Applicant name X. and Y.
Applicant type Natural person (prisoner)
Country The United Kingdom
Decision no. 5459/72
Date 23/03/1972
Institution Commission (Plenary)
Type Decision
Outcome Art. 8 Inadmissible
Reason Manifestly ill-founded (in the interests of national security; for the prevention of disorder or crime)
Type of privacy Informational privacy
Keywords Prisoner; correspondence
Facts of the case Prisoner’s correspondence checked.
Analysis Relatively standard decision by the Commission. Small things stand out:

1. Applicant X is represented by lawyer Y; strangely enough, the lawyer is also mentioned in the title of the case.
2. The Commission stresses that the applicants have produced no evidence of censoring of correspondence in the sense that any communications have been allegedly stopped or their contents, wholly or partly, deleted or otherwise tampered with. Apperantly, the Commission finds that intrinsicly more problematic than monitoring as such.
3. Although it would have led the Commission to find the case inadmissible ratione materiae in the past, it now follows the Court’s Vagrancy judgement and stresses that there is an interference with Article 8 ECHR all the same.
4. Normally, such interference is legitimised by referrence to “the prevention of disorder and crime”, the Commission now also refers to “national security”, as X. is suspected to have ties with the IRA. The ground of “national security” is reserved by the Commission and the Court for the gravest security threats, while the prevention of disorder and crime can also be used for cases that revolve around, for instance, petty theft.

Documents Decision