Lopez Ostra v. Spain

Submitted by Kelly Russo on Sat, 12/10/1994 - 00:00
Regional Decisions
European Court

The European Court of Human Rights held that Spain's governmental inaction regarding pollution emanating from a facility twelve meters from applicant's residence violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which recognizes the right of each person to respect for his or her private lives and homes. The Court noted that the although municipal authorities were not directly responsible for the emissions, the plant was built on town land and subsidized by the government. The Court determined that authorities were aware of the nuisance the plant caused to nearby residences and yet continually resisted the closure of the plant. The Court found that, despite the town's eventual rehousing of the affected individuals free of charge, the municipality's failure to take timely action regarding the lawfulness of the plant constituted a breach of its Article 8 obligations.