Podgorica, (MINA) – The Strasbourg European Court of Human Rights has rejected as unfounded a complaint by the Metropolitan Montenegrin Coastal (MCP) regarding restitution of confiscated property, the right to a public and fair trial, discrimination in the exercise of property rights and length of proceedings by national authorities.
Montenegro’s representative Valentina Pavlicic explained that the petition was submitted to the European Court by 12 legal entities – the monastery and St. George’s Church in Podgorica, which are part of the MCP.
Pavlicic said in the petition it was important to point out that from 1945 until the dissolution of the former SFR Yugoslavia (1990) from the federal and republic authorities, the applicants had been deprived of their property, without legal basis and most often without any compensation.
She stated that, as an example, they highlighted certain parcels of land owned by the Church of St. George in Podgorica.
Pavlicic said that the petition stated that they had submitted a restitution claim to the Government of Montenegro, which had not been decided within the prescribed deadline.
“In the meantime, the Law on Restitution of Confiscated Property Rights and Compensation was adopted, thereby terminating the earlier Law on Just Restitution and on the basis of which the applicants were allegedly denied the right to recover the confiscated property,” Pavlicic said.
She said that the applicants complained, in essence, of the alleged violations of the right to a fair and public hearing, because their claim for restitution of the seized property submitted to the Government, as well as the suit for silence of the administration, had not been decided (Article 6 § 1 and Article 6). 13 of the Convention).
Pavlicic said that in relation to the content of the respective laws, the applicants complained of a violation of Article 14 of the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1, on the grounds of alleged discrimination in the exercise of property rights.
She stated that the complaints were directed at seizure of property without adopting any legal act, which was especially the case with the land of St. George’s Church in Podgorica, as well as the length of the litigation in question before the local courts.
Pavlicic said that in the aforementioned proceedings, one of the applicants (Church of St. George – Church Municipality of Podgorica) filed a lawsuit in 1992 against the Municipality of Podgorica and the Shooting Federation of Montenegro for the purpose of establishing property rights.
She recalled that the proceedings ended with a judgment of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Montenegro of 14 March 2007, which finally rejected the claim of the Church of St. George as unfounded.
Pavlicic said that after assessing all the facts of the petition, the complaints raised by the petitioners, the legal arguments raised in the complaint by the representatives and the temporal validity of the Convention vis-à-vis Montenegro, the European Court noted that the period under consideration was not was excessively long.
“Especially considering that the whole case contained complex factual and legal issues, that is, issues of nationalization of property in the period from 1959 to 1965 in the territory of the former SFRY,” Pavlicic said.
She said that in all these circumstances, the European Court found that the length of the litigation conducted by St. George’s Church before the domestic courts was not excessively long, for which reason it found the petition manifestly ill-founded, and in this regard ruled inadmissibility.
Pavlicic said the decision was final and the parties had no right of appeal.