Protection of the Right to Respect for Private and Family Life in European Court of Human Rights

By Fomina, L. Yu. | European Research Studies, July 2016 | Go to article overview

Protection of the Right to Respect for Private and Family Life in European Court of Human Rights


Fomina, L. Yu., European Research Studies


1. Introduction

1.1 Introduce the Problem

Right of protection from arbitrary interference with personal and family life is conserved with major multipurpose international law acts in effect at the relevant time in the area of human rights protection: Art. 12 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, Art. 17 of The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966.

This right is also protected at the level of regional international organizations, i.a. Council of Europe. The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950 is one of key international acts created within the framework of Council of Europe (hereinafter referred to as--the European Convention on Human Rights, European Convention, the Convention). Art. 8 of the Convention (item 1) guarantees everyone the right to respect for private and family life, "Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence" (the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, 1950).

The European Convention established the unique mechanism of human rights and freedoms protection that foremost involves practice of European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter referred to as--ECtHR, the European Court, the Court).

According to Overview data of 1959-2014, the European Court rendered 1085 judgments on complaints about violation of Art.8 of the European Convention by State Parties to the Convention from 1959 to 2014. Most violations of Art.8 of the Convention over the specified period (with regard to time necessary for state accession to the Convention) were established against Italy (145 decrees), Russia (131 decrees), Poland (103 decrees). Given this, ECtHR adopted 17754 regulations in total over the specified period, among them 14877 involved at least one infringement of the European Convention (European Court of Human Rights, 2015).

The above states that protection of the right to respect for private and family life is significant on the part of Council of Europe member states' citizens and holds a prominent place in ECtHR practice.

The research objective is to cover issues regarding opportunities and matters of protection of the right to respect for private and family life with the use of the European Convention monitoring mechanism. It should be mentioned the paper considers the practice of the European Court in the context of protection of private and family life with no regard to respect for home and correspondence that are also guaranteed under Art. 8 of the Convention. Meeting the objective defined statement and solution of the following tasks: to examine the notion of private and family life in the European court practice, to research European court's legal views concerning understanding of admissibility criteria of interference to the right to respect for private and family life, to study ecological rights protection in the context of Art. 8 of the Convention.

In the course of paper preparation scientists' works dedicated both to universal mechanisms of international law protection of human rights and human rights protection under the European Convention in general as well as rights to respect for private and family life in particular were studied.

Findings of the research develop and complement international and European law sections dedicated to human rights protection. They can be used in different kinds of legal practice, in academic activity when teaching various branches of jurisprudence.

1.2 Importance of the Problem

Modern legal science pays much attention to human rights protection, but there are few complex researches devoted to protection of the right to respect for private and family life in European Court of Human Rights.

Recently a research dedicated to the right to respect for private and family life and inviolability of home and correspondence has been undertaken (as exemplified by European Court of Human Rights practice) in Russian legal science (Gracheva, 2013). …

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