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El blog de Maria

Your daily Spanish Law reporter. Have it with a cafe con leche.

Legal tip 909. European Human Rights Court stops Spanish Authorities Decission
07 March 2013 @ 15:55


According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including...housing (Article25).

Following this international principle, the ERHC has preventively suspended the demolition order of a house in La Cañada Real (Madrid), which had been ratified by the Higher Justice Court in Madrid. where a family is living illegally until the government of  La Comunidad de Madrid can guarantee an adequate housing.

This measure by the European Court could express that standards to protect right to housing are not being fulfilled by the Spanish Legal and Judicial system. Which is a very important hypothesis.

This family has been offered by these authorities an emergency unit but the ERHC has decided this is not an adequate housing, paying attention to the fact that previously they had asked for an official protection or a special necessity house and they haven´t received any of them (not even a social rent).

Spanish authorities will have to now, determine what an “adequate housing is” and proceed to communication to the European Court which, will issue its verdict on adequateness of the housing. The European Court is also requesting to Spanish Authorities to provide the family with adequate social services

The Spanish Constitution doesn´t recognize the right to a house as a universal right but as a principle to guide social and economic policy

All Spaniards have the right to enjoy decent and adequate housing. The public authorities shall promote the necessary conditions and establish appropriate standards in order to make this right effective…”  “The public authorities shall guarantee the protection of consumers and users and shall, by means of effective measures, safeguard their safety, health and legitimate economic interests” (Articles 47, 51).                                   

What would it happen if this house were a legal construction? Would the EHRC act in the same way?

3-8-Por la Cañada Real (6)

"3-8 Por la Cañada Real (6)", Madrid, Central Spain, by Ela R que R fotos, at


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