29. The Government maintain that the loss of earnings which the applicant suffered is the consequence of her own free choice not to claim her fees from her clients.
30. The applicant argues that such a request, after agreeing with her clients that she would not seek any payment from them but would seek direct discharge of her fees, would have been contrary to her professional ethics. Furthermore, these clients were of poor means, and they would probably not be in the position of paying.
34. The Court does not find the applicant’s choice not to seek the payment of her fees from her clients unreasonable or arbitrary. It considers therefore that paragraph 3 of Section 1 of Law Decree No. 166/1996 imposed an excessive burden on the applicant and accordingly upset, to her detriment, the balance that must be struck between the protection of the right to the peaceful enjoyment of one’s possessions and the requirements of the public interest.
Accordingly, there has been a breach of Article 1 of Protocol No.1 to the Convention.
Curtea Europeană a Drepturilor Omului
(Hotărârea din data de 19 octombrie 2000, Ambruosi împotriva Italiei, disponibilă aici)