Case Law, Strasbourg: Sinkova v Ukraine, Conviction for performance art war memorial protest did not violate Article 10 – Ronan Ó Fathaigh and Dirk Voorhoof

22 03 2018

The European Court’s Fourth Section has held, by four votes to three, that a protestor’s conviction, including a suspended three-year prison sentence, for frying eggs over the flame of a war memorial, did not violate the protestor’s freedom of expression. The judgment in Sinkova v. Ukraine prompted a notable dissent, which highlighted “inconsistency” with the Court’s prior case law, and a disregard for the principle that criminal penalties are likely to have a “chilling effect on satirical forms of expression relating to topical issues.” Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law, Strasbourg: Butkevich v Russia, Journalistic newsgathering during demonstrations – Dirk Voorhoof and Daniel Simons

9 03 2018

In a case about a Ukrainian journalist being arrested during an anti-globalisation protest in Russia, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Butkevich v. Russia (13 February 2018) has clarified that the gathering of information is an essential preparatory step in journalism and an inherent, protected part of press freedom. Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law, Strasbourg: Sekmadienis Ltd v Lithuania, Fine over “Jesus” and “Mary” advertising campaign, Article 10 violation – Hugh Tomlinson QC

3 02 2018

In the case of Sekmadienis v Lithuania ([2018] ECHR 112) the Fourth Section of the Court of Human Rights held that a decision to fine a clothing company for the display of adverts referring to “Jesus” and “Mary” was a violation of Article 10. Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law, Strasbourg: MAC TV v Slovakia, Defamation of the dead, searching for clarity – Jonathan McCully

10 12 2017

On 28 November 2017, in MAC TV v. Slovakia, the European Court of Human Rights (European Court) found a violation of the right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the Convention where the Broadcasting Council of Slovakia had fined a television programme for showing a lack of respect to the dignity of the President of Poland following his death in a tragic plane accident. Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law, Strasbourg: Standard Verlagsgesellschaft mbH v Austria, Narrow approach to “value judgments” leads to rejection of Article 10 application – Emma Foubister

8 12 2017

In Standard Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (No.2) v Austria [2017] ECHR 1040,  the Fifth Section of the European Court of Human Rights (“the Court”) held that ordering a newspaper to pay compensation to a politician falsely accused of being the spiritus rector (guiding spirit) of a spying operation did not violate Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“the Convention”). Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law, Strasbourg: Einarsson v Iceland, Defamation on social media and Article 8 – María Rún Bjarnadóttir

14 11 2017

In recent years, Icelandic courts have struggled to apply standards and methodology developed by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in cases regarding the balancing of freedom of expression and rights to private life. Read the rest of this entry »

News: Google in Colombia, Constitutional Court orders deletion of defamatory Blogger material

27 10 2017

The latest episode in the Google litigation story has been written by the Colombian Constitutional Court. In the case of Fierro Calcedo v Google Inc (Judgment T-063A/17, in Spanish) that court ordered Google Inc, as the owner of “” to delete a blog which anonymously alleged that the claimant was guilty of fraud.  Read the rest of this entry »