European Union
Licences, Property, Human Rights, Remedies, Air pollution, Damages, Admissibility, Inspections, Environmental Impact Assessments, Permits
The Court for the first time held that a failure by the state to control industrial pollution was a violation of Article 8 where there was a sufficiently serious interference with the applicants’ enjoyment on their home and private life. However, the ECHR noted that regard has to be given to the fair balance between competing interests of individual and community as a whole (balancing the 1st and the 2nd paragraph of the Article 8). It is important to note that in some cases the economic interest of a state (which is regarded as the interest of the community as whole) can override the interest of an individual. However, where a polluting activity is actually violating an existing national law, the State’s overriding economic interest in its continued illegal operation is difficult to assert. Moreover, ther is a positive duty of a state to take measures, which would secure the enjoyment of the individual rights to private life and property.