Applicant name K.H.C.
Applicant type Natural Person (prisoner)
Country United Kingdom
Decision no. 2749/66
Date 11/07/1967
Institution Commission
Type Decision (Final)
Outcome Art. 8 Inadmissible
Reason Exaustion Domestic Remedies
Type of privacy
Keywords Prisoner; right to correspondence; even if;
Facts of the case Prisoner complains about the blocking of his letters by prison authorities; the letters concerned, inter alia, letters to official authorities concerning his case.
Analysis There are questions about the admissibility of the case ratione temporis, but the Commission decides to deal with the matter, as it can declare the inadmissible on other grounds. These types of considerations will later turn into so called ‘even if’ rulings, in which the Court, for example, stresses that even if subject matter x would fall under the scope of the right to privacy, the interference would in any case be legitimate under the second paragraph 2 of Article 8 ECHR. Although such rulings are understandable from a practical perspective, they are imprecise and undesirable from the perspective of legal certainty.

To the extent that the prisoner complains of British authorities that have block his correspondence, the Commission finds that he did not exhaust all domestic remedies.

The applicant also complained about the stopping of his letter of to the High Court of Rhodesia, but in fact, the letter had arrived, which is why the Commission found no interference with Article 8.

Finally, the applicant complains about the control and stopping of his letters in general. Here, the Commission underlines that such had a basis in law and that the measures were imposed to ‘limit the number of letters to be written by him’, which the Commission deems not even to constitute an infringement of his right to privacy ‘since the limitation of the right of a detained person to conduct correspondence is a necessary part of his deprivation of liberty which is inherent in the punishment of imprisonment; whereas similarly an examination of the complaint does not disclose any violation of Article 8, paragraph (1) (Art. 8-1), or of any of the other rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Convention.’

Documents Decision