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, Strasbourg: Bayev v Russia: Legislation banning the promotion of homosexuality violates Articles 10 and 14 – Kirsten Sjøvoll

23 06 2017

In a judgment in the case of Bayev v Russia ([2017] ECHR 572) handed down on 20 June 2017, the Third Section of  European Court of Human Rights found – by six votes to one –  that the so-called Russian “gay-propaganda law” banning the promotion of homosexuality violated both Article 10 and Article 14 of the Convention. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Strasbourg: Arnarson v Iceland, No violation of Article 10 when public interest journalism is unverified – Hugh Tomlinson QC

14 06 2017

In the case of Arnason v Iceland ([2017] ECHR 530) the First Section of the Court of Human Rights applying the Axel Springer criteria for balancing Articles 8 and 10, held that a domestic defamation judgment arising out of a publication which made an accusation of fraud did not violate Article 10. 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: R (P) v Home Secretary, The right to put your past behind you and Article 8 – David Hart QC

17 05 2017

In the case of R (o.t.a P & others) v. Secretary of State for Home Department & others ([2017] EWCA Civ 321)  the Court of Appeal upheld challenges to the system of the police retaining information about past misconduct. It held that the system, even after a re-boot in 2013 in response to an earlier successful challenge, remains non-compliant with Article 8Read the rest of this entry »





We Need a New Regulatory Framework to Protect Democracy in the Age of Social Media – Susie Alegre

7 05 2017

Over the past two years we have seen a stream of dramatic elections in the UK and beyond.  Issues like fake news and the use of social media for political campaigning have been of increasing concern to those trying to understand how our democracies are changing.  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 »