Case Law, Strasbourg: Rubio Dosamantes v Spain, TV discussions of singer’s sexuality and relationship breached Article 8 – Hugh Tomlinson QC

22 02 2017

The Court of Human Rights has held that the fact that singer was well known to the public and been the subject of well publicised rumours about her sexuality did not justify the broadcast of interviews about her relationships and sexuality. In the case of Rubio Dosamantes v Spain (Judgment of 21 February 2017)(in French only) the Third Section held that the dismissal of the applicant’s domestic claims was a breach of her Article 8 rights. Read the rest of this entry »





Implementing Leveson, the local press seeks to defend the indefensible – Hugh Tomlinson QC

29 12 2016

trinity-mirror-papersOver the past few weeks the national press has ramped up its dishonest and unprincipled campaign against the implementation of the Leveson recommendations.  It finances and promotes something called “Free the Press” – which, among other things, offers a series of misleading and inaccurate graphics to place in anti-Leveson articles. Read the rest of this entry »





Implementing Leveson, how the national newspaper groups use the local press as “human shields” – Hugh Tomlinson QC

20 12 2016

nottingham-postThe local press has, over the past few weeks, been running an anti-Leveson campaign in response to the Government’s unfair and unbalanced consultation on the implementation of Leveson. The themes are familiar: local newspapers are the life blood of democracy, they didn’t do phone hacking but they will be financially ruined if section 40 is implemented. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Belgium: Olivier G v Le Soir. “Right to be forgotten” requires anonymisation of online newspaper archive – Hugh Tomlinson QC

19 07 2016

lesoir_363x242In the case of Olivier G v Le Soir (29 April 2016, n° C.15.0052.F [pdf]) the Belgian Court of Cassation decided that, as the result of the “right to be forgotten”, a newspaper had been properly ordered to anonymise the online version of a 1994 article concerning a fatal road traffic accident. Read the rest of this entry »





Cultural cold wars: The risk of anti-‘extremism’ policy for academic freedom of expression – Alison Scott-Baumann and Hugh Tomlinson QC

8 04 2016

cvr-PreventGuidanceUniversities are under increasing pressure from government to prevent students coming into contact with “extreme” ideas. The view is that students exposed to any kind of views designated “extreme” could be drawn into terrorism. But the risk to freedom of speech and academic freedom is obvious. Society needs to avoid a climate in which ideas are seen as dangerous, deviant and extremist if they differ from views that are believed to be held by the majority. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Strasbourg: Sousa Goucha v. Portugal, Failure to prosecute homophobic “joke” not a breach of Article 8 – Hugh Tomlinson QC

3 04 2016

manuel-luis-gouchaIn the case of Sousa Goucha v Portugal ([2016] ECHR 284) the Fourth Section of the European Court of Human Rights held that the dismissal of a domestic defamation action by a gay television presenter was not a breach of his Article 8 right to reputation or of the prohibition of discrimination in Article 14.  The Court deferred to the reasoning of the domestic court that a “joke” suggesting that the applicant was female was not defamatory. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Strasbourg: Pinto Coelho v. Portugal (No.2), Open Justice, Article 10 and Broadcasting recordings of hearings – Hugh Tomlinson QC

26 03 2016

18726989_VefAtIn the case of Pinto Coelho v Portugal (No.2) ([2016] ECHR 296)(only in French) the Fourth Section of the Court of Human Rights held (by a 6:1 majority) that the imposition of a fine on a journalist who had published unauthorised audio recordings of a criminal trial was a breach of Article 10.  The case has potentially wide implications for jurisdictions such as England and Wales which continue to prohibit the transmission of recordings of criminal trials. Read the rest of this entry »