Ruiz Torija v. Spain

European Court of Human Rights
9 December 1994


The applicant, Mr. Ruiz Torija, was a lessee of a bar in Madrid. The lessor instituted civil proceedings in court for the termination of the lease and his eviction. The lessor claimed that the gaming machines were installed in the bar illegally. Mr. Ruiz Torija argued that the machines had been there for almost 28 years and thus the time limit, 15 years since the day on which the action could have been brought, in which the lessor could have initiated the proceedings had elapsed. The domestic court, without ruling on the question whether the action was time-barred, decided in favor of the lessor. 


According to Mr. Ruiz Torija, the failure by the domestic court to address in its judgment the submission alleging that action was time-barred, violated his right to fair trial, guaranteed in Article 6(1) of the Convention. 

Court's ruling

The Court reiterated that Article 6 (1) obliges the courts to give reasons for their judgments, but cannot be understood as requiring a detailed answer to every argument. According to the Court, the extent to which this duty to give reasons applies may vary according to the nature of the decision, to legal traditions in the state, to circumstances of the case etc. In the particular case, since the issue of time limitation would have been decisive element in the case, submissions of Mr. Ruiz Torija were clearly formulated and the domestic court was obliged by national law to review all the submissions which were the subject of argument, the absence of the argumentation constituted violation of the right to fair trial of Mr. Ruiz Torija.

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Last updated 17/01/2024