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Ireland: 'sex scandal' libel case causes chilling effect

Legal  |  23.10.2017

by Emil Weber

The decision by the Irish courts to issue the highest-ever defamation award against a major newspaper publisher was disproportionate and amounted to chilling effect on the press, a recent judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) said. 

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German businessman loses appeal against "New York Times"

Legal  |  23.10.2017

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg

By Emil Weber

A German national and international businessman, Mr. Boris Fuchsmann, lost his application at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on October 19th concerning the references to him in a wider article published by the "The New York Times" nearly sixteen years ago.

… read more




Court rules on mafia book case

Legal  |  20.10.2017

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg

By Emil Weber

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has decided on that the German courts were right to sanction a major publisher with 10,000 Euros non-pecuniary damages for defamation against a private person by claims in a book about the mafia.

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Court rules Russian editor was wrongly restricted over three local newspaper articles 

Legal  |  19.10.2017

Court rules Russian editor wrongly restricted in three articles

By Emil Weber

A newspaper editor in Fryazino, Russia, was unjustifiably sanctioned by the domestic justice following three articles published in 2005, according to a recent judgement issued by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).  

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Romanian journalist had the right to criticise mayor live on TV, wins 21,000 EUR damages

Legal  |  17.10.2017

Romanian journalist had the right to criticise mayor live on TV

By Emil Weber

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has supported an investigative Romanian journalist who complained of a violation of her freedom of expression by the domestic courts concerning comments made in live television show. 

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EU Commissioner Vestager: "Platforms have certain responsibilities towards society"

Legal  |  12.10.2017

Margrethe Vestager

By Jane Whyatt

European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager fights for fairness on the European market, also against massive corporate players like Google and Apple. In an interview with the ECPMF she talks about her role in Europe, the death of old media and the future o … read more




Pro-Kurdish Turkish publisher wins damages from Europe’s top court

Legal  |  12.10.2017

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg

By Emil Weber

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has ruled that an Istanbul publisher was wrongfully convicted of disseminating propaganda through one editorial in favour of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The PKK is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey and several international organisations.

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Editor unjustifiably restrained for Chechnya articles, caused a ‘chilling effect’

Legal  |  09.10.2017

Chechnya: chilling effect

by Emil Weber

The conviction of a Russian editor for inciting enmity through the dissemination of two articles amounted to freedom of expression violation, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) decided on Tuesday. The articles were supposedly written by Chechen leaders.

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Norwegian journalist was right to protect her source - despite the source’s bad faith

Legal  |  06.10.2017

Journalist was right to protect source

by Emil Weber

Fining a Norwegian journalist for refusing to provide evidence on the source of information amounted to violation of freedom of information on insufficient grounds, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled on Thursday. That is despite the claims of a convicted insider trader that he was the source. 

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Russian newspaper backed by Court over reporting on Kursk submarine accident

Legal  |  04.10.2017

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg

By Emil Weber

Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta and its reporter, Ms. Yelena Valeryevna Milashina, were backed on Tuesday by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) over their reporting on a fatal submarine accident which had left 118 persons on board dead.

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What’s in a word? Europe’s top court backs journalists accused of using the wrong legal terms

Legal  |  02.10.2017

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg

By Emil Weber

Three Icelandic journalists have won a long-running defamation battle over the difference between using the words “investigation” (rannsókn) and “examine” (skoðun) to refer to police actions in response to complaints that have received.

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Journalist banned to leave Azerbaijan regardless of health concerns

Legal  |  27.09.2017

Azerbaijani flag

By Emil Weber

An appeal by Ms. Aynur Gambarova, an Azerbaijani journalist who was banned nearly two years ago from travelling abroad, has been refused by the authorities in Azerbaijan despite her severe health concerns.

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ECPMF helps Turkish editor to defend his journalism in court

Legal  |  27.09.2017

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

by ECPMF

Ali Ergin Demirhan is the editor-in-chief of sendika.org and the weekly newspaper "Halkın Sesi" that are critical of the Turkish government. Following the referendum in April 2017 he was arrested. The ECPMF is supporting his legal defence.

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Court says German judge was right to ban photos of man who butchered his parents

Legal  |  22.09.2017

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg

by Emil Weber

The Fifth Section of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) backed on Thursday a domestic German judge for barring the media from publishing the identifiable photograph of a man who was alleged to have murdered his parents unless he was proved guilty.

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Polish 'sex scandal' case leads to important court ruling

Legal  |  18.09.2017

Gazeta Wyborcza

By Emil Weber

A recent precedent of the The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) makes a distinction between journalists’ responsibility for defamation in claims made in published interviews and claims made in full journalism stories.

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Court backs prosecutor over interview alleging corruption – and he gets his money back

Legal  |  15.09.2017

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg

By Emil Weber

European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) judgment has backed a former prosecutor on his comments made in the press alleging corruption in the court system, based on the right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. He had been convicted and fined in his native Bulgaria, but now the government must pay him back the 7,565 euros, with costs.

