Case Law, Strasbourg: Brzeziński v. Poland: Fine over ‘false’ information during election campaign violated Article 10 – Ronan Ó Fathaigh

16 08 2019

On 25 July 2019, the European Court of Human Rights delivered an important judgment in Brzeziński v. Poland, (available only in French) concerning a provision in Poland’s election law which allows a court, within 24 hours, to consider whether ‘untrue information’ has been published, and to issue an order prohibiting its further distribution. Read the rest of this entry »





Australia: Will the High Court ruling on public servant’s tweets have a ‘powerful chill’ on free speech? – Anthony Forsyth

10 08 2019

The Israel Folau termination case has dominated headlines for months now. Many Australians have been intrigued by the extent to which employers like Rugby Australia are able to control the social media activity of their employees – in Folau’s case, a high-profile player who tweeted his condemnation of homosexuals and others. Read the rest of this entry »





Governments are making fake news a crime but it could stifle free speech – Alana Schetzer

21 07 2019

The rapid spread of fake news can influence millions of people, impacting elections and financial markets. A study on the impact of fake news on the 2016 US presidential election, for instance, has found that fake news stories about Hillary Clinton was “very strongly linked” to the defection of voters who supported Barack Obama in the previous election. Read the rest of this entry »





United States: Appeals court rules against Trump blocking critics on Twitter – Clay Calvert

14 07 2019

A federal appeals court in New York has upheld a lower court’s ruling that President Donald Trump cannot block people from following or viewing his @realDonaldTrump Twitter account. Read the rest of this entry »





Suppressing undesired vocabulary: Advocate General on the registration of the trade mark ‘Fack Ju Göhte’ – Alexandros Antoniou

11 07 2019

On 2 July 2019, Advocate General (AG) Bobek delivered his opinion in Case C-240/18 P Constantin Film Produktion GmbH v European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), advising that the EUIPO’s decision to reject the registration of the trade mark ‘Fack Ju Göhte’ because it was too offensive should be annulled. Read the rest of this entry »





Australia: Four laws that need urgent reform to protect both national security and press freedom – Denis Muller

21 06 2019

In a perfect world, Australia would introduce constitutional protections for freedom of the press. But since the chances of that are next to zero, it might be more productive to look instead at what might be done to make the existing web of secrecy laws less repressive. Read the rest of this entry »





Australia: To protect press freedom, we need more public outrage, and an overhaul of our laws – Peter Greste

9 06 2019

A few days ago, Waleed Aly asked a not-so-rhetorical question in The Sydney Morning Herald. He wondered how many Australians were worried about the fact that the Australian Federal Police had spent a good portion of last week raiding the offices and homes of journalists who’ve published stories clearly in the public interest. Read the rest of this entry »





The surprising post-election debate around online freedom of expression in Germany – Nora Kroeger

5 06 2019

One week before the EU elections, the German YouTuber Rezo published an almost hour-long video titled “The destruction of the CDU”. In the video, the influencer – who usually posts light-hearted apolitical content such as YouTube challenges – sets out a broad range of arguments why the disregard of scientific evidence and resulting incompetent policy-making by the German parties CDU, SPD (and also far-right AFD) should convince citizens to vote for other parties. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law: ZXC v Bloomberg, Publication of investigation into businessman was a misuse of private information – Nathan Capone

3 06 2019

In the case of ZXC v Bloomberg LP ([2019] EWHC 970 (QB)) a businessman was awarded damages of £25,000 for misuse of private information after media organisation Bloomberg published an article citing confidential information obtained from a UK law enforcement agency which identified the businessman. Read the rest of this entry »





Birmingham City Council “anti-protest” injunction, some legal issues – Hugh Tomlinson QC

1 06 2019

On Friday 31 May 2019, the Vacation Judge, Moulder J granted Birmingham City Council a without notice injunction [pdf] to restrain “persons unknown” from organising protests against the teaching of equalities outside Anderton Park Primary School and making “offensive or abusive comments” on social media. Read the rest of this entry »