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Monday, 8 November 2010

View From The Court: Thursday 18 November 2010

Tunnel Report Limited v. France (no. 27940/07)

The applicant, Tunnel Report Limited, is a United Kingdom company based in Cardiff (United Kingdom), with its head office in Farnborough (United Kingdom). It states that it is the successor of another company, Combined Transport Limited (CTL), whose object was the organisation of “piggyback” transport (combined rail/road transport) between the United Kingdom and the continent via the Channel Tunnel. CTL’s activities declined significantly when in 2001 the French National Railway Company (SNCF) reduced the level of rail traffic through the tunnel, citing force majeure, namely the security problems created by the illegal immigrants detained at the Sangatte holding centre, large numbers of whom were attempting to climb on board freight trains travelling to the United Kingdom.

By the time the rail traffic was able to return to normal after security measures had been put in place by the French authorities, CTL’s financial position had drastically deteriorated, and it eventually went into liquidation. Relying on Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property), Tunnel Report Limited submits that France was responsible for CTL’s demise.

Seidova and Others v. Bulgaria (no. 310/04)

The applicants, Kyanie Ismailova Seidova, Nadzhie Seidova and Zyumbyula Seidova, are three Bulgarian nationals who were born in 1976, 1994 and 1996 respectively and live in Yambol (Bulgaria). They are the widow and daughters of Selyahtin Hasanov, who was shot dead in 2001 by wardens patrolling a field in which he was digging up onions at night. The applicants are members of the Roma minority, as was the deceased. Relying on Articles 2 (right to life), 13 (right to an effective remedy) and 14 (prohibition of discrimination), they submit that the investigation into the circumstances surrounding their husband and father’s death was ineffective, and that it failed to address the issue of whether the murder was racially motivated.

Baudoin v. France (no. 35935/03)

The applicant, Claude Baudoin, is a French national who was born in 1945 and is currently confined in the difficult patients’ unit at Plouguernével Specialist Hospital (France). In 1975 he was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for murder and attempted murder. In 1983 he was compulsorily admitted to hospital on account of his psychiatric problems and violent conduct; since then, he has been in hospital on an almost uninterrupted basis. He submits that his continued involuntary confinement is in breach of Article 5 §§ 1 (e) and 4 (right to liberty and security).

Boutagni v. France (no. 42360/08)

The applicant, Hassan Boutagni, is a Moroccan national who was born in 1966 in Morocco and has lived in France since 1978. In 2007 he received a prison sentence and an additional penalty of exclusion from French territory for taking part in the preparation of the bombings in Casablanca on 16 May 2003. Relying on Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), the applicant alleges that if returned to his country of origin he would be at risk of inhuman and degrading treatment and acts of torture. Relying on Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), he also submits that his enforced return to Morocco, a country in which he no longer has any family ties, would breach his right to respect for his private and family life.

Richet and Le Ber v. France (nos. 18990/07 and 23905/07)

The applicants, Christine Richet, Vincent Richet, Clothilde Richet, Claudine Richet and Lélia Le Ber, are French nationals who were born in 1946, 1948, 1949, 1951 and 1921 respectively. They all live in France, except for Vincent Richet, who lives in Marrakesh (Morocco). The applicants are the heirs of a Mr Fournier, who in 1912 acquired the island of Porquerolles, situated off Hyères. In the early 1970s they sold most of the island to the French State and retained several plots of land on which they were authorised to erect buildings. Relying in particular on Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property), they complain that France failed to honour its contractual undertakings by not ensuring their effective enjoyment of their building rights.

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