Case of European Court of Human Rights, July 30, 1998 (case Valenzuela Contreras v. Spain)
|Resolution Date:||July 30, 1998|
Violation of Article 8 - Right to respect for private and family life (Article 8-1 - Respect for correspondence Respect for private life)
Information Note on the Court’s case-law No.
Valenzuela Contreras v. Spain - 27671/95
Respect for correspondence
Respect for private life
Monitoring of telephone line in connection with criminal proceedings against subscriber: violation
[This summary is extracted from the Court’s official reports (Series A or Reports of Judgments and Decisions). Its formatting and structure may therefore differ from the Case-Law Information Note summaries.]
I. ARTICLE 6 OF THE CONVENTION
Compass of case delimited by Commission’s decision on admissibility – Court had no jurisdiction to revive issues declared inadmissible.
Conclusion: no jurisdiction (unanimously).
II. ARTICLE 8 OF THE CONVENTION
Telephone calls from a person’s home came within notions of “private life” and “correspondence” referred to in Article 8 § 1 – point not disputed.
Recapitulation of Court’s case-law.
Application of those principles in instant case
(a) Whether there had been an interference
Tapping of applicant’s telephone line constituted “interference by a public authority” in exercise of right to respect for his private life and correspondence – point not disputed.
(b) Was the interference justified
(i) Was the interference “in accordance with the law”
Not contested that there was legal basis in Spanish law.
No doubt in instant case that law was accessible.
Foreseeability of law: telephone tappings constituted serious interference with right to respect for private life and correspondence – had to be based on an especially precise “law”.
In sphere of monitoring telephone communications guarantees stating extent of authorities’ discretion and manner in which it was to be exercised had to be set out in detail in...
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