Strasbourg Court Finds No Violation of Article 8 in Hardy & Maile v. the United Kingdom

On 14th February 2012, in Hardy & Maile v. the United Kingdom, applicants Alison Hardy and Rodney Maile lost in their challenge of the grant of consents to enable liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals to be imported. The applicants claimed violations of Article 2 on the right to life and Article 8 on the right to protection of private and family life of the European Convention on Human Rights. They alleged that the authorities failed to properly conduct a risk assessment of the LNG operations on site in Milford Haven harbour, Wales, and that they had not adequately considered the possibility of a collision or explosion. The European Court of Human Rights determined that the applicants’ complaints fell within the scope of Article 8, but found that there had been no violation. It reasoned that no environmental pollution had actually taken place, and that the probability of marine risks materialising was extremely small. The Court also found that the authorities had sufficiently disseminated documents about the projects to the public, and that the applicants failed to demonstrate that they had been unable to successfully acquire information. This case uniquely illustrates the reach of Article 8.

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