Case Law, Strasbourg: Medžlis Islamske Zajednice Brčko v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Political defamation” and public servants’ reputational rights – Alex Bailin QC and Jessica Jones

11 07 2017

In Medžlis Islamske Zajednice Brčko and Others v. Bosnia and Herzegovina ([2017] ECHR 608)  the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR found by an 11-6 majority that there was no violation of Article 10 in findings of defamation by the national courts in relation to a public servant’s right to reputation. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Canada: Google Inc v Equustek Solutions, Supreme Court upholds worldwide Google blocking injunction – Hugh Tomlinson QC

2 07 2017

On 28 June 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down judgment in the controversial case of Google Inc v Equustek Solutions  (2017 SCC 34) dismissing (7:2) Google’s appeal against a worldwide injunction ordering it to remove websites from search results (2014 BCSC 1063).  The result of this decision is that worldwide injunction against Google remains in place. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Strasbourg: Independent Newspapers v. Ireland: €1.25 million defamation award against newspaper violated Article 10 – Ronan Ó Fathaigh

25 06 2017

The European Court’s Fifth Section has unanimously held that a damages award made against an Irish newspaper for defamation violated the right to freedom of expression, under Article 10 of the European Convention. While the judgment in Independent Newspapers v. Ireland concerned Irish defamation law prior to reforms brought about in 2009, it is still significant for signalling to Irish courts that unpredictably high damages have a “chilling effect,” and require the “most careful scrutiny” and “very strong justification.” Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Australia: Milne v Ell, Tweed Shire Mayor gets revenge threefold – Justin Castelan

21 06 2017

Property developer, William Robert Ell sued Tweed Shire Councillor, Katie Milne in defamation in 2014. He sued over a letter to the editor which Ms Milne had written about a contentious building development conducted by Mr Ell. While Mr Ell did not attend the trial, he won the case and was awarded damages of $15,000 plus costs. The decision was handed down on 7 March 2014. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Strasbourg: Giesbert v France, Sanctions for publishing prosecution statements, no violation of Article 10 – Hugh Tomlinson QC

2 06 2017

In the case of Giesbert v France ([2017] ECHR 504, 1 June 2017)(French only) the Fifth Section of the Court of Human Rights held that Court orders made against the magazine, Le Point, sanctioning the publication of criminal court documents in the high profile “Bettancourt” case did not violate Article 10 of the Convention. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Australia: Defteros v Google Inc, Melbourne defamation lawyer loses to Google – Justin Castelan

14 05 2017

Google Australia Pty Ltd – it looks like Google, smells like Google and it very much tries to act like it is not Google. For several years there have been several people who have all tried to sue Google Australia or Google New Zealand or Google UK, perhaps trying to get a local defendant when it is Google Incin America that produces the search results which they complain about. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law: Strasbourg: Pihl v Sweden: No liability for defamatory users’ comments after prompt removal upon notice – Dirk Voorhoof

22 03 2017

In its decision of 9 March 2017 in Rolf Anders Daniel Pihl v. Sweden, the Court of Human Rights has clarified the limited liability of operators of websites or online platforms containing defamatory user-generated content.The Court’s decision is also to be situated in the current discussion on how to  prevent or react on  “fake news”, and the policy to involve online platforms in terms of liability for posting such messages. Read the rest of this entry »