Peck v UK [2003] EHRR 287 (App. No. 00044647/98)

Release of CCTV footage of suicidal man breached Article 8 ECHR


The applicant was captured on CCTV as he carried a large knife and was in the process of attempting suicide. The police were able to prevent him from causing himself fatal harm. The CCTV footage was subsequently released to the press in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of CCTV.


The applicant contented that his right to private life under Article 8 ECHR had been breached by the disclosure of the CCTV footage by the local authority. He also contended a breach of Article 13 ECHR which requires the right to an effective remedy.


The European Court of Human Rights found that there had been a breach of Article 8. There was no relevant or sufficient reason to support the disclosure of the CCTV footage which revealed the applicant’s identity. There had been insufficient safeguards put in place to ensure protection of the applicant’s identity and the protection of personal data was of fundamental importance to a person’s enjoyment of his or her private life. Article 8 applied even though the applicant was in a public street because he was not participating in a public event and was not a public figure. The seriousness of the interference with the applicant’s rights was not diminished by his subsequent voluntary appearances in the media to discuss the publication of the footage.  The Court also found a breach of Article 13 as the applicant did not have access to an effective remedy in relation to the breach of his Article 8 rights.

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