connection
reference is made to Application No. 2145/64, Yearbook, Vol. 8, p. 282.

The applicant's claim appears to be essentially a claim to be accorded
a particular standard of compensation on the acquisition of his
property. Such a claim does not, it is submitted, satisfy either of the
criteria referred to above.

As the United Kingdom Government have sought to establish in the above
paragraphs, Article 1 of the First Protocol to the Convention (and
there is no other relevant provision) does not accord to nationals any
right to compensation or, a fortiori, to compensation of particular
standard. Therefore, such a claim, not being a right accorded by the
Convention, is not a civil right within the meaning of Article 6,
paragraph (1), of the Convention.

Secondly, whilst rights and obligations are not formally characterised
as "public" or "private" in the domestic law of the United Kingdom,
they may be so characterised for the purposes of the Convention, and
indeed such a characterisation was made by the Commission in its
decision on a previous complaint against the United Kingdom Government
(decision in Application No. 3325/67, Collection of Decisions, Vol. 25,
p. 117).

The United Kingdom Government submit that the exercise by a local
government authority and by a Minister of the powers conferred upon
them by Part III of the 1957 Act are acts of public administration,
governed by public law and, accordingly, that the decisions complained
of by the applicant did not involve the determination of any civil
rights within the meaning of Article 6, paragraph (1), of the
Convention.

As a further alternative, the United Kingdom Government submit that
there can be no place for the application of an autonomous concept, so
as to require a determination in accordance with the provisions of
Article 6, paragraph (1), of the Convention, in a field where the
Convention or Protocol itself makes it clear that a discretion is left
to the State concerned. Article 1 of the First Protocol provides, so
far as material, that deprivation of possessions is to be regulated by
the "conditions provided for by law". There would appear to be no
justification for applying, in relation to the deprivation of
possessions, criteria external to those adopted in the law concerned.

Moreover, since the "B decision" and the "Minister's decision" were
(notwithstanding that the Minister was under a duty to exercise his
functions in a judicial or quasi-judicial manner) administrative acts,
not acts of a judicial-tribunal, the United Kingdom Government submit
that such decisions are, irrespective of the nature of the right
claimed by the applicant, not governed by the provisions of Article 6
(1). In this connection they refer again to the decision of the
Commission in Application No. 1329/62 (Collection of Decisions, Vol.
9, p. 28):

The United Kingdom Government therefore submit that for the reasons set
out above, the applicant's complaint of the violation of his rights
under Article 6 (1) of the Convention is incompatible with the
provisions of the Convention or, in the alternative, manifestly
ill-founded and should be considered inadmissible under Article 27,
paragraph (2), of the Convention.

THE LAW

Whereas the applicant complains that the proceedings under the Housing
Act 1957 concerning the expropriation of his property were carried out
in a grossly unfair manner ; whereas he alleges, in particular, that
the Council of the London Borough of B failed to act impartially and
that the Minister of Housing took his decision in an unfair and partial
manner and was biased against the applicant; whereas the applicant
alleges that he was consequently denied the right to a fair and public
hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal within the meaning of
Article 6, paragraph (1) (Art. 6-1), of the Convention;

Whereas it is true that Article 6, paragraph (1) (Art. 6-1), of the
Convention, provides that "in the determination of his civil rights and
obligations .... everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing
within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal
established by law";

Whereas, even assuming that the decision to expropriate the applicant's
houses under the Housing Act involved the determination of such civil
right and that consequently the above-mentioned provision was
applicable in the proceedings concerning that decision, it must first
be examined whether the applicant has exhausted the domestic remedies
available to him under English law, and thus satisfied the conditions
of Articles 26 and 27 (Art. 26, 27) of the Convention; whereas the
Commission notes in this respect that the 4th Schedule of the Housing
Act, paragraph 2, provides as follows:

