Joey Barton: Twitter, Libel and Abuse – Owen O’Rorke

6 04 2013

JoeyBarton courtsilvaQPR midfielder Joey Barton, as everyone in football knows, is a tireless campaigner for freedom of expression. The controversial ball-winner, currently on loan in the French First Division with Olympique Marseille, is known for his brushes with the law, but has built a countervailing reputation as one of the game’s most aggressive thinkers. Read the rest of this entry »





The fundamental right to insult our leaders: Three worrying cases in France, the West Bank and right here – Adam Wagner

22 03 2013

mahmoud-abbas1Comparing different countries’ legal systems is a dangerous game, but three cases came to light last week which beg to be compared. The criminalisation of criticising political leaders has always been a hallmark of illiberal societies, and it seems that the tradition is still going strong today: in France, the West Bank and the UK too.

First, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that a man should not have been convicted of a criminal offence for waving a placard at (as he was then) President Sarkozy reading “Casse toi pov’con” (“Get lost, you sad prick”). Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Strasbourg: Eon v France, Satirical insult of head of state should not be a criminal offence – Rosalind English

17 03 2013

PRS AUTOCEon v France, no. 26118/10   14 March 2013- read judgment (in French only).  The applicant, Hervé Eon, is a French national, a socialist and anti-GM activist living Laval (France). The case concerned his conviction for insulting President Sarkozy.

During a visit by the President to the département of Mayenne on 28 August 2008, Mr Eon had waved a placard reading “Casse toi pov’con” (“Get lost, you sad prick”), a phrase uttered by the President himself several months previously when a farmer had refused to shake his hand at the International Agricultural Show. The utterance was widely disseminated in the media and on the internet, attaining the status of a slogan. Read the rest of this entry »