Respect for family and private life

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Written By PeterLogan

Founded by a collective of barristers, solicitors, and academic legal experts, PreferLaw began as a conversation over how to bridge the gap between legal professionals and the lay public.





Article 8 protects your rights to privacy and family life, as well as your home and correspondence.

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What does private life mean?

Private life can have many meanings. This means that you can live your life in privacy without being hampered by the state. It includes:

  • Your sexuality
  • Your body
  • Personal identity and how you dress and look
  • Establishing and maintaining relationships with others
  • How your personal data is protected and where it is kept

What does family life mean?

Family life is the right to maintain and have family relationships. It protects your right to not be separated from your family, and allows you to keep in touch with your family if necessary.

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It is more important to determine if a relationship has family life coverage than its legal status.

Family life includes relationships between:

  • Parents and their children, adopted and illegitimate alike
  • Both married and unmarried couples can be considered husband-wife
  • Article 8 protects same-sex couples, but they are covered under their private lives and not their family life.

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What does it mean to be home?

While your right to respect your home does not give you the right to housing, it does protect the home you already own. Public authorities cannot prevent you from living or entering your home. You have the right to live in your home without interference from any public authority.

Public authorities may have to take positive steps in order for you to enjoy your home peacefully. This could include reducing noise from aircraft or protecting your home against serious pollution.

What does correspondence mean?

Correspondence can include things such as:

  • Lettered
  • Emails
  • Fax
  • Example of an article 8 violation

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Here are some examples of situations where article 8 could be violated:

  • Surveillance and searches of your home
  • Separation of relatives, including deportation of or removal of immigrant family members
  • Interference with your parental rights and care or adoption orders of children
  • Obligatory medical treatment or testing
  • If you are treated poorly in a care home, it could be considered a violation of article 3.
  • Your right to privacy at work and home – such as phone tapping, monitoring emails, and CCTV
  • If your personal information is shared to others without your consent
  • Workplace dress codes that are too restrictive
  • The quality and nature the accommodation offered by local authorities and housing associations
  • Protection from noise pollution nuisance