Thursday, 2 December 2010

Bulgarians Win Court Backing After Brewery Nationalisation

Three Bulgarian men have won the support of the European Court of Human Rights in their claims to shares from a Plovdiv brewery nationalised in 1947.

The case (Putter v. Bulgaria - no. 38780/02) was brought by Paul, Victor and Johannes Putter, are successors to shareholders of the brewery.

It stemmed from a dispute about the determination of the applicants’ entitlement to shares in the brewery following restitution and privatisation legislation introduced in 1992. Relying on Article 6 § 1 (right of access to court) of the Convention, the applicants complained in particular that the domestic courts had dismissed their claims without undertaking an independent review of the Government’s valuation of their properties.

The Decision

Violation of Article 6 § 1

Just satisfaction:

- non-pecuniary damage: 4,000 euros (EUR) to the heirs of the first applicant, and EUR 2,000, each to the second and third applicants

- costs and expenses: EUR 1,460, jointly

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