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Protection of property: landmark judgment

Broniowski v. Poland (22 June 2004)

The case concerned claims for compensation in respect of property abandoned under coercion between 1944 and 1953 in the eastern provinces of pre-war Poland, namely the “Bug River claims”.

This case resulted in a judgment finding a violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1. The Court found that Poland should take such measures as would afford all holders of similar claims adequate compensation. Following that judgment, the Polish Government in July 2005 adopted a new law under which the financial compensation for Bug River property could not exceed 20% of its current value. 80 000 persons were affected by this problem.

This was the Court’s first use of the “pilot judgment” procedure to deal with systemic problems.

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