Judgment (Merits and Just Satisfaction) of European Court of Human Rights, February 26, 1993 (case CASE OF PADOVANI v. ITALY)

Resolution Date:February 26, 1993

Preliminary objections rejected (non-exhaustion of domestic remedies estoppel) No violation of Art. 6-1




(Application no. 13396/87)



26 February 1993

In the case of Padovani v. Italy[],

The European Court of Human Rights, sitting, in accordance with Article 43 (art. 43) of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("the Convention")[] and the relevant provisions of the Rules of Court, as a Chamber composed of the following judges:

             Mr               R. Bernhardt, President,

             Mr               Thór Vilhjálmsson,

             Mr               F. Gölcüklü,

             Mr               B. Walsh,

             Mr               R. Macdonald,

             Mr               C. Russo,

             Mr               J. De Meyer,

             Mr               N. Valticos,

             Mr               J.M. Morenilla,

and also of Mr M.-A. Eissen, Registrar, and Mr H. Petzold, Deputy Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 25 May 1992, 25 September 1992 and 28 January 1993,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on the last-mentioned date:


  1. The case was referred to the Court by the European Commission of Human Rights ("the Commission") on 12 July 1991, within the three-month period laid down by Article 32 para. 1 and Article 47 (art. 32-1, art. 47) of the Convention. It originated in an application (no. 13396/87) against the Italian Republic lodged with the Commission under Article 25 (art. 25) by Mr Alessandro Padovani, an Italian national, on 1 July 1987.

    The Commission’s request referred to Articles 44 and 48 (art. 44, art. 48) and to the declaration whereby Italy recognised the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court (Article 46) (art. 46). The object of the request was to obtain a decision as to whether the facts of the case disclosed a breach by the respondent State of its obligations under Article 6 para. 1 (art. 6-1).

  2. In response to the enquiry made in accordance with Rule 33 para. 3 (d) of the Rules of Court, the applicant stated that he wished to take part in the proceedings and designated the lawyer who would represent him (Rule 30). On 16 August 1991 the President of the Court authorised him to use the Italian language (Rule 27 para. 3).

  3. The Chamber to be constituted included ex officio Mr C. Russo, the elected judge of Italian nationality (Article 43 of the Convention) (art. 43), and Mr R. Ryssdal, the President of the Court (Rule 21 para. 3 (b)). On 29 August 1991, in the presence of the Registrar, the President drew by lot the names of the other seven members, namely Mr Thór Vilhjálmsson, Mr F. Gölcüklü, Mr R. Macdonald, Mr R. Bernhardt, Mr J. De Meyer, Mr N. Valticos and Mr J.M. Morenilla (Article 43 in fine of the Convention and Rule 21 para. 4) (art. 43).

  4. Mr Ryssdal assumed the office of President of the Chamber (Rule 21 para. 5) and, through the Registrar, consulted the Agent of the Italian Government ("the Government"), the Delegate of the Commission and the applicant’s lawyer on the organisation of the proceedings (Rules 37 para. 1 and 38). Pursuant to the order made in consequence, the Registrar received the applicant’s memorial on 5 December 1991, the Government’s memorial on 23 December 1991 and the observations of the Delegate of the Commission on 24 February 1992.

  5. Also on 24 February 1992 the Commission produced the file on the proceedings before it, as requested by the Registrar on the President’s instructions.

  6. On 26 February the Chamber decided to dispense with a hearing, having found that the conditions for such a derogation from the usual procedure were satisfied (Rules 26 and 38).

  7. On 12 March the Government filed their observations on the applicant’s claims for just satisfaction.

  8. On 3 June the Registrar, acting on the Court’s instructions, asked the Government and the applicant for various documents; these were provided on 26 and 16 July.

  9. As Mr Ryssdal was unable to attend the deliberations on 28 January 1993, his place as President of the Chamber was taken by Mr Bernhardt, the Vice-President of the Court (Rule 21 para. 5, second sub-paragraph); Mr B. Walsh, substitute judge, replaced Mr Ryssdal as a member of the Chamber (Rules 22 para. 1 and 24 para. 1).



  10. Mr Alessandro Padovani is a workman and lives in Bergamo.

    On 21 February 1987 he was arrested by the police, who had found...

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