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Chassagnou v. France (application Nos. 25088/94, 28331/95 and 28443/95)

28 April 1999


Mrs Chassagnou and others were rejected in their application for the removal of their land from the hunting grounds of the Tourtoirac, which they alleged violated their right to property (Article 1 of Protocol No. 1). It was further alleged that this constituted a form of discrimination between large landowners and small landowners.


Violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (right to property) both on its own, and taken in conjunction with Article 14 (discrimination). 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. (§ 85)

Key jurisprudence

  • “A difference in treatment is discriminatory if it “has no objective and reasonable justification”, that is if it does not pursue a “legitimate aim” or if there is not a “reasonable relationship of proportionality between the means employed and the aim sought to be realised”.“ (§ 91)
  • “The result of the difference in treatment between large and small landowners is to give only the former the right to use their land in accordance with their conscience, it constitutes discrimination on the ground of property,” (§ 95)


Chassagnou reiterates the key test for the Court when judging an alleged violation of Article 14 (discrimination). The Government failed to show the “existence of any preponderant interest” in justifying the difference in treatment. (§ 92).

Related cases

  • “Belgian Linguistic” case