Judgment (Merits and Just Satisfaction) of Court (First Section Committee), April 30, 2015 (case AFFAIRE SANTOS SILVA c. PORTUGAL)

Resolution Date:April 30, 2015
Issuing Organization:Court (First Section Committee)



(Application no. 52246/12)



30 April 2015

This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.

In the case of Santos Silva v. Portugal,

The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:

             Mirjana Lazarova Trajkovska, President,              Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque,              Linos-Alexandre Sicilianos, judges,

and André Wampach, Deputy Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 7 April 2015,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:


  1. The case originated in an application (no. 52246/12) against the Portuguese Republic lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by a Portuguese national, Mr José António Oliveira Santos Silva (“the applicant”), on 31 July 2012.

  2. The applicant was represented by Mr J. J. Ferreira Alves, a lawyer practising in Matosinhos. The Portuguese Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mrs M. F. da Graça Carvalho, Deputy-Attorney General.

  3. On 4 March 2014 the application was communicated to the Government.



  4. The applicant was born in 1957 and lives in Louredo, Santa Maria da Feira.

  5. On 19 December 2005 the applicant lodged an action with the Santa Maria da Feira Court (domestic proceedings no. 9835/05.7TBVFR) against different defendants regarding the right to use a water channel.

  6. On 3 January 2006 applicant rectified the initial application upon request.

  7. On 19 February 2006 the defendant I. lodged her submissions in reply (contestação) and informed the court that defendant A., her husband, had died in May 2005.

  8. On 15 February 2006 defendant J. informed the Santa Maria da Feira Court that defendant A. J. had died in 1973 and that his heirs were living in Brazil.

  9. On 5 May 2006 the Santa Maria da Feira Court stayed the proceedings, pending the outcome of the inheritance proceedings in relation to the deceased defendants, after having given the applicant a deadline to submit to the case-file the death certificates of the deceased.

  10. On 27 November 2006 the applicant applied to the Santa Maria da Feira Court for leave to continue the proceedings against the heirs of the deceased defendants (incidente de habilitação de herdeiros). He submitted the relevant documents supporting his request on 9 January 2007, after being notified by the Santa Maria da Feira Court.

  11. On 2 July 2007 the Santa Maria da Feira Court admitted the heirs of the concerned defendants as parties to the proceedings.

  12. On an unknown date the court, taking into account its decision of 2 July 2007, resumed the main proceedings.

  13. On 23 April 2008 the applicant was notified of the failure of the...

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