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December 6, 2021

Court of Human Rights extends deadline on Romania’s Communist-era property ruling

A Romanian government’s request for a deadline extension on following-up a European Court of Human Rights ruling on property restitution has been accepted.

In a statement the court confirmed that it has extended “the time-limit for introducing the general measures imposed by the pilot judgment Maria Atanasiu and Others v. Romania”. “The time-limit for the implementation of general measures to resolve shortcomings in the system of restitution or compensation in respect of nationalised properties is thus extended until 12 May 2013. The adjournment of the court’s examination of applications stemming from the same general issue remains unchanged.”The pilot judgment delivered on 12 October 2010 concerned the issue of restitution or compensation in respect of properties nationalised or confiscated by the State before 1989. In that judgment, the court held that the Romanian authorities had to take measures capable of providing adequate redress to all those affected by the reparation legislation.

Those measures were to be adopted within 18 months from the date on which the judgment became final, namely 12 January 2011. The court added that its examination of all applications stemming from the same general issue would be adjourned.On 25 April 2012 the government requested that the time-limit be extended by nine months. On 5 June 2012 the Chamber decided to grant the request and deferred the deadline until 12 April 2013.  In a letter of 20 March 2013, the government asked the court to grant a further extension of one month. In a number of previous cases disposed of by a pilot judgment, the Court has accepted requests from governments for the extension of time-limits within which to implement general measures capable of resolving a structural problem. In the present case, the time-limit initially granted to the Romanian authorities and the first extension already took into account the fact that they were encountering difficulties in the planning and implementation of the general measures necessary to deal with the issue of the restitution of nationalized property.

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