Zander v. Sweden

Submitted by Kelly Russo on Fri, 11/26/1993 - 00:00
Regional Decisions
European Court

The European Court of Human Rights held that Sweden violated Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights by not allowing the applicant to appeal a domestic administrative decision regarding pollution emanating from a household and industrial waste treatment plant adjacent to the applicant's property. Article 6(1) recognizes the right to a fair hearing by a tribunal regarding determinations of civil rights and obligations. The Court rejected the State's argument that the provision of domestic law dealing with compensation for damage to property from environmentally hazardous activities was a matter of public law rather than a "civil right." Accordingly, the Court held that the applicant was entitled to a review of the Licensing Board's decision authorizing the waste treatment plant's activities. Since Swedish law at the time did not provide for such a review, there was a violation of the applicant's Article 6 rights.

Note: The application is based on a procedural issue ancillary to the environmental problem.