In the case Ceesay Ceesay and Others v. Spain lodged on 4 October 2013, the Court similarly decided on 15 October to indicate to the Spanish Government, under Rule 39of the Rules of Court, that the applicants, two families who had been squatting in a block of flats in north eastern Spain owned by a company responsible for managing assets transferred by the four nationalized Spanish financial institutions, should not be evicted until the end of October (Tulkens, 2014, p.20).

In October 2013 the PAH appealed to the ECtHR to imme diately stop the eviction of several families living in the building Bloc Salt (you can find the text sent by the PAH here). The Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca exposed that facts the eviction was violating the human rights of the affected families

The European Court of Human Rights responded, calling for a precautionary cancellation of the eviction. The  Acting President of the section to which the case had  been allocated decided, in the interests of the parties and the proper conduct of the proceedings before the Court, to inform the Spanish government, under Rule 39 of the Rules of the Court, that the applicants should not be evicted until 29 October 2013.

The parties’ attention was drawn to the fact that failure of a Contracting State to comply with a measure indicated under Rule 39 may entail a breach of Article 34 of the European Convention on Human Rights. in this connection, reference is made to paragraphs 128 and 129 of the Grand Chamber judgment of 4 February 2005 in the case of Momatkulov and Askarov v. Turkey (applications nos. 46827/99 and 46951/99) as well as point 5 of the operative part.

it gave the Spanish Government 20 days to explain the measures that the local authorities would carry out in order to not violate Articles 3 (prohibition of torture, and “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment) and Article 8 (Right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention of Human Rights, specially referring to children, housing and social aid.

“The Acting President also decided to request the Spanish government, under Rule 54 § 2 (a) of the Rules of the Court, to submit information about the measures that the domestic authorities intended to implement with regard to the applicants, particularly children, in light of their vulnerability, in order to prevent the alleged violation of Article 3 and 8 of the Convention. in particular, it asked for arrangements regarding housing and social care envisaged by the domestic authorities.”

The resolution of the Court in Strasbourg recognized the structural deficiency of the Spanish public administrations: an absence of any feeling of responsibility for responding to the human right violations that evictions pose. For several years the PAH has been reporting that the Spanish government and local administrations default on housing rights and on international engagements. (HRW Newsletter issue 7)

On 5 November 2013, the Spanish Government having informed the Court that alternative housing measures in that respect would be taken at local level, so the Court decided to lift the interim measure indicated under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court in this case (Tulkens, 2014, p.20).


Find here the European Court of Human Rights response: Application no. 62688/13

Complete document

Council of Europe - European Court of Human Rights
Article 3 - Prohibition of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment
Article 8 - Right to respect for private and family life
EU Housing Rights
Cruel inhuman and degrading treatment
Squats and slums
Human rights
Right to housing