Leander v Sweden: ECHR 26 Mar 1987

Mr Leander had been refused employment at a museum located on a naval base, having been assessed as a security risk on the basis of information stored on a register maintained by State security services that had not been disclosed him. Mr Leander complained that he should have been provided with the information in question, and should have been given the chance to refute it. He submitted that Article 10 conferred a right of access to Government records and a positive obligation upon the State to disclose the contents of its file to him upon request.
Held: His submission failed. Article 10 did not ‘in circumstances such as those of the present case, confer on an individual a right of access to a register containing information on his personal position’. Proceedings before an Appeals Board and the possibility of interim injunction proceedings taken together provided the applicants with an effective remedy. Both the storage of private information in a secret police register and its release, coupled with a refusal to allow an opportunity to refute it, were an interference with the right to respect for private life.
‘The Court observes that the right to freedom to receive information basically prohibits a Government from restricting a person from receiving information that others wish or may be willing to impart to him. Article 10 does not, in circumstances such as those of the present case, confer on the individual a right of access to a register containing information on his personal position, nor does it embody an obligation on the Government to impart such information to the individual.
There has thus been no interference with Mr. Leander’s freedom to receive information, as protected by Article 10.’
[1987] 9 EHRR 433, 9248/81, [1987] ECHR 4
Bailii, Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights 13
Human Rights
Cited by:
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These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 16 May 2021; Ref: scu.164976