Zehnalova and Zehnal v Czech Republic: ECHR 14 May 2002

The applicants were husband and wife and the wife was physically handicapped. They complained that their Article 8 rights were infringed because, in breach of Czech law, the authorities had failed to install facilities that would enable her to gain access to public buildings.
Held: The claim failed. ‘The Court is of the opinion that Article 8 of the Convention cannot apply as a general rule and whenever the everyday life of the female applicant is concerned, but only in exceptional cases where a lack of access to public buildings and those open to the public would prevent the female applicant from leading her life so that her right to personal development and her right to make and maintain relations with other human beings and the outside world are in question (Pretty). In a case like that, a positive obligation for the state could be established to ensure access to the buildings mentioned. Now, in the case in point, the rights invoked are too wide and indeterminate, as the applicants have failed to be specific about the alleged obstacles and to give convincing proof of an attack on their private lives. According to the Court, the female applicant has not managed to demonstrate the special link between the inaccessibility of the institutions mentioned and the particular needs concerned with her private life’.


Unreported, 14 May 2002


European Convention on Human Rights 8


Human Rights


CitedPretty v The United Kingdom ECHR 29-Apr-2002
Right to Life Did Not include Right to Death
The applicant was paralysed and suffered a degenerative condition. She wanted her husband to be allowed to assist her suicide by accompanying her to Switzerland. English law would not excuse such behaviour. She argued that the right to die is not . .
CitedBotta v Italy ECHR 24-Feb-1998
The claimant, who was disabled, said that his Article 8 rights were infringed because, in breach of Italian law, there were no facilities to enable him to get to the sea when he went on holiday.
Held: ‘Private life . . includes a person’s . .

Cited by:

CitedAnufrijeva and Another v London Borough of Southwark CA 16-Oct-2003
The various claimants sought damages for established breaches of their human rights involving breaches of statutory duty by way of maladministration. Does the state have a duty to provide support so as to avoid a threat to the family life of the . .
CitedX v Y (Employment: Sex Offender) CA 28-May-2004
The claimant had been dismissed after it was discovered he had been cautioned for a public homosexual act. He appealed dismissal of his claim saying that the standard of fairness applied was inappropriate with regard to the Human Rights Act, and . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights

Updated: 27 May 2022; Ref: scu.186962