Editorial European Data Protection Law Review 2016_1
European Data Protection Law Review 2016_1
10 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2018
Date Written: 2016
It is now final - the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has acknowledged that there are actually two types of cases admissible under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and two corresponding roles that the Court may adopt. Although the ECtHR has for a long time held that it will only accept cases in which the applicants can claim to be the victims of a certain policy of or act by the state, in Szabo and Vissy v Hungary, and especially Zakharov v Russia, it has finally recognised what some commentators have already pointed to, namely that there are in fact a number of cases in the Court’s jurisprudence that diverge from this line. Although the Court seemed hesitant to officially acknowledge this fact, and instead tried to obscure the exception to the victim-requirement by turning to concepts such as the ‘reasonable likelihood’ of being a victim, being a victim by virtue of being a citizen of a certain country and being a ‘hypothetical victim’, it has now said in plain words that it will also accept so-called in abstracto claims, that is, cases in which a law or a policy is assessed on its quality as such, without the need for the claimants to substantiate that they are victims, ie that they have actually been harmed by the application of a law or policy.
Keywords: Szabo and Vissy, Zakharov, mass surveillance
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation