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Institute of European Media Law

The Institute of European Media Law (EMR) is an independent legal research and consultancy institute specialised in European Media Law. The EMR Media Network consists of about 180 media law experts from more than 40 European countries, which provide the following legal news. 

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom’s mission is to promote freedom of expression, plurality and diversity and to bring together wide range of different partners and networks. So the views expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the ECPMF, and we welcome feedback, corrections and discussion.


Malta: “One-woman WikiLeaks” prevails in libel lawsuit by controversial local developer

Legal  |  22.02.2017

Chess game cover

by Ana Ribeiro

A Malta magistrate has dismissed a libel lawsuit against blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia. The judge argued that her June 2015 post linking a suspected drug operation to a local entrepreneur was in the public’s interest, and based on evidence rather than defamatory.

… read more




UK plans law that could mean 14 years in jail for leakers

Legal  |  22.02.2017

Espionage Act UK_900X600

by Jane Whyatt

Britain’s Law Commission proposes a new law that could lead to long jail terms for leakers, journalists and whistleblowers accused of endangering national security. 

… read more




ECtHR rules in favour of journalists expelled from Macedonian parliament

Legal  |  13.02.2017

Justice 900X600

by Ana Ribeiro

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has ruled that forcibly removing journalists from the Macedonian parliament while they were covering a debate violated their freedom of expression. The court also decided the journalists’ right to a fair trial in the case had been breached.

… read more




UK: BBC successfully defends itself against libel claims of an imam

Legal  |  12.01.2017

by Ingo Beckendorf

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the public service broadcaster in the United Kingdom, has won a libel lawsuit against an imam from London.

… read more




UN: Resolution on the safety of Journalists

Legal  |  19.12.2016

Gianna Iacino

On 29 September 2016, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations has adopted unanimously a new 20-points Resolution on the safety of Journalists calling upon States not to interfere with the right to confidentiality of sources by interfering with encryption technology.

… read more




RO: President challenges the cut of the radio- and TV fee

Legal  |  19.12.2016

Eugen Cojocariu

On 15 November 2016, the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis filed a motion with the Constitutional Court in Romania to declare unconstitutional the Law adopted on 25 October 2016 by the Romanian Chamber of Deputies (Lower chamber of the Parliament). The Law slashes 102 non-fiscal taxes and duties, among them the public radio and TV fees and the Environment Fee. The draft law, introduced by Social Democrats, had been adopted by the Romanian Senate … read more




LV: Association condemns criminal proceedings against a journalist

Legal  |  19.12.2016

Ieva Andersone

On 15 November 2016, the Latvian Association of Journalists published an announcement condemning the recently concluded criminal proceedings against a journalist for her investigative journalism activities.

… read more




DE: „Tagesschau-App“ violates Interstate Broadcasting Treaty

Legal  |  19.12.2016

Tobias Raab

On 30 September 2016, the Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht, OLG) of Cologne decided that the so called „Tagesschau-App“ of the Public Service Broadcaster ARD, as it was available online on 15 June 2011, violates the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty (Case no. 6 U 188/12).

… read more




CoE: Relevant, but not sufficient: Austria violates publisher’s rights

Legal  |  19.12.2016

Gianna Iacino,

On 25 October 2016, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) decided that the arguments of the Austrian Supreme Court (Oberster Gerichtshof, OGH) for the conviction of a publisher for identifying reporting, are relevant, but not sufficient (Appl. no. 60818/10). Therefore, the conviction of the publisher violates the freedom of expression according to art. 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

… read more




Latvia: Association condemns criminal proceedings against a journalist

Legal  |  15.12.2016

Censorship_Turkey_900

by Ieva Andersone

On 15 November 2016, the Latvian Association of Journalists published an announcement condemning the recently concluded criminal proceedings against a journalist for her investigative journalism activities.

… read more




ECJ: Operator of public Wi-Fi not liable for copyright infringements

Legal  |  09.12.2016

Legal hammer_900X600

by Ingrida Milkaite

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that the owner of a shop offering the public a free Wi-Fi network is not liable for copyright infringements committed by users of that network.

… read more




Football Leaks: Spanish judge requests to block revelations involving Real Madrid stars

Legal  |  08.12.2016

Foottball Leaks teaser

by Ana Ribeiro

A Spanish judge is trying to get 12 European media outlets to stop publishing any information related to Football Leaks. The gigantic leak points to tax evasion and other alleged irregular financial practices and deals involving stars from Real Madrid, FC Chelsea and other European football clubs.

… read more




The European Court of Human Rights and Access to Information: Clarifying the Status, with Room for Improvement

Legal  |  23.11.2016

Building of the European Court of Human Rights

Nani Jansen Reventlow and Jonathan McCully*
On 8 November 2016, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights handed down a much-anticipated judgment on the right of access to information. While the Court was clearer and firmer than it had ever been before on the status of the right to access information as part of the right to freedom of expression guaranteed by Article 10 of the … read more




DE: Republishing is a less serious infringement of fundamental rights than first publication

Legal  |  01.11.2016

by Christina Etteldorf
The German Federal Constitution Court (FCC) decided on July 28 2016 (1 BvR 335/14) that reporting on information, which is already known to a large audience, violates the general right of personality less than a new publication about the same theme. Thereby the court established new criteria, which will have meaning for the balancing between freedom of the press and protection of privacy in the future.

… read more




UK: First practical application of the new public interest defence

Legal  |  01.11.2016

by Gianna Iacino
On 27 July 2016, the England and Wales High Court decided a libel case based on the new public interest defence, placing an emphasis on whether the defendant “reasonably believed” the matter was in the public interest (Case no.: HQ15D01507).

… read more




LU: LuxLeaks, the Sequel

Legal  |  01.11.2016

by Annelies Vandendriessche
On 29 June 2016, the Correctional Tribunal of Luxembourg found Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet guilty of domestic theft, fraudulent access to a database, breach of professional secrecy, violation of trade secrets, and laundering and possession of illegally obtained material in the so-called LuxLeaks Trial. The trial concerned the large-scale leaking of confidential documents revealing tax deals concluded between large multination … read more




IT: Highest Court applies right to be forgotten directly to online-article

Legal  |  01.11.2016

by Tobias Raab
The Highest Court of Italy has decided that media have to delete older articles from their online archives in order to secure the right to privacy. The decision was based on a case about media coverage about a lawsuit against an owner of a restaurant on the website PrimaDaNoi.

… read more




DE: Public interest justifies impairments of a trial by photographers

Legal  |  01.11.2016

by Ingo Beckendorf
The press is allowed to take photos of judges who take part in a criminal case in more then three hearings. As well, the defendants can be photographed, even if they show their discomfort to the press members. However, the presiding judge can order an anonymisation by the press as far as some of the defendants are concerned. That was decided by the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) on 9 September 2016 (case numbe … read more




Investigative journalism: new comparative study on legal regulations across Europe

Legal  |  17.05.2016

Comparative Study on Investigative Journalism_EMR

As part of the work of ECPMF, its consortium partner EMR, the Institute of European Media Law, has conducted a study on the state of press and media freedom in Europe. It describes and analyses media freedom at the European and at the national level, and compares the different legal frameworks that are relevant for investigative journalism, for example state and trade secrets, surveillance and secret recording. Countries included in the study rank from shining examples of press freedom like F … read more




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