EIT arvioi vapautensa menettäneen henkilön oikeutta luottamukselliseen kommunikointiin asianajajan kanssa27.10.2015 | Oikeusuutiset
Euroopan ihmisoikeustuomioistuin (EIT) on tänään antamassaan tuomiossa arvioinut vapautensa menettäneen henkilön kommunikaation luottamuksellisuuden suojaa kahdessa eri tilanteessa. Asianajajan ja vapautensa menettäneen henkilön osalta neuvotteluiden seuraaminen muodosti ihmisoikeussopimuksen loukkauksen, kun taas haavoittuvassa asemassa olleen henkilön osalta neuvotteluiden seuraaminen läheisen kanssa ei muodostanut loukkausta.
The applicant in the case of R.E. v. the United Kingdom (application no. 62498/11), who was arrested and detained in Northern Ireland on three occasions in connection with the murder of a police officer, complained in particular about the regime for covert surveillance of consultations between detainees and their lawyers and between vulnerable detainees and “appropriate adults”.
In today’s Chamber judgment3 in the case the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:
a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence) of the European Convention on Human Rights as concerned the covert surveillance of legal consultations; and,
no violation of Article 8 of the European Convention as concerned the covert surveillance of consultations between detainees and their “appropriate adults”.
The case was considered from the standpoint of the principles developed by the Court in the area of interception of lawyer-client telephone calls, which call for stringent safeguards. The Court found that those principles should be applied to the covert surveillance of lawyer-client consultations in a police station. The Court noted that guidelines arranging for the secure handling, storage and destruction of material obtained through such covert surveillance have been implemented since 22 June 2010. However, at the time of Mr. R.E.’s detention in May 2010, those guidelines had not yet been in force. The Court was not therefore satisfied that the relevant domestic law provisions in place at the time had provided sufficient safeguards for the protection of Mr R.E.’s consultations with his lawyer obtained by covert surveillance.
As concerned consultations between a vulnerable detainee and an “appropriate adult”, the Court found that they were not subject to legal privilege and therefore a detainee would not have the same expectation of privacy as for a legal consultation. Furthermore, the Court was satisfied that the relevant domestic provisions, insofar as they related to the possible surveillance of consultations between detainees and “appropriate adults”, were accompanied by adequate safeguards against abuse.
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