Chassagnou and Others v France: ECHR 29 Apr 1999

A law permitted local authorities to oblige landowners to transfer hunting rights over private land to approved hunting associations. The landowners could not prevent hunting on their property. Landowners so affected were made members automatically of the hunting association so that they could now hunt over other land also subject to the same new access provision. There was also some compensation for those who thereby had lost a source of actual income.
Held: The law made no provision for those wishing to prevent use of their lands for hunting. There was an interference with the right to use property and ccordingly had to decide whether, in the absence of compensation for those opposed to hunting over their land, the control of use was disproportionate. ‘In conclusion, notwithstanding the legitimate aims of the Loi Verdeille when it was adopted, the Court considers that the result of the compulsory-transfer system which it lays down has been to place the applicants in a situation which upsets the fair balance to be struck between protection of the right of property and the requirements of the general interest. Compelling small landowners to transfer hunting rights over their land so that others can make use of them in a way which is totally incompatible with their beliefs imposes a disproportionate burden which is not justified under the second paragraph of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1. There has therefore been a violation of that provision.’ There was unjustified discrimination in that large landowners did have the right to object to their land being used in that way and so only those who had larger holdings were entitled to use their land in accordance with their conscience.
Wildhaber P
25088/94, (1999) 29 EHRR 615, 28331/95, [1999] ECHR 22, 28443/95
Bailii, Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights 814
Human Rights
Cited by:
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These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 06 January 2021; Ref: scu.165704