Huvig v France (Series A No 176-B; Application No 11105/84) European Court of Human Rights (1990) 12 EHRR 528 24 APRIL 1990

Telephone Tapping

HEADNOTE:

The applicants were suspected of, and subsequently convicted of, various offences of tax evasion by the use of forged invoices. In the course of the judicial investigation the investigating judge authorized a senior police officer to have the applicants' business and private telephone lines tapped. The applicants complained of a violation of Article 8 of the Convention.

1. Private Life

Telephone tapping undoubtedly amounts to an ' interference by a public authority' with the exercise of an individuals right to privacy in correspondence. In this opinion, the Court referred to its own case law regarding the requirements on the quality of the law, and in particular, the foreseeability of the law. The Court had to assess the relevant domestic 'law' in relation to the requirements of the fundamental principle of the rule of law. The Court then found that the current system in France failed to provide the adequate safeguards against possible abuses.

The following cases were referred to in the judgment (French cases referred to in the judgment are not included):

1. CHAPPELL v UNITED KINGDOM, (1990) 12 EHRR 36.
2. DE WILDE, OOMS AND VERSYP v BELGIUM (No 1), 1 EHRR 373.
3. DUDGEON v UNITED KINGDOM, (1982) 4 EHRR 149.
4. ERIKSSON v SWEDEN, judgment of 22 June 1989, Series A, No 156.
5. JOHNSTON v IRELAND, (1987) 9 EHRR 203.
6. KLASS v GERMANY, 2 EHRR 214.
7. KOSTOVSKI v NETHERLANDS, judgment of 20 November 1989, Series A, No 166.
8. MALONE v UNITED KINGDOM, (1985) 7 EHRR 14.
9. MARKT INTERN VERLAG GmbH AND BEERMANN v GERMANY, (1990) 12 EHRR 161.
10. MULLER v SWITZERLAND, judgment of 24 May 1988, Series A, No 133.
11. SALABIAKU v FRANCE, judgment of 7 October 1988, Series A, No 141-A.
12. SILVER v UNITED KINGDOM, (1983) 5 EHRR 347.
13. THE SUNDAY TIMES v UNITED KINGDOM, 2 EHRR 245.

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