Lam and Others v. United Kingdom

Submitted by Kelly Russo on Fri, 07/06/2001 - 00:00
Regional Decisions
European Court

The European Court of Human Rights held that the United Kingdom did not violate Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights by failing to regulate toxic industrial emissions that adversely affected the applicant because the applicant failed to exhaust domestic remedies prior to seeking redress from the ECHR. Article 8 recognizes the right to respect for private lives and homes, but is subject to Article 35(1) of the Convention, which provides that an applicant must exhaust existing domestic remedies prior to applying for relief from the European Court. The applicants did not seek timely action against the company emitting the fumes by way of tort nuisance, injunction, or writ of mandamus against the local enforcement authority. Because the applicants did not utilize the opportunities afforded to them by the State to challenge the lawfulness of the company's actions, the Court could not accept the applicant's claim of a violation under Article 8.