THE FACTS

The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicant, may be summarised
as follows:

The applicant is a Dutch citizen, born in 1917 and resident at B..

From his statements and from documents submitted by him in support of
his application it appears that, in 1965 the applicant owned a farm on
which he raised pigs. However, in 1966 the company from which he bought
the food for his pigs instituted civil proceedings against him in order
to recover a claim of f 160,000.

While these proceedings were still pending the applicant was
adjudicated bankrupt by decision of the District Court
(Arrondissementsrechtbank) at 's Hertogenbosch, dated .. February 1967.
A receiver in bankruptcy was appointed by the District Court who
replaced the applicant as defendant in the above proceedings and on ..
March 1969 the Court allowed a substantial part of the pig food
company's claim.

The applicant states that the bankruptcy proceedings were closed on ..
November 1970 after all his property had been sold and that he was left
with unpaid debts in the amount of f 220,000. He considered that the
receiver in bankruptcy, a lawyer practising at O., had wrongly
administered his estate in that he did not properly defend the claims
which had been brought against him and which in the applicant's opinion
were fraudulent, nor had he in any way consulted the applicant.
Consequently, on .. March 1971 the applicant lodged with the Bar
Association (Orde van Advocaten) in the district of s' Hertogenbosch,
a complaint against the receiver. The matter was brought before the
said Bar Association's Disciplinary Board (Raad van Toezicht) which
decided on .. December 1971 that it had not competence to deal with the
applicant's complaints as the receiver had not acted in his capacity
as a lawyer but as an official under the Bankruptcy Act
(Faillissementswet). In any event, the applicant's complaints were
ill-founded.

It appears that subsequently the applicant tried to have this decision
reviewed by the Disciplinary Court (Hof van Discipline) in Utrecht, but
without success.

Complaints

The applicant now complains that he has been wrongly deprived of his
possessions. He alleges in particular that various provisions of the
Dutch Bankruptcy Act are inconsistent with the Convention as they do
not allow a bankrupt to manage his own affairs, or at least be
consulted with regard to the settlement of his estate in order that he
might protect his interests.

The applicant further complains that the receiver in bankruptcy
appointed in his case had badly administered the estate in that he
failed to contest unlawful claims made against it and sold the assets
far below their actual value.

The applicant invokes Articles 3, 4 (3) (d), 5 (1) and (5), 6 (1) and
13 of the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1. He also claims
compensation in the amount of f 250,000 part of which he intends to use
for a foundation which he established at B. under the name of "zz..".

THE LAW

1.   The applicant has complained that he has been deprived of his
possessions by reason of the fact that he was adjudicated bankrupt.

It is true that Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1) secures to everyone
the right to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions.

However, under Article 26 (Art. 26) of the Convention, the Commission
may only deal with a matter after all domestic remedies have been
exhausted according to the generally recognised rules of international
law.

In the present case the applicant has not shown that he has appealed
against the decision of the District Court of .. February 1967 by which
he was adjudicated bankrupt and can therefore not be considered to have
exhausted the remedies available to him under Netherlands law.
Moreover, an examination of the case as it has been submitted does not
disclose the existence of any special circumstances which might have
absolved the applicant, according to the generally recognised rules of
international law, from exhausting the domestic remedies at his
disposal.

It follows that the applicant has not complied with the conditions as
to the examination of domestic remedies and his application must in
this respect be rejected under Article 27 (3) (Art. 27-3) of the
Convention.

Apart from this and assuming that the seizure of property as a result
of the opening of bankruptcy proceedings could at all be regarded as
an interference with the applicant's possessions, the Commission
considers that such interference constitutes the essence of proceedings
instituted for the purpose of protecting creditors' rights and is not
therefore inconsistent with Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1).

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.

2.   The applicant has further complained generally that, under the
Netherlands Bankruptcy Act, a bankrupt is not allowed to manage his own
affairs or at least to be consulted with regard to the settlement of
his estate.

The Commission has considered two aspects of this complaint:

First, the applicant seems to complain generally that the Convention
has been violated by reason of the absence as such of any right of a
bankrupt to be consulted or to participate in his bankruptcy
proceedings under the relevant Act.

However, under Article 25 (1) (Art. 25-1) of the Convention, it is only
the alleged violation of one of the rights and freedoms set forth in
the Convention that can be subject of an application presented by a
person, non-governmental organisation or group of individuals. With
regard to the present complaint no right to such consultation or
participation is as such included among the rights and freedoms
guaranteed by the Convention.

It follows that this part of the application is incompatible ratione
materiae with the provisions of the Convention within the meaning of
Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention.

Secondly, the applicant seems to complain that the absence of
appropriate provisions in the Netherlands Bankruptcy Act allowing him
to manage his own affairs or to be consulted with regard to the
settlement of his estate constitutes a further interference with the
right to peaceful enjoyment of his possessions within the meaning of
Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1).

However, any such interference, if indeed it could be so regarded, is
necessary for the protection of the rights of creditors and therefore
falls under the proviso in the first paragraph of the above Article
permitting a deprivation of possessions "in the public interest and
subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general
principles of international law".

3.   The applicant has finally made certain complaints against the
receiver in bankruptcy and he has invoked Articles 3, 4 (3) (d), 5 (1)
and (5), 6 (1) and 13 (Art. 3, 4-3-d, 5-1, 5-5, 6-1, 13) of the
Convention, and again Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1).

As stated above, however, Article 26 (Art. 26) of the Convention
provides that the Commission may only deal with a matter after all
domestic remedies have been exhausted according to the generally
recognised rules of international law.

In the present case the applicant has not shown that he has submitted
his complaints against the receiver in bankruptcy to the competent
judge (rechter-commissaris) in accordance with Article 69 of the
Netherlands Bankruptcy Act and can therefore not be considered to have
exhausted the remedies available to him under Netherlands law.
Moreover, an examination of the case as it has been submitted does not
disclose the existence of any special circumstances which might have
absolved the applicant, according to the generally recognised rules of
international law, from exhausting the domestic remedies at his
disposal.

It follows that the applicant has not complied with the condition as
to the exhaustion of domestic remedies and his application must in this
respect be rejected under Article 27 (3) (Art. 27-3) of the Convention.

Apart from that, the Commission finds that he has not submitted the
slightest evidence to support any of his allegations.

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.

For these reasons, the Commission DECLARES THIS APPLICATION
INADMISSIBLE.