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Stephen Gough loses right to public nudity case

Stephen Gough, aka the Naked Rambler, has lost his case before the
European Court of Human Rights.  Mr Gough claimed that his repeated
convictions and imprisonments for offences associated with being nude in
public violated his rights under Articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention
of Human Rights.

Mr Gough, from Eastleigh Hampshire, has walked naked throughout the UK.
His numerous convictions include breach of the peace and contempt of court
(for refusing to dress for his court appearances).  Consequently, between
2003 and 2012 he spent a cumulative total of over 7 years in detention in
Scotland, the majority of the detention having been spent in segregation.

On 28th October the European Court dismissed his case.  Although it accepted
that the cumulative impact of the measures imposed upon him were severe,
they were in accordance with domestic law and pursued the legitimate aim of
preventing disorder and crime. 

The Court held
‘Article 10 does not go so far as to enable individuals… repeatedly impose
their antisocial conduct on other, unwilling members of society and then to
claim a disproportionate interference with the exercise of their freedom of

The Court also held that Article 8 had not been violated for essentially the
same reasons given by the Court in its analysis of Mr Gough’s complaint
under Article 10.

Criminal Law, ECHR Art. 8