Remedies, Property, Human Rights

The case was concerned with a claim brought forward by André Brun of a violation of Articles 2 (right to remedy), 6 (right to life) and 17 (right to privacy) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Together with 200 other people, he was demonstrating against and destroyed Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). For this he was charged with the destruction of property and received a suspended sentence which he contested on the grounds that he had acted in order to protect the environment and the public’s health from the impacts of open-field GMO trials.

Concerning Article 17, Brun argued that it should be interpreted as including the right to live in a healthy environment and that concerning the lack of knowledge of the long term effects of GMOs, the precautionary principle should apply.

Article 25 was allegedly violated, because the state did not provide adequate possibilities for active citizen participation in the environmental decision-making of public authorities.

However, the Committee held that Articles 6 and 17 were not breached, because the facts did not show that the growing of GMOs affected his right to life, to privacy or to family and home. Additionally, Article 25 was held not to be violated, because the Committee argued that Brun had participated in the decision-making about GMO trials through his elected representatives. Therefore, his claims were held to be inadmissible.