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Kosovo - Investigative media outlet reports politician for inciting hatred

Legal  |  11.09.2017

Kosovo flag

By Emil Weber

Journalists in Kosovo have warned of attempts to silence the media and incitement of hatred following claims from a member of the Parliament that allege links between the local investigative news portal Insajderi.com and the activities of Serbian intelligence officers.

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Court case strengthens workers’ right to keep correspondence private

Legal  |  07.09.2017

Privacy

By Emil Weber

The case of a Romanian who was sacked from his office job in Bucharest has created stronger privacy protection standards, thanks to an important ruling at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

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Medžlis Islamske Zajednice Brčko v Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Simple Speech Case Made Unbelievably Complex?

Legal  |  23.08.2017

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg

By Stijn Smet, Melbourne Law School

Imagine, if you will, two scenarios. The first involves four NGOs writing a private letter to the highest authorities of a Bosnian city. “According to our information”, the NGOs state in the letter, the newly appointed Serbian director of a public radio station has displayed a problematic attitude towards Muslims and Bosniacs. Her past actions, the NGOs claim, “absolutely disqualify” her from being director of a multi- … read more




Publication of a picture of a 3-year-old, representing him as an orphan, violates article 8 ECHR

By Ingrida Milkaite, Ghent University 

Legal  |  26.07.2017

children's picture

The case of Bogomolova v. Russia concerns the use of an unauthorised photograph of a minor’s face on the front page of a booklet promoting adoption and help for orphans. It proves that the publication of pictures of children without parental consent may have a significant social impact on the family and may violate article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), protecting the right to pri … read more




French and UK publishers form alliances against Google and Facebook

Legal  |  12.07.2017

Margrethe Vestager

by Jane Whyatt

France’s biggest newspapers and media groups have formed advertising alliances to take on the commercial might of Google and Facebook. And in the UK, a campaign called Duopoly has gathered almost 200 signatures for a petition to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Duopoly has also won the verbal backing of Conservative Culture Minister Matt Hancock.

 

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ECPMF ECtHR Conference e-book: introduction, presentations and conclusions

Legal  |  08.07.2017

conference ebook

On March 24, 2017 the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom with the support of Council of the Europe (CoE) organised the conference “Promoting dialogue between the European Court of Human Rights and the media freedom community. Freedom of expression and the role and case law of the European Court of Human Rights: developments and challenges”. The conference took place in Strasbourg.

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Alice Weidel vs "Extra 3": Is it legally OK to call a right-wing politician a "nazi slut"?

Legal  |  26.06.2017

Legal hammer_900X600

By Global Freedom of Expression

Case Summary and Outcome

The Landgericht Hamburg, Germany, a court of first instance, held that there was no violation of the personality rights of a right-wing politician who was called a "Nazi slut" during a satirical television show. In its decision, the Landgericht Hamburg recognised that the statement amounted to a form of political satire. It went on to acknowledge that a viewer would not interpret the term "Nazi slut" lit … read more




The Oxford Moot: Welcome to the “Universal Court of Freedom of Expression”

Legal  |  16.06.2017

Oxford

By ECPMF staff
For the last decade, the University of Oxford has been nourishing a unique undertaking, the Price International Media Moot Court, one of the world’s largest moots and an intense tool to spread instruction in the role of speech in society and the building of values in an emerging generation of leaders across the world.

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The ECPMF supports Albanian journalists charged with defamation lawsuits

Legal  |  16.06.2017

Journalist with camera

ECPMF
Albanian journalists have been charged with defamation lawsuits launched by Gjin Gjoni – a member of the High Council of Justice, HJC – targeting two media outlets and four journalists. The ECPMF is supporting them financially to prepare their defense.

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New report tracks changes in law that impact media freedom

Legal  |  12.06.2017

EMR-Report

Editors across Europe make difficult decisions all the time. Is it OK to buy a gun without a licence, to expose lax laws? What about smuggling a knife onto an aeroplane, to highlight poor security? Or secretly filming a meeting to expose corruption allegations?

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Germany: Right to information for journalists about the financing of political blogs

Legal  |  16.05.2017

by Ingo Beckendorf

A journalist can assert a right to information of the press against an incorporated company for general public services which are controlled by the public hand. That was decided by the first civil division of the German Federal Court, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), on 16 of March 2017 (judgment rn.: I ZR 13/16).

… read more




Reduced sentences in LuxLeaks trial after application of ECHR case law

Legal  |  16.05.2017

Antoine Deltour

by Annelies Vandendriessche

After re-examining the case in its entirety, the Court of Appeal of Luxembourg has reached a verdict in the LuxLeaks Trial. All three defendants requested acquittal based on Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) concerning freedom of expression.

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Russia: Putin satire as "extremist material" on prohibition list

Legal  |  11.05.2017

Putin cartoon 900X600

by Ingo Beckendorf

A Russian central district court has forbidden a cartoon showing President Vladimir Putin as a drag queen. Together with 4,000 other pieces of content, the picture is now on a list of supposedly extremist material. This means further censorship on Russian platforms.

