Legal Analysis

ECtHR, Tommaso v. Italy


February 2017 – Italy

The case concerned preventive measures imposed for a duration of two years on the applicant, Mr Angelo de Tommaso. On 22 May 2007 the Bari public prosecutor recommended that the Bari District Court place Mr de Tommaso under special police supervision for two years under Act no. 1423/1956 and impose a compulsory residence order on him. The applicant complained of a violation of Article 5 (right to liberty and security), Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing) and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) of the Convention and Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 (freedom of movement). The Court found, firstly, that the obligations imposed on Mr de Tommaso had not amounted to a deprivation of liberty within the meaning of Article 5 § 1 of the Convention, but merely to restrictions on his freedom of movement. Next, the Court held that Act no. 1423/1956, the statutory instrument forming the basis of the individual preventive measures imposed on Mr de Tommaso, had satisfied the requirement of accessibility. However, it found that the Act in question had afforded the courts a wide discretion without providing a sufficiently clear indication of the scope or manner of exercise of such discretion. The imposition of preventive measures had not been sufficiently foreseeable and had not been accompanied by adequate safeguards against the various possible abuses. Having been couched in vague and excessively broad
terms, the Act had not satisfied the foreseeability requirements established in the Court’s case­law. With regard to the fairness of the proceedings, the Court considered that the proceedings as a whole had been conducted in accordance with the requirements of a fair hearing.

You can read the full judgment here.