Key facts of the case:
The plaintiffs applied to courts to compel the Central Compensation Board to issue the compensation title for a building nationalised during the Communist regime and send it to the National Authority for Property Restitution. They stated that they had lodged a notification in 2001, that the local authorities had issued a decision to award compensation in 2007, that the file had been sent to the defendant, but no compensation had been awarded yet. The Craiova court of appeal decided in favour of the defendants and the High Court of Cassation and Justice upheld this decision. The courts found that the excessive duration of the administrative proceedings violated the plaintiffs’ right to property, right to have the application handled within a reasonable timeframe and the right to a good administration.
Handling a request within a reasonable time constitutes, also, an element of the right to a good administration, fundamental right of a citizen of the European Union, enshrined in Article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which represents a benchmark for the administrative conduct of the public authorities of Member States. The State holds, thus, the duty to organise the functioning of its authorities in such a manner as to comply with this requirement, so that the entitled person may effectively enjoy the protection ensured by Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.