"If any person aggrieved by such an order as aforesaid, or by the
Minister's approval of a redevelopment plan or of a new plan, desires
to question the validity thereof on the ground that it is not within
the powers of this Act or that any requirement of this Act has not been
complied with, he may, within six weeks after the publication of the
notice of confirmation of the order, or of the approval of the plan,
make an application for the purpose to the High Court, and where any
such application is duly made the court

(i)  may by interim order suspend the operation of the order, or the
approval of the plan, either generally or insofar as it affects any
property of the applicant until the final determination of the
proceedings; and

(ii)  If satisfied upon hearing of the application that the order, or
the approval of the plan is not within the powers of this Act, or that
the requirement of this Act not having been complied with, may quash
the order or the approval of the plan, either generally or insofar as
it affects any property of the applicant".

Whereas, paragraph 4 of the said Schedule implies that an appeal could
be made to the Court of Appeal against the decision of the High Court;
and whereas it follows that the Court of Appeal was, in general,
competent to give judgment on the question whether or not the
procedural provisions of the Housing Act were duly observed in these
proceedings and was thus competent to deal with exactly those issues
of which the applicant complained in his application; whereas the
Judges' Chamber in its judgment of 25th October, 1967, stated that its
powers on the applicant's motion were extremely limited and that it had
no possibility to consider whether the Inspector or the Minister was
right or wrong on questions of fact of opinion falling within their
powers; and whereas the Court further held, with respect to the
applicant's allegations concerning the shortcomings of the inquiry,
that it could only interfere on these grounds if the defects in the way
this inquiry was conducted were so fundamental that there was really
nothing t hat could fairly be called an inquiry at all; whereas the
Commission consequently admits that there might arise doubts as regards
the effectiveness of an appeal to the Court of Appeal because of the
restricted powers of that Court;

Whereas the Commission in an number of decisions [see 3.g. decision as
to the admissibility of Application No. 788/60 (Austria v. Italy),
Yearbook, Vol. IV, p. 168] has decided that "the exhaustion of a given
domestic remedy does not normally cease to be necessary, according to
the generally recognised rules of international law, unless the
applicant can show that, in these particular circumstances, this remedy
was unlikely to be effective"; whereas, furthermore, it is established
under international law that "if there is any doubt as to whether a
given remedy is or is not intrinsically able to offer a real chance of
success, that is a point which must be submitted to the domestic courts
themselves before any appeal can be made to the international court"
(Panevezys Saldutiskis Railways Case P.C.I.J. Series A/B No. 76);
whereas the Commission refers to its previous jurisprudence concerning
this question (see decision of Applications No.s 712/60, Yearbook, Vol.
IV, p. 400 and 1661/62, Yearbook, Vol. VI, p. 365):

Whereas the applicant does not deny that he failed to appeal against
the judgment of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court of 25th
October, 1967, but alleges that an appeal to the Court of Appeal would
have been ineffective because of its limited powers; whereas, however,
the applicant has not shown that having regard to the generally
recognised rules of international law and the Commission's
jurisprudence relating thereto, such appeal to the Court of Appeal was
an ineffective remedy which might absolve him from the obligation to
exhaust the remedy concerned;

Whereas, therefore, the condition as to the  exhaustion of domestic
remedies laid down in Article 26 and 27, paragraph (3) (Art. 26, 27-3),
of the Convention, has not been complied with by the applicant;

Whereas the applicant further complains that his property was
expropriated without adequate compensation since he was paid only site
value for those of his houses which had been declared unfit for human
habitation;

Whereas he alleges that this constitutes a violation of the right to
the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions as guaranteed under Article
1 of the Protocol (P1-1); whereas the Commission is of the opinion that
a basis of site value in respect of compensation for houses found unfit
for human habitation constitutes an adequate compensation, since such
houses have no value for their proper purpose as dwelling-houses;

Whereas the compensation paid to the applicant on this basis was in the
circumstances adequate; whereas it follows that this part of the
application is 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