Bodinier and others v France
PI intervened to emphasise the legal standards applicable to redress mechanisms available to victims of unlawful surveillance
Name of case: Bodinier and others v France
Court: European Court of Human Rights
Applications No.: Application No. 40377/17, Application No. 41973/17, Application No. 50787/17 et al
Case Status: Open
In September 2021, PI intervened in the case of Bodinier ao v France before the European Court of Human Rights.
The applicants challenged the compatibility of the procedure available under French law for individuals subjected to surveillance by enforcement and intelligence agencies with international human rights law (specifically Articles 8 and 13).
French law allows for individual complaints regarding surveillance measures to be made to a reviewing body. However, French intelligence agencies are not under any obligation to notify subjects of surveillance of the measures used against them, and those who nonetheless make a complaint can neither participate in the review process nor be told of its outcome.
PI’s intervention emphasised the importance of robust safeguards and effective redress mechanisms for subjects of surveillance to ensure the effective enjoyment of their privacy rights. We highlighted that retention of personal data captured by surveillance measures amounted to an interference with the right to privacy. Further, we submitted that minimum requirements should apply to any redress mechanism purporting to provide an effective remedy to subjects of surveillance. Lastly, we reflected on PI’s own experience appearing as a complaining before the UK Investigatory Powers Tribunal - a specialist tribunal created to hear and determine complaints relating to the use of investigatory powers -, the challenges we faced, and the lessons we learned.
The case was communicated to the French government by the European Court of Human Rights in April 2021 and the proceedings are ongoing.