Applicant name X.
Applicant type Natural person
Country Uk
Decision no.7525/76
Institution Commission
Type Decision
Outcome Art. 8 Admissible
Type of privacy Sexual privacy
Keywords Homosexual conduct
Facts of the case Man complains about the laws in Nothern Ireland on homosexual conduct.
Analysis There are three points discussed by the Commission:

1. The applicant has asked the Commission to declare a violation of the Convention and order the UK to stop that violation. As the Government points out, the Commission is not in a capacity to do so, this authority being invested with the Court. However, the rather remarkable argument that the claim should thus be declared inadmissible is not accepted by the Commission.
2. The applicant has complained about the existence in Northern Ireland of the common law offences of conspiracy to corrupt public morals and conspiracy to outrage public decency. He has submitted that in Northern Ireland these offences have a potentially wider scope in relation to homosexual conduct than in England and Wales He has suggested that they make advocacy of changes in homosexual laws potentially criminal, that explicit association in groups, clubs or societies by homosexual persons could be indictable and that counselling activities, befriending agencies and the like, so far as relating to homosexual persons, are of uncertain legal status. The Commmission rejects the applicants claim, as it does not see how this point would fall under the material scope of the right to private life. Ex officio, it also evaluates whether there could be an interference with Articles 10 and/or 11 ECHR, but again, the Commission finds that the points raised in the claim do not fall under the material scope of these provisions.
3. With respect to the laws complained of allowing for criminal prosecution of homosexual activities, the Commission finds that even although the applicant has not been formally charged, the fear such may happen is enough to result in an interference with his right to privacy (chilling effect). It declares both his claim as to Article 8 and Article 8+14 ECHR admissible.

Documents Decision