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Gaskin v. United Kingdom , 7 July 1989, 12 EHRR 36

Facts: After his mother's death, the applicant was taken into the care of the City Council and foster parents until he was 18. The Council kept case records on him from doctors, teachers, police offices and foster parents. At the age of 18 he brought negligence proceedings against the Council and asked for discovery of his case records. His request was refused on the grounds of public interest.

Complaint: the applicant claimed that the refusal to access to his personal and confidential information from the Council violated article 8 (right to a private life) by failing to meet its positive obligation to give him access to the requested information.

Holding: the ECHR found a violation of article 8

Reasoning: the information requested by the applicant was the only coherent record of the applicant's early childhood and formative years. The refusal of the local authority to grant the applicant access, without any kind of independent scrutiny to determine the genuineness of the confidentiality claim amounted to an infringement of the right to a private life in Article 8.




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