Bor v. Hungary

Submitted by John Knox on Wed, 09/18/2013 - 00:00
Regional Decisions
European Court

A Hungarian national who owns a house across the street from the Zalaergerszeg Railway Station complained that trains there, operated by the Hungarian Railway Company, created so much noise as to make his house virtually uninhabitable between 1988 and 2010, when measures aimed at reducing the noise were finally implemented.  The European Court stated that it had "already held that noise significantly above statutory levels, to which the State has not responded with appropriate measures, may as such amount to a violation of Article 8 of the Convention," which protects the right to respect for one's private and family life, and one's home and correspondence.  It held that while the State enjoys a margin of appreciation in deciding on the steps to be taken to comply with Article 8, "the existence of a sanction system is not enough if it is not applied in a timely and effective manner."  It therefore held that the State had failed to meet its positive obligation to guarantee the applicant's right to respect for his home, in violation of Article 8.  It also held that the excessive length of the proceedings violated the requirement that proceedings take place in a "reasonable time" under Article 6(1).