Case Law, Strasbourg: Stomakhin v Russia, No overbroad suppression of extremist opinions and ‘hate speech’ – Dirk Voorhoof

14 06 2018

In its recent judgment in Stomakhin v. Russia, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) launched the message to all domestic authorities to adopt a “cautious approach” in determining the scope of “hate speech” crimes and to avoid “excessive interference” with the right to freedom of expression, especially when action is taken against ‘hate speech’ or extremist opinions that are mere criticism of the government, state institutions and their policies and practices. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Strasbourg: Benedik v Slovenia: Police need court order to access subscriber information associated with a dynamic IP address – Argyro Chatzinikolaou

9 06 2018

In its judgement in the case of Benedik v Slovenia the Fourth Section of the Court held i that there had been a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) with regard to the failure of the Slovenian police to obtain a court order before accessing subscriber information associated with a dynamic IP address[1]. Read the rest of this entry »





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: 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: 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 »





Medžlis Islamske Zajednice Brčko v Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Simple Speech Case Made Unbelievably Complex? – Stijn Smet

29 08 2017

Imagine, if you will, two scenarios. The first involves four NGOs writing a private letter to the highest authorities of a Bosnian city. “According to our information”, the NGOs state in the letter, the newly appointed Serbian director of a public radio station has displayed a problematic attitude towards Muslims and Bosniacs. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Strasbourg: Bogomolova v. Russia, Publication of picture of 3 year old “orphan” violated Article 8 – Ingrida Milkaite

25 07 2017

The case of Bogomolova v. Russia concerns the use of an unauthorised photograph of a minor’s face on the front page of a booklet promoting adoption and help for orphans. It proves that the publication of pictures of children without parental consent may have a significant social impact on the family and may violate Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), protecting the right to private and family life. Read the rest of this entry »