Judging the Charter

The Charter in judicial practise with a special focus on the case of protection of refugees and asylum seekers

Article 17 - Right to property


1. Everyone has the right to own, use, dispose of and bequeath his or her lawfully acquired possessions. No one may be deprived of his or her possessions, except in the public interest and in the cases and under the conditions provided for by law, subject to fair compensation being paid in good time for their loss. The use of property may be regulated by law in so far as is necessary for the general interest.
2. Intellectual property shall be protected.


This Article is based on Article 1 of the Protocol to the ECHR. This is a fundamental right common to all national constitutions. It has been recognised on numerous occasions by the case-law of the Court of Justice

The wording has been updated but, in accordance with Article 52(3), the meaning and scope of the right are the same as those of the right guaranteed by the ECHR and the limitations may not exceed those provided for there.

Protection of intellectual property, one aspect of the right of property, is explicitly mentioned in paragraph 2 because of its growing importance and Community secondary legislation. Intellectual property covers not only literary and artistic property but also inter alia patent and trademark rights and associated rights. The guarantees laid down in paragraph 1 shall apply as appropriate to intellectual property.

Official Journal of the European Union C 303/17 - 14.12.2007