Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Right to privacy – Article 8 of ECHR


Here I briefly presented the Right to Privacy, which is protected on an international and a national level, and its future development in European Union. Historically the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) are the initial international documents that protect the Right to privacy. Article 17 of the ICCPR states that “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”[1]

 Article 8 of ECHR consists of two paragraphs, the first paragraph grants the following rights: “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.”[2] The second paragraph contains conditions for exceptions to the rule set out in first paragraph: “There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”[3]

The ECtHR studies the scope of protection of the Right to Privacy case by case.[4] The most common scope of protection is the protection of individuals against the arbitrary intervention by State in one’s private life.[5] However, to some it also extends to include the protection of individuals’ relationships with each other.[6] This is relevant especially when civil protection is not sufficient to ensure effective protection, then the adoption of relevant criminal law has to be made.[7]


[1]International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. (1966, December 16). General Assembly. Retrieved October 23, 2011, from http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/ccpr.htm.
[2] The European Convention on Human Rights. (1950, November 4). Council of Europe. Retrieved January 6, 2012, from http://www.hri.org/docs/ECHR50.html#C.Art8.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Kilkelly, U. (2003, August). The rights to respect for private and family life. Retrieved January 6, 2012, from http://www.echr.coe.int/NR/rdonlyres/77A6BD48-CD95-4CFF-BAB4-ECB974C5BD15/0/DG2ENHRHAND012003.pdf, p. 7.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Ibid.