2 EPARHIJA BUDIMLJANSKO-
NIKŠIĆKA AND OTHERS v.
applicant”), Svete Trojice from Plav (“the seventh applicant”), Piva fromPlužine (“the eighth applicant”), Svetog Luke from Nikšić (“the ninth
pplicant”), Kosijerevo from Nikšić (“the tenth applicant”), as well aschurches Sv. Vasilija Ostroškog from Nikšić (“the eleventh applicant”), andSvetog Apostola Petra i Pavla from Nikšić (“the twelfth applicant”), all part
of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro. They were represented
before the Court by Ms V. Mijanović, a lawyer practising in Nikšić.
The Montenegrin Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr Z. Pažin.
A. The circumstances of the case
3. The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarisedas follows.
1. The restitution proceedings
4. On unspecified dates immediately after World War II several plots of land were expropriated from the seventh and twelfth applicants, apparentlyin the absence of any decision to that effect.5. On various dates in 1946 several plots of land were expropriated fromthe second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventhapplicants by the relevant District Agricultural Commissions
Sreska poljoprivredna komisija
). These decisions would appear to havebeen upheld by the State Agrarian Court (
Zemaljski agrarni sud
).6. On 18 March 2004 the applicants filed a request with the Governmentseeking restitution of the expropriated plots of land, relying on the JustRestitution Act 2002 (see paragraphs 16 and 18-19 below).7. On 19 May 2004 the applicants urged the Government to decide ontheir request.8. On 16 June 2004, not having received any response from theGovernment, the applicants initiated an administrative dispute (
) before the Supreme Court (
) for “silence of administration”.
9. On 22 September 2005 the Administrative Court, which, in themeantime, had taken over the competencies of the Supreme Court in respectof administrative disputes (see paragraph 35-36 below), ruled against theapplicants on the grounds that the Government had no jurisdiction to rule ontheir request.10. On 24 October 2005 the Administrative Court decision wasdispatched by regular post to the applicants
representative in the domesticproceedings.11. On 26 October 2005 the postman noted down that the applicants
representative had moved from the address provided (
preseljen sa dateadrese