Case Law, Strasbourg: Savva Terentyev v Russia, Conviction for inciting hatred against the police violated blogger’s freedom of expression – Dirk Voorhoof

11 10 2018

In Savva Terentyev v. Russia the ECtHR has applied a very high level of free speech-protection for aggressively insulting and hostile comments about police officers, published on a weblog. The ECtHR observes that some of the wording in the blog post was offensive, insulting and virulent, but it found that the (emotional and sarcastic) comments as a whole could not be seen as inciting to hatred or violence. Read the rest of this entry »





A Lord Chamberlain for the internet? Thanks, but no thanks – Graham Smith

10 10 2018

This summer marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Theatres Act 1968, the legislation that freed the theatres from the censorious hand of the Lord Chamberlain of Her Majesty’s Household. Thereafter theatres needed to concern themselves only with the general laws governing speech. In addition they were granted a public good defence to obscenity and immunity from common law offences against public morality. Read the rest of this entry »





Book: The Internet, Warts and All: Free Speech, Privacy and Truth – Paul Bernal

7 10 2018

My new book, the Internet, Warts and All was published in August. The subtitle – Free Speech, Privacy and Truth – gives and indication of its subject matter and scope: this is a wide-ranging, broad-brush book covering a great variety of different subjects, from some of the theoretical background to free speech, privacy and truth to specific subjects – there’s a chapter on surveillance, another on trolling, and one whose main subject is fake news. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Strasbourg: Mariya Alekhina v. Russia, Pussy Riot, the right to protest and to criticise the President, and the Patriarch – Dirk Voorhoof

18 09 2018

In its judgment of 17 July 2018 the ECtHR has found various violations of the rights of the members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot. The ECtHR found violations under Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), Article 5 § 3 (right to liberty and security) and 6 §§ 1 and 3 (c) ECHR (right to fair trial), in relation to the conditions of their transportation and detention in the courthouse, their pre-trial detention, the treatment during the court hearings (being exposed to public view in a glass dock surrounded by armed police), and restrictions to legal assistance. Read the rest of this entry »





Big Brother Watch v UK: What are the implications for the Investigatory Powers Act? – Graham Smith

14 09 2018

Yesterday I was transported back in time, to that surreal period following the Snowden revelations in 2013 when anyone who knew anything about the previously obscure RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000) was in demand to explain how it was that GCHQ was empowered to conduct bulk interception on a previously unimagined scale. Read the rest of this entry »





Censorship through the millennia. And trying to locate it in the 21st Century – Peter D. McDonald

13 09 2018

File 20180824 149475 xbgl2p.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1Once upon a time we all knew what censorship was, who the good and bad guys were, and what could be done to make the world a better place. Look up the noun “censor” in the Oxford English Dictionary and you’ll find an outline of a much-told story under definition 2 (b): Read the rest of this entry »





The Cliff Richard judgment in perspective – Nathan Capone

10 09 2018

Much discussion has inevitably followed in the wake of the Cliff Richard judgment, often taking polarising viewpoints. Privacy advocates hailed the judgment as a further watershed for individuals’ privacy rights whereas many in the press decried it as serious limitation on the ability to report on suspected criminality. Read the rest of this entry »