Applicant name Agee
Applicant type Natural person (immigrant)
Country The United Kingdom
Decision no. 7729/76
Date 17/12/1976
Institution Commission
Type Decision
Outcome Art. 8 Inadmissible
Reason No interference
Type of privacy Reputational privacy; family privacy
Keywords Immigrant expulsed
Facts of the case Immigrant deported.
Analysis This case is interesting for a number of reasons:

1. Article 8 ECHR is based on Article 12 UDHR. All terms mentioned in the later article are incorporated in the former, except for the proteciton of honour and repuation. This matter has been placed in paragraph 2 of Article 10 ECHR, making it a ground on which the national authorities may (but not must) limit the right to freedom of expression, instead of a subjective right. The reasons for this was first, that the protection of honour and reputation was felt to be too vague to be considered a human right and because the Convention was intended to be provide a real and effective legal mechanism, rather than being a primarily programatic text. The authors of the Convention chose to focus only on vertical relationships (interferences with human rights by the state), while they considered that most interferences on a person’s honour or reputation were made by or through the media. That is why untill 2007/2009, the Commission and the Court have denied people a claim under Article 8 ECHR when they complained of being harmed in their honour or reputation (after those dates, the Court found that it was time to leave the original approach of the Convention authors behind). Interestingly, in this case, the Commission is not yet so strickt and mere stresses that the statements made in parliament by the Home Secretary did not interfere with the applicants right to private life, making it rather a question of interference of not and not of whether the matter as such falls under the material scope of the right to privacy.
2. With respect to the proteciton of family life, the Commission repeats its standard approach that, first, if the applicant can live with his spouse in another country, there would be no interference with Article 8 ECHR, and second, that it is up to the applicant to prove that such was impossible.
3. With respect to Article 14, the Commission stresses that making distinctions based on nationality/being an immigrant or not is legitimate under the Convention. ‘His status as an alien would in itself provide objective and reasonable justification for his being subject to di ff erent treatment in the field of immigration law to persons holding United Kingdom citizenship.’

Documents Decision