Judgment 42541/18

Applicant name TENA ARREGUI 
Applicant type natural person
Number of applicants 1
Country Spain
Application no. 42541/18
Date 11/01/2024
Judges Georges Ravarani, President,
 Lado Chanturia,
 Mārtiņš Mits,
 Stéphanie Mourou-Vikström,
 María Elósegui,
 Kateřina Šimáčková,
 Mykola Gnatovskyy
Institution Court
Type Judgment
Outcome Art. 8 No violation
Reason Positive obligation
Type of privacy Informational privacy; procedural privacy
Keywords Monitoring email political party
Facts of the case The application concerns an alleged violation of the applicant’s right to respect for his private life and correspondence under Article 8 of the Convention resulting from the interception and disclosure of his emails and the dismissal of a criminal complaint lodged in connection with those events in the context of a political party whose leadership hired a private company to monitor one of its members in order to establish where his loyalties lay.
AnalysisThe leadership of the political party hired a private company to monitor the emails received by one of its members, whom they suspected might be involved in negotiations with another political party. Among those emails were some sent by the applicant from his private email account. This amounted to a serious intrusion into his right to respect for his private life and correspondence.  In this regard, the Court stresses in that connection the essential role of political parties in democratic societies. Political parties are a form of association essential to the proper functioning of democracy.

The thrust of the applicant’s complaint is that the Audiencia Provincial’s decision of 21 September 2016 to discontinue the criminal proceedings instituted for unlawful disclosure of secret correspondence was not supported by sufficient reasons and did not take into account his right to respect for his private life and correspondence.

In the Court’s view, however, neither the reasoning of the Audiencia Provincial, nor the assessment by the Constitutional Court of that reasoning, appears arbitrary or unreasonable. The Court also considers that the legal framework existing in Spain offered adequate protection of the applicant’s right to respect for his private life and the secrecy of his correspondence. It follows that there has been no violation of Article 8 of the Convention.
Other Article violation?
Damage awarded
Documents Judgment