The right to an adjudication in a reasonable timetable

The judges from the High Court of Cassation and Justice appreciated (in the Decision no. 508 dated the 28th of January 2011 rendered on appeal by the Administrative and Fiscal Section of the HCCJ having as object the issuance of a ruling to determine the damages for an immovable asset which cannot be restituted in nature) that, the right to an adjudication in a reasonable timetable, mentioned in article 6, paragraph 1 of the Convention as a guarantee to the right to a fair trial, is applicable not only in judicial procedure, but also in administrative procedure and, as well as, in the enforcement phase of the rulings or of definitive decisions. For that purpose, internal norms mentioned in the primary and secondary legislation that regulates the procedure on granting damages for immovable assets confiscated abusively must be interpreted and applied concurring with the right to an adjudication in a reasonable timetable. In this case, because the plaintiffs begun the proceedings for the recovery of the asset or its value by a notification written in 2002, and the writings that are on file show that the solicited decision was not issued, the High Court maintained that the decision on merits was correct, which weighed that the principle for an adjudication in a reasonable timetable was breached. The High Court underlined that the complex nature of the procedural phases cannot constitute a criteria for assessing a reasonable timetable, but it cannot be raised as a justification for an arbitrary conduct, of a total passiveness by the public authorities.

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