Commentary

A2.313 Article 8—the right to respect for private and family life

Administration and compliance

A2.313 Article 8—the right to respect for private and family life

A2.313 Article 8—the right to respect for private and family life

Article 81 states that:

'(1) Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

(2) There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.'

Article 8 protects the right to four distinct interests: a person's private life, family life, home and correspondence. 'Private life' is not limited to the notion of an 'inner circle' of personal life, but extends to a right to privacy in one's professional life2. 'Family life' is closely related to private life. It can include the relationship of unmarried individuals in the same household, provided that the relationship is sufficiently close and there is financial dependency3. Whereas 'home' generally covers the place that a person lives on a continuous basis, it also includes an office4. The protection of Article 8 thus extends to the search of an individual's business premises by, for example, HMRC. 'Correspondence' encompasses letters, telephone calls (including telephone calls at work in a private office on a personal line5, faxes and (although this form of communication has yet to be considered in this context by

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