Chappell v. United Kingdom (Series A No 152; Application No 10461/83 European Court of Human Rights (1990) 12 EHRR 1 30 MARCH 1989

Anton Piller Order - Copyright breaches

HEADNOTE:

The applicant was suspected of committing some Copyright infringements. Under an Anton Piller order made by the High Court against him, the applicants business premises which were also his home were searched by the authorities. The order was executed simultaneously with a police search warrant. The applicant filed suit alleging violations of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The court held that there was no breach of Article 8.

Private life, Home: interference, in accordance with the law, necessity, proportionality.

There had been a sufficient legal basis for searching the applicants resident. Under Article 8(2) ‘legal’ may refer to both the Common and Civil law systems. The Court again asserted that it had no authority to review the validity of the domestic laws which were primarily the realm of English courts. Nevertheless, the Court found that the relevant domestic law was 'accessible' and sufficiently precise to satisfy the 'foresee ability' criterion of Article 8. The Court also noted that Article 8(2) mandated that domestic law contain protections against arbitrary procedures. In this case, the safeguards surrounding the order were examined in the context of the necessity of the interference and found adequate.

The following cases were referred to in the judgment:

1. ANTON PILLER KG V MANUFACTURING PROCESSES LTD [1976] 1 All ER 779. 
2. BARTHOLD V GERMANY (1985) 7 EHRR 383.
3. BOOKER McCONNELL plc v PLASCOW [1985] RPC 425.
4. COLUMBIA PICTURES INDUSTRIES INC V ROBINSON [1986] 3 All ER 338, [1986] FSR 367.
5. DORMEUIL FRERES SA V NICOLIAN INTERNATIONAL (TEXTILES) LTD [1988] 3 All ER l97.
6. HALLMARK CARDS INC V IMAGE ARTS LTD [1977] FSR 153.
7. HYTRAC CONVEYORS LTD V CONVEYORS INTERNATIONAL LTD [1982] 3 All ER 4l5.
8. LEANDER V SWEDEN (1987) 9 EHRR 433.
9. MALONE V UNITED KINGDOM (1985) 7 EHRR 14.
10. OLSSON V SWEDEN (1989) 11 EHRR 259.

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