European Court finds IPC procedures “protracted and ineffective” in the case of Andriani Joannou

The European Court of Human Rights held on Tuesday that proceedings in the immovable property commission had been protracted and ineffective in the case of Andriani Joannou.

Joannou, a British and Cypriot national, sought compensation for property located in the village of Koma Tou Yialou, in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus. The property, five plots of land, was a gift she received from her aunt in 1997. Joannou filed a claim with the immovable property commission in May 2008, for compensation amounting to Euros 2,285,000 approximately.

After a series of meetings with the IPC and with the case still open, Joannou applied to the ECHR on October 2014, complaining among others, that the proceedings before the commission concerning compensation for her property had been protracted and ineffective.

In delivering their judgement, judges in Strasbourg unanimously rejected the Turkish government’s preliminary objection concerning the non-exhaustion of domestic remedies.

They also held unanimously that there has been a violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 in relation to the right for the protection of property.

Judges held by six votes to one, that Turkey should pay the applicant Euros 7,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage and Euros 6,325 in respect of costs and expenses, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final.

In its judgement, the Court stresses, however, that the IPC remedy remains a remedy to be exhausted by other applicants who wish to invoke their rights under the Convention before the Court.

Speaking to CNA, Joannou’s lawer, Achilleas Demetriades, said the Court’s decision was a great success. The IPC is under scrutiny by the Court and this will scrutiny will force Turkey to conform with its human rights’ obligations, the lawyer noted in his first response.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

Source: Cyprus News Agency