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Lopez Ostra v. Spain , Judgment of December 9, 1994, Case No. 41/1993/436/515

Facts: the applicants were nationals and residents of Spain who complained that a waste treatment facility was sitting a few meters from their home. They claimed a violation of their right to privacy and family security guaranteed by article 8 of the European Convention.

Holding: the ECHR held that there had been a violation of the applicant's right to privacy and family security.

Reasoning: the Spanish government breached article 8 of the Convention because it failed to take steps to protect the applicant and her family from the environmental problems caused by the facility. Severe environmental pollution may affect individuals' well-being and prevent them from enjoying their homes in such a way as to affect their private and family life adversely, without, however, seriously endangering their health. Environmental problems may violate the right to privacy and personal security even where they do not violate the right to health.


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