Kyrtatos v. Greece

Submitted by Kelly Russo on Fri, 05/23/2003 - 00:00
Regional Decisions
European Court

The European Court of Human Rights held that Greece did not violate Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights by allowing urban development, resulting in environmental pollution and destruction in the applicant's community, because general environmental deterioration, without specific adverse effects on the applicant, does not meet the requirements for an Article 8 violation. However, the Court ruled that Greece did violate Article 6 of the Convention for failing to comply with a domestic court decision annulling building permits in the development. Articles 6 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights recognize the right of European peoples to a fair hearing by a tribunal with regards to civil rights and obligations, and respect for one's private life and home, respectively. The Court held that by neglecting to demolish the unlawful buildings within a seven year period of time and continuing to authorize permits in the contested area, the State deprived Article 6 and the judicial decisions of the administrative court of any useful effect. However, the Court held that the environmental deterioration complained of consisted mostly of swamp land, which did not have a sufficient direct adverse effect on applicants to trigger the application of Article 8.