Halford v The United Kingdom: ECHR 25 Jun 1997


The interception of the telephone calls of an employee in a private exchange was a breach of her right of privacy. She had a reasonable expectation of privacy. The police force’s surveillances of the applicant’s telephone (to obtain information regarding a sex discrimination claim she was pursuing in the employment tribunal) was a ‘serious infringement of her rights’ (Article 8 and 13), particularly in the light of the improper use to which the police wished to put the material obtained. The applicant was awarded andpound;10,000 as non-pecuniary damages (even though they rejected her claims that she suffered a stress-related illness as a result of the breach). The interception, being wholly unregulated by statute, was not ‘in accordance with the law’ and was thus an interference with the officer’s article 8(1) right not saved by Article 8(2).

Times 03-Jul-1997, 20605/92, [1997] 24 EHRR 523, [1997] ECHR 32
Worldlii, Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights Art 8
Cited by:
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CitedL v L and Hughes Fowler Carruthers QBD 1-Feb-2007
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Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, Information, Human Rights

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.165503