In the third part of this four part post, Jonathan Coad considers the Issue of Prominence – the Litmus Test of Independence and Fairness
Paragraph 1 of the Code is by far the most commonly relied on provision by complainants to the PCC. It concerns accuracy, which is perhaps the most important value we need in newspapers if they are legitimately to participate in our constitutional process. Sub paragraph (i) sets out the duty on the press to take care not to publish inaccurate material. Sub paragraph (ii) is the PCC’s sole sanction for breaches of sub paragraph (i).
On 30 March 2010, the Fourth Section of the European Court of Human Rights (“the ECtHR”) handed down judgment in the case of Petrenco v Moldova. By a majority of 6:1 the Court held that the failure of the applicant’s domestic defamation claim was a breach of the positive obligation of the respondent State to protect the applicant’s Article 8 right to reputation. The applicant was awarded “just satisfaction” of €1,200 for non-pecuniary damage.
The case is important for three reasons. First, it provides a useful summary of the approach of the Court to issues of reputation and freedom of expression. Continue reading