Bouchacourt v France: ECHR 17 Dec 2009

The applicant had been sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for rape and sexual assault on minors. His name had been placed automatically on a Register of Sexual and Violent Offenders, and had had to confirm his address every year and to give notice of any change of address. This could be done by registered letter including a receipt or invoice, not more than three months old, containing the applicant’s name and address. How long an offender’s name remained on the register depended on the gravity of the offence, but it could be for twenty or thirty years. He complained that this interfered with is article 8 rights.
Held: The application failed: ‘ As the Government points out, it is a maximum duration. Although significant in this case, since it is of thirty years, the Court observes that what is important in this case, where the period is thirty years, is that the deletion of information is of right once the time has lapsed, as calculated from the date on which the sentence giving rise to registration ceases to have effect. The Court also notes that the person concerned can apply to the prosecutor for the deletion of the information if its preservation no longer appears to be relevant, taking into account the purpose of the register and having regard to the nature of the offence, the age of the person at the time that it was committed, the length of time that has lapsed since then, and the offender’s current character (paragraph 16, Article 706-53-10 of the Code of Criminal Procedure). The prosecutor’s decision is subject to appeal to the juge des libertes et de la detention, then to the president of the investigating chamber.
The Court considers that this judicial procedure for removing the information ensures independent review of the justification for the retention of the information according to defined criteria (S and Marper, already cited, para 119) and provides adequate and sufficient safeguards in relation to respect for private life, with regard to the seriousness of the offences justifying registration on the sex offenders’ register. Certainly, the retention of data for so long a period could be problematic in terms of Article 8 of the Convention, but the Court notes that the Applicant has in any case the concrete opportunity to apply for the deletion of the data retained when the sentence giving rise to his registration has ceased to have effect. In these circumstances, the Court is of the opinion that the length of time that the data is kept is not disproportionate to the aim pursued by the storage of the information.’


5335/06 (French Text), [2009] ECHR 2276




European Convention on Human Rights 8


Human Rights

Cited by:

CitedF and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 21-Apr-2010
The defendants had been convicted and sentenced for offences which under the 2003 Act would mean that they stayed permanently on the Sex Offenders’ register without possibility of a review. The Secretary of State appealed aganst a finding that the . .
MentionedT, Regina (on The Application of) v Greater Manchester Police and Another Admn 9-Feb-2012
The claimant challenged the terms of an enhanced Criminal Records Certificate issued by the defendant. He had been warned in 2002 for suspicion of theft of two cycles. The record had been stepped down in 2009, but then re-instated. He wished to . .
CitedCatt and T, Regina (on The Applications of) v Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis SC 4-Mar-2015
Police Data Retention Justifiable
The appellants challenged the collection of data by the police, alleging that its retention interfered with their Article 8 rights. C complained of the retention of records of his lawful activities attending political demonstrations, and T . .
CitedAB v Her Majesty’s Advocate SC 5-Apr-2017
This appeal is concerned with a challenge to the legality of legislation of the Scottish Parliament which deprives a person, A, who is accused of sexual activity with an under-aged person, B, of the defence that he or she reasonably believed that B . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Criminal Sentencing

Updated: 26 July 2022; Ref: scu.416070