Case Law, Strasbourg: Becker v Norway, Robust protection of journalistic sources remains a basic condition for press freedom – Dirk Voorhoof

14 10 2017

In the judgment in the case Becker v. Norway the ECtHR showed once more its concern about the importance of the protection of journalistic sources for press freedom and investigative journalism in particular. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Strasbourg: Satakunnan Markkinapörssi Oy and Satamedia Oy v. Finland, No journalism exception for massive exposure of personal taxation data – Dirk Voorhoof

6 07 2017

After long proceedings at national level, a preliminary ruling by the CJEU on 16 December 2008 (Case C-73/07), and after the Court of Human Rights Chamber judgment of 21 July 2015, the Grand Chamber on 27 June 2017 finally found no violation of the right to freedom of expression and information in Satakunnan Markkinapörssi Oy and Satamedia Oy v. Finland. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law: Strasbourg: Pihl v Sweden: No liability for defamatory users’ comments after prompt removal upon notice – Dirk Voorhoof

22 03 2017

In its decision of 9 March 2017 in Rolf Anders Daniel Pihl v. Sweden, the Court of Human Rights has clarified the limited liability of operators of websites or online platforms containing defamatory user-generated content.The Court’s decision is also to be situated in the current discussion on how to  prevent or react on  “fake news”, and the policy to involve online platforms in terms of liability for posting such messages. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Strasbourg: Salihu v. Sweden, Criminal conviction for purchasing illegal firearm as a form of ‘check it out’ journalism upheld – Dirk Voorhoof and Daniel Simons

6 07 2016

ExpressenInvestigative journalism sometimes operates at the limits of the law. This is especially true of what could be called ‘check it out’ journalism: reporting in which a journalist tests how effective a law or procedure is by attempting to circumvent it. A recent decision shows that those who commit (minor) offences during this type of newsgathering activity cannot count on (major) support from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Strasbourg: Novikova v Russia, One man banned, Russia’s treatment of solo protests scrutinised – Daniel Simons and Dirk Voorhoof

12 05 2016

State DumaOne-person protests are the only kind of demonstration Russian citizens are permitted to hold without giving prior notice to the authorities. The unanimous judgment in Novikova and others v. Russia stops short of questioning this low threshold, but finds Russia in violation of Article 10 over its excessive zeal in enforcing the notification requirement through arrests and fines. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Strasbourg: Bédat v. Switzerland, The conviction of journalist not a violation of Article 10, the Grand Chamber strikes again – Dirk Voorhoof

10 04 2016

European-Court-of-Human-RightsIt has become common knowledge amongst “Strasbourg observers” that the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights doesn’t have the best reputation in terms of guaranteeing the right of freedom of expression and information. In earlier cases such as in Perna v. Italy, Pedersen & Baadsgaard v. Denmark, Lindon, Otchakovsky-Laurens & July v. France, Stoll v. Switzerland, Palomo Sánchez v. Spain, Animal Defenders International v. United Kingdom, Mouvement Raeliën Suisse v. Switzerland and more recently in Delfi AS v. Estonia and Pentikäinen v. Finland the Grand Chamber’s findings of a non-violation of Article 10 were highly controversial.

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Offensive Online Comments, Delfi confirmed but tempered – Dirk Voorhoof and Eva Lievens

17 02 2016

emt hungaryOn 2 February 2016, the European Court of Human Rights decided that a self-regulatory body (Magyar Tartalomszolgáltatók Egyesülete, MTE) and an Internet news portal (Index.hu Zrt) were not liable for the offensive comments posted by their readers on their respective websites. Read the rest of this entry »