Judgement 18593/19

Applicant name PLECHLO
Applicant type Natural person
Number of applicants 1
Country Slovakia
Application no. 18593/19 
Date 26/10/2023
Judges Marko Bošnjak, President,
 Alena Poláčková,
 Lətif Hüseynov,
 Péter Paczolay,
 Ivana Jelić,
 Erik Wennerström,
 Raffaele Sabato
Institution Court
Type Judgment
Outcome Art. 8 Violation
Reason No legal basis
Type of privacy Informational privacy
Keywords Wire-tapping by catch; standing; quality of law
Facts of the case The case concerns the tapping and recording of telephone conversations to which the applicant was randomly a party, in the context of a criminal investigation which did not directly concern him, the storage and use of the material obtained, and the alleged lack of legal protection in that respect. It primarily raises issues under Article 8 of the Convention.
Analysis As to the new claims made by the child and heir of the applicant following the applicant’s death concerning events intervening after the applicant’s death, the Court finds taht the applicant’s son does not have legal standing. This complaint is accordingly incompatible ratione personae with the provisions of the Convention.

The deceased applicant had relied on Articles 8 and 13 with respect to the tapping and recording of his telephone calls and the storage and use of the material obtained, as well as the alleged lack of safeguards in that respect. The Court considers that, on the facts, his complaints fall to be examined under Article 8 of the Convention. 

The ECtHR moves to discuss the quality of law criteria and points to the fact that because the warrent did not concern the applicant himself (he was only by catch) he has been unable to obtain access to the warrant in question, which restricted his means of challenging its implementation. The applicant argues that there is no legal framework in place to safeguard his rights as a person randomly affected by the implementation of a warrant. The Court agrees and finds a violation of Article 8 ECHR.
Other Article violation? No
Damage awarded (a) that the respondent State is to pay Mr J. Plechlo Jr., within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 2,600 (two thousand six hundred euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non-pecuniary damage;
Documents Judgment