Guidance on Immovable Property Commission

The purpose of this Commission was to establish an effective domestic remedy for claims relating to abandoned properties in Northern Cyprus. The European Court of Human Rights, with decision on 1 March 2010 as to the admissibility of Demopoulos and Others v. Turkey found that Law no: 67/2005 provides an effective remedy and rejected the complaints of applicants for non-exhaustion of domestic remedies.

In the light of the European Court of Human Rights’ previous decisions in Arestis Xenides, the main rulings in Demopoules confirm that the Immovable Property Commission formed not only be considered as a ‘domestic remedy’ but was also in realistic provision for redress in current situation.

Xenides – Arestis case along with Demopolous case represents the Court’s most recent application of the pilot judgment procedure developed in 2005 ‘as a means of dealing with large group of similar cases that derive from the same underlying problems.

The Immovable Property Commission officially began its performances on 17 March 2006. The Immovable Property Commission examines claims for restitution, compensation and exchange according to the provisions of the law no 67/2005. Its considerations are based on the principles of bi-zonality and bi-communality which have been common elements of the 1977-1979 High Level Agreements as well as plans for a settlement of the Cyprus Issue prepared by the United Nations. It seeks to satisfy the legitimate claims of property owners without prejudice to the rights of the Turkish Cypriot Community.

The Commission with its local and foreign experts, acts as a court. As of 24 October 2012, 3912 applications have been lodged with the Commission and 276 of them have been concluded through friendly settlements and 7 through formal hearing. The Commission has paid GBP 83,276,225.- to the applicants as compensation. Moreover, it has ruled for exchange and compensation in two cases, for restitution in one case and for restitution and compensation in five cases. In one case it has delivered a decision for restitution after the settlement of Cyprus Issue, and in one case it has ruled for partial restitution. IPC seeks to be a just, fast, an effective remedy for property claims. In this way the Commission affirms to contribute to the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus Issue.

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