ENTRY INTO FORCE of the European Convention on Human Rights

28 November 1974

Number of implemented cases*



Protection against the abuse of secret surveillance in insurance disputes

Savjeta Vukota-Bojić felt violated when she learned that her insurance company had had her secretly followed during a dispute over accident cover. The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Savjeta’s privacy had been breached because Swiss law lacked safeguards against abuse, prompting Switzerland to bring in stricter rules on the use of secret surveillance by insurance companies.

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Justice for the family of asbestos poisoning victim

Hans Moor was exposed to asbestos during his work in the 1960s and 70s. This gave him cancer, which was diagnosed in 2004. Hans Moor died in 2005, aged 58. Just before his death, Mr Moor had brought a claim for damages against his former employer for failing to take precautions against exposure to asbestos. The claim was continued by his wife and children.

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Privacy laws strengthened after a lawyer’s phone calls were intercepted

The authorities tapped the telephone of lawyer Hans Kopp and listened to confidential conversations. The Strasbourg court ruled that Swiss law had not properly limited the interception of confidential communications by the authorities. This violated Mr Kopp’s right to respect for privacy, leading to stronger legal protections.

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Reforms to protect family life after father was unable to see his child

Stefano Bianchi was given custody of his son when he separated from his wife. However, his wife took the child abroad and refused to return. When Stefano complained to the Swiss authorities, they failed to take action to reunite father and son. The European court ruled that this breached Stefano's right to family life. The relevant procedures were subsequently reformed.

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* This figure includes all judgments and decisions from the European Court of Human Rights (including friendly settlements) concerning which the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has decided that all necessary follow-up measures have been taken. Source: the database of the Department for the Execution of Judgments of the ECHR, HUDOC-EXEC.