Judgement 5095/71 5920/72 5926/72

Applicant type Natural person
Number of applicants 6
Country Denmark
Decision no. 5095/71 5920/72 5926/72
Date 07/12/1976
Institution Court
Type Judgement
Outcome Art. 8 No violation
Reason No inteference
Type of privacy Private and family life
Keywords Sex education schools
Facts of the case See Report
Analysis First, the Court deals with a request by one of the three couples party to this case to have their application withdraw and/or to have their case assessed seperately from the other cases. Their case had been joined with the cases of two other couples, but their arguments as the the substance of the matter differed. The Court denies this request, both because their case is similar to that of the other applicants and because individual applicants are not at the liberty to withdraw their case. The latter point perhaps needs some further background information. When the Convention was drafted, there was a continious question of whether natural persons should be allowed to submit a complaim before the Convention institutions. Yes, said some, because without a right to individual complaint, the Convention would be meaningless. No, said others, because the Commission and the Court would be overwhelmed by complaints by thousands and thousands of citizens who would think their private interests had been harmed – the Convention was intended to adress large scale attrocities and abuse of powers, not to provide individual relief to citizens for their private problems. The compromise was that indivdiuals did have direct access to the Commission, but only the Commission itself or a Member State could bring a case that was declared admissible before the Court, namely if the particular case adressed an issue of broader significance. This means that in theory, the indivdiual applicant is no longer the master of her own application at this stage and also not at liberty to withdraw the case (the case can only be withdrawn when a friendly settlement has been reached); the case is not longer (only) about her indivdiual grievances, it is the broader issue that is raised by the case that makes the Court issue a judgement on the matter.

The Court mainly judges the case under Article 2 of the First Protocol. It does not find that the Article was violated. As to Article 8 ECHR, it merely holds: ‘The applicants, without providing many details, finally invoke Articles 8 and 9 of the Convention taken together with Article 2 of Protocol No. 1. They allege that the legislation of which they complain interferes with their right to respect for their private and family life and with their right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. However, the Court does not find any breach of Articles 8 and 9 which, moreover, it took into account when interpreting Article 2 of Protocol No. 1.’

Other Article violation? No
Damage awarded
Documents Judgment