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The Right of Displaced Persons to Property and to Return Home after Demopoulos

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Elena Katselli



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


This article considers the rights of those displaced by armed conflict to their property and to return home under general international law in light of Demopoulos and Others v Turkey and its impact on subsequent cases. The European Court of Human Rights dismissed the case as inadmissible on the ground that the Immovable Property Commission established by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was an effective domestic remedy that should first have been exhausted. Significantly, the Court concluded that the lapse of time and the political nature of the dispute should influence its decision, and that property restitution is not the only remedy available to those displaced. This article is critical of these conclusions. It emphasises the significance of property restitution and the right to return home and argues that the decision, as evident from post-Demopoulos developments, fundamentally undermines the established rights of the displaced, giving primacy to political realism.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Katselli Proukaki E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Human Rights Law Review

Year: 2014

Volume: 14

Issue: 4

Pages: 701-732

Print publication date: 04/12/2014

Online publication date: 10/10/2014

Acceptance date: 11/03/2014

Date deposited: 17/10/2014

ISSN (print): 1461-7781

ISSN (electronic): 1744-1021

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/hrlr/ngu017


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