1978

ECHR

Klass Case ECHR Ser A vol 28

There were five applicants, German nationals, resident in Germany, alleged that the laws relating surveillance on private communications were contrary to the European Convention. They did not deny the right of the state to make surveillance, but argued against the legislation that permitted surveillance without given notice after the event, and that it excluded any judicial remedy against the ordering and execution of such measures. The Federal constitutional court held part of the law void, insofar as it excluded notification

Germany contended that the application was inadmissible since the applicants were not claiming to have been established a specific violation, even potential one, of their own rights, but rather a mere hypothetical [case] possibility of being subject to surveillance The court held that owing to the secrecy of the measures impugned the individual could not point any concrete measure specifically affecting him, so under certain conditions a individual can claim to be victim of a violation occasioned by the mere existence of secret measures or of legislations permitting secret measures.