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UK: Supreme Court dismisses newspapers' Article 10 CFA appeals

Legal  |  11.05.2017

by Tobias Raab

The UK Supreme Court has dismissed three appeals based on Article 10 CFA on 11 April 2017 (Times Newspapers Limited v Flood (Case No. A2/2014/0120), Miller v Associated Newspapers Limited (Case No. HQ09X04347) and Frost and others v MGN Limited ([2016] EWHC 855).

… read more




DE: OLG Stuttgart confirms legitimacy of an identifying report related to the "Panama Papers"

Legal  |  11.05.2017

Panama Papers

by Tobias Raab

On 8 March 2017, the Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht, OLG) of Stuttgart decided that an article about the so called "Panama Papers", which had been published by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung in 2016, was permissible (Case no. 4 U 166/16).

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EU copyright directive: Licensing and remuneration of journalists

Legal  |  18.04.2017

Fair Contract

This article was originally published by EFJ | European Federation of Journalists

Better contracts, more transparency in payments and a fair share of remuneration for journalists: these are on top of the agenda for the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) in the latest consultation on the EU copyright directive. The EFJ is putting forward important … read more




LuxLeaks appeal: Fine upheld, suspended jail sentence reduced for key whistleblower   

Legal  |  16.03.2017

LuxLeaks Whistleblower to Appeal the Guilty Verdict

by Ana Ribeiro

The Appeal Court of Luxembourg has halved the suspended jail sentence imposed in June 2016 on French whistleblower Antoine Deltour. The ECPMF supported Deltour’s appeal with €1,000, amid what became known as the LuxLeaks trial.

… read more




European Commission approves three-month ban of Russian TV station “RTR Planeta”

Legal  |  14.03.2017

by Jonas Rusche

The Lithuanian radio and television commission (RTLC) suspended the Russian language channel “RTR Planeta” for three months, from 21November 2016 to 21 February 2017. Four days before the suspension period was over, the European Commission (EC) decided that this action was in line … read more




TK: We are free

Legal  |  13.03.2017

Gianna Iacino

Since 27 January 2017, the Turkish Authority for Information Technology (BTK) blocks the access to a not yet operational website.

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DE: Higher Administrative Court affirms right to information versus Foreign Office

Legal  |  13.03.2017

Tobias Raab

On 30 December 2016, the Higher Administrative Court (Oberverwaltungsgericht, OVG) of Berlin-Brandenburg decided that, the German newspaper Tagesspiegel does have a right to access of information of the Federal Foreign Office regarding the legal assessment of the so called “Schmähgedicht“ (case no. OVG 6 S 29.16).

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DE: Duty to publish counterstatements on a blog

Legal  |  13.03.2017

Ingo Beckendorf

On 28 November 2016, the Higher Regional Court of Berlin (Kammergericht Berlin) decided, that articles published in a blog can be categorised as journalistic-editorial content and therefore, the party concerned can have a right to reply (10 W 173/16).

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DE: Lawful seizure of press-products

Legal  |  13.03.2017

Ingo Beckendorf

On 15 December 2016, the German Federal Court (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) decided that, a publisher has no right to demand compensation for the seizure of a journal with reprinted Nazi-propaganda, when he himself contributed to the initiation of preliminary proceedings with his risky behaviour (case no.: III ZR 387/14).

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DE: Federal Supreme Court decides on statements on a satire show

Legal  |  13.03.2017

Ingo Beckendorf

On 10 January 2017, the German Federal Court (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) has rejected the libel actions of two journalists of the German weekly newspaper “Die Zeit” against the public service broadcaster „Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen” (ZDF).

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CoE: The right to report about parliamentary sessions

Legal  |  13.03.2017

Gianna Iacino

On 9 February 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) decided that the forcible removal of journalists from a parliamentary press gallery constitutes a violation of art. 10 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

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CoE: Right of access to the internet

Legal  |  13.03.2017

Gianna Iacino

On 17 January 2017, the European Court for Human Rights (ECtHR) decided that, the right of access to information according to art. 10 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) does not include a general right of access to the internet (application no: 21575/08).

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EU: ECtHR on elected officials and their right of free speech

Legal  |  13.03.2017

Tobias Raab

On 12 January 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) decided that in an Ukrainian case of defamation proceedings, domestic courts had disregarded the high requirements of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to restrict political speech (case no. 19382/08)

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CoE: "Completely unknown“ actress

Legal  |  13.03.2017

Gianna Iacino

On 19 January 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) decided that a newspaper does not need to pay damages for calling an actress "completely unknown“ (application no. 52137/12).

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BA: Commercial contracts for collection of RTV tax?

Legal  |  13.03.2017

Radenko Udovičić

On 20 December 2016, the Journalists Association and the Transportation and Communication Committee of the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly held a conference in the Parliament building on ways of providing a sustainable system of funding for the Public Broadcasting System.

… read more




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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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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