Applicant name X.
Applicant type Natural person
Country UK
Decision no.7308/75
Institution Commission
Type Decision
Outcome Art. 8 Inadmissible
Reason Manifestly ill-founded (morals)
Type of privacy Correspondence; Sexual privacy
Keywords Homosexual (and pedosexual?) pornography
Facts of the case Magazines with homosexual pornography is sent to applicant. It pictures adult men with adolescent boys. How old these boys are is not specified in the case, only that these are in violation of the prevailing laws in the UK. Postal authorities confiscate the magazines and a court orders them to be destroyed.
Analysis Man is not charged for ordering these magazines, because he claims they have been sent as a gift by a donor. But he demands these magazines not to be destroyed, but to sent to his home adress, which the national authorities refuse. The ECtHR does not treat this matter in the way the applicant seems to have intended it, namely as a claim with respect to his private life and his ability to study the material for research purposes. Rather, the Court treats this case as an interference with his right to correspondence, which was justified for the protection of the morals of society.

There is a curious explanation by the Court, which is difficult to understand. ‘The applicant states that he has a mature attitude to sexual morality and has conducted research into erotica but he has not substantiated this assertion . Moreover, it must be noted that the measures complained of were obviously taken with a view to protect society as a whole and not the individual concerned.’ This raises two questions: First, to what extent is it necessary for the applicant to demonstrate that he is not a pedophile and how could one do so? Second, what does the Commission mean tiwht the fact that the measure was aimed at the protection of societal interests? That is is not a paternalistic measure or something else? Is it significant that the Commission refers to the protection of the morals of society in this respect, and not to the protection of the rights and freedoms of third parties (adolescent men)?
Documents Decision