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Leander v. Sweden , 26 March 1987, 9 EHRR 433, para. 74

Facts: the applicant was a national of Sweden and applied for a high-level position in the Swedish national policy. Secret police files containing information about the applicant's private life were used for the purposes of assessing a person's suitability for the employment. At the time, the applicant's request to access those files was refused.

Complaint: the applicant claimed a violation of his right to private life guaranteed by article 8 of the European Convention.

Holding: the ECHR did not find a violation of article 8: the use of confidential information in government files was not obstruction of access to information

Reasoning: there was a breach of article 81 because the use of the secret police files, coupled with a refusal to allow L access to this information, amounted to an interference with the applicant's right to private life. However, the breach of Article 8(1) was justified by the legitimate aim under 8(2) of protecting national security. Accordingly there was no violation of article 8. Furthermore, Article 10 does not confer on the individual a right of access to a register containing information on his personal position, nor does it embody an obligation on the Government to impart such information to the individual.

 

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