Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights

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Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights provides a right to respect for one's "private and family life, his home and his correspondence", subject to certain restrictions that are "in accordance with law" and "necessary in a democratic society". The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) (formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) is an international treaty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe.


Article 8 is considered to be one of the Convention's most open-ended provisions.[1]

Case law[edit]

This article clearly provides a right to be free of unlawful searches, but the Court has given the protection for "private and family life" that this article provides a broad interpretation, taking for instance that prohibition of private consensual homosexual acts violates this article. This may be compared to the jurisprudence of the United States Supreme Court, which has also adopted a somewhat broad interpretation of the right to privacy. Furthermore, Article 8 sometimes comprises positive obligations: whereas classical human rights are formulated as prohibiting a State from interfering with rights, and thus not to do something (e.g. not to separate a family under family life protection), the effective enjoyment of such rights may also include an obligation for the State to become active, and to do something (e.g. to enforce access for a divorced father to his child).

The notion of private life in the Article 8 is also interpreted as including some duty of environmental protection.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Elizabeth Wicks; Bernadette Rainey; Clare Ovey (12 June 2014). Jacobs, White and Ovey: the European Convention on Human Rights. Oxford University Press. p. 334. ISBN 978-0-19-965508-3. 
  2. ^ Rotaru v. Romania (2000) ECHR 28341/95, paras. 43-44: "Moreover, public information can fall within the scope of private life where it is systematically collected and stored in files held by the authorities. That is all the truer where such information concerns a person's distant past…In the Court's opinion, such information, when systematically collected and stored in a file held by agents of the State, falls within the scope of 'private life' for the purposes of Article 8(1) of the Convention."
  3. ^ "Courts' refusal to order reimbursement of top-up costs of transsexual's gender re-assignment treatment". Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  4. ^ "Gillan and Quinton v United Kingdom". Retrieved 9 February 2011. 
  5. ^ Antoine Buyse (2009-04-08). "Nuisance From Outside the Prison". Retrieved 2013-09-01. 

External links[edit]