Sunday, 8 October 2017

Whether direction to public servant to submit his asset declaration is breach of his human rights?

In Wypych v. Poland (October 25, 2005, application no. 2428/05), the European Court of Human Rights rejected the complaint of a local council member in Poland who refused to submit his asset declaration claiming that the obligation to disclose details concerning his financial situation and property portfolio imposed by legislation was in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
The Court found that the requirement to submit the declaration and its online publication were indeed an interference with the right to privacy, but that it was justified and the comprehensive scope of the information to be submitted was not found to be excessively burdensome:

The Court “considers that it is precisely this comprehensive character which makes it realistic to assume that the impugned provisions will meet their objective of giving the public a reasonably exhaustive picture of councilors’ financial positions ... that the additional obligation to submit information on property, including marital property, can be said to be reasonable in that it is designed to discourage attempts to conceal assets simply by acquiring them using the name of a councilor’s spouse.”
The European Court of Human Rights also endorsed the publication and internet access to declarations arguing that “the general public has a legitimate interest in ascertaining that local politics are transparent and Internet access to the declarations makes access to such information effective and easy. Without such access, the obligation would have no practical importance or genuine incidence on the degree to which the public is informed about the political process.”
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