Strasbourg Observers

View posts from: Freedom of Expression

  • Guest Blogger

The right of journalistic newsgathering during demonstrations

March 06, 2018

By Dirk Voorhoof and Daniel Simons 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 […]

  • Guest Blogger

Egill Einarsson v Iceland: the Court deals with an offensive Instagram post

January 19, 2018

This guest post was written by Ingrida Milkaite, Ghent University* On 7 November 2017 the European Court of Human Rights (the ECtHR, the Court) found a violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The main issue at hand was the Court’s assessment of whether the right balance between the applicant’s right […]

  • Guest Blogger

The European Court & Defamation of the Dead: searching for clarity

December 08, 2017

By Jonathan McCully (Media Legal Defence Initiative / Columbia Global Freedom of Expression) 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 […]

  • Guest Blogger

Tamiz v. UK: Google’s blog-publishing service is not liable for offensive comments

November 23, 2017

This guest post was written by Ingrida Milkaite (Ghent University)* On 12 October 2017 the European Court of Human Rights (the Court, the ECtHR) decided on the liability of Google Inc. as an information society service provider for offensive comments posted below a blog post about Mr Payam Tamiz. His application filed under article 8 […]

  • Guest Blogger

Robust protection of journalistic sources remains a basic condition for press freedom

October 10, 2017

By Dirk Voorhoof, Human Rights Center UGent, Legal Human Academy and member of the European Center for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) 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. […]

  • Guest Blogger

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

August 09, 2017

By Stijn Smet, Melbourne Law School. Stijn is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the ARC Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law and co-editor with Eva Brems of the new volume When Human Rights Clash at the European Court of Human Rights: Conflict or Harmony? (OUP, 2017) Imagine, if you will, two scenarios. The first involves four […]

  • Laurens Lavrysen

Bayev and Others v. Russia: on Judge Dedov’s outrageously homophobic dissent

July 13, 2017

Earlier this week, we published a blog post by Pieter Cannoot and Claire Poppelwell-Scevak on the judgment of Bayev and Others v. Russia in which the Court held that Russia’s so-called gay propaganda law violated the European Convention. In this blog post, I will not further dwell upon the outcome of the case or the […]

  • Guest Blogger

ECtHR finds Russia’s gay propaganda law discriminatory in strong-worded judgment

July 11, 2017

By Pieter Cannoot, PhD researcher, Human Rights Centre (Ghent University) and Claire Poppelwell-Scevak, FWO Research Fellow, Human Rights Centre (Ghent University) On 20 June 2017, the European Court of Human Rights issued a particularly strong-worded judgment in the case of Bayev and Others v. Russia. The Court not only found Russia’s legislative prohibition of the […]

  • Guest Blogger

No journalism exception for massive exposure of personal taxation data

July 05, 2017

By Dirk Voorhoof, Ghent University, Human Rights Centre.  After long proceedings at national level, after a preliminary ruling by the EU Court of Justice on 16 December 2008 (Case C-73/07), and after the European Court of Human Rights Chamber judgment of 21 July 2015, the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR on 27 June 2017 finally […]

  • Ronan Ó Fathaigh

Independent Newspapers v. Ireland: €1.25 million defamation award against newspaper violated Article 10

June 19, 2017

The European Court’s Fifth Section has unanimously held that a damages award made against an Irish newspaper for defamation violated the right to freedom of expression, under Article 10 of the European Convention. While the judgment in Independent Newspapers v. Ireland concerned Irish defamation law prior to reforms brought about in 2009, it is still […]

  • Guest Blogger

Orloskaya iskra v. Russia: Reporting in media during election campaign must be free from content restrictions

April 21, 2017

By Galina Arapova, Director of Mass Media Defence Centre, senior media lawyer, Russia On 21 February, the Court delivered its judgment in the case of Orloskaya iskra v. Russia, concerning the use of electoral laws to curb or restrict media reporting at election time and the circulation of critical opinions and information about candidates, their […]

  • Guest Blogger

Pihl v. Sweden: non-profit blog operator is not liable for defamatory users’ comments in case of prompt removal upon notice

March 20, 2017

by Dirk Voorhoof In its decision of 9 March 2017 in Rolf Anders Daniel Pihl v. Sweden, the ECtHR 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 […]

  • Guest Blogger

Selmani and Ors v. FYROM: influential judgment on press galleries and parliamentary reporting

February 14, 2017

Guest post by Jonathan McCully, Legal officer at the Media Legal Defence Initiative, which supported the case, and Editor of Columbia Global Freedom of Expression On 9 February 2017, the European Court of Human Rights handed down an important judgment in Selmani and Ors v. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Application No. 67259/14), a […]

  • Weichie

Karapetyan and Others v. Armenia: Senior Civil Servants as Defenders of Democracy or as Lackeys of the Executive?

December 08, 2016

By Stijn Smet A few weeks ago, a Section of the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Armenian government had not exceeded its margin of appreciation by summarily dismissing senior civil servants who had voiced critical remarks on the democratic nature of the 2008 presidential elections in Armenia. The Court’s view on the […]

  • Guest Blogger

Magyar Helsinki Bizottság v Hungary: a (limited) right of access to information under article 10 ECHR

November 30, 2016

Guest post by M. Schaap-Rubio Imbers, PhD Candidate international public law, Erasmus School of Law   On the 8th of November 2016, the ECtHR’s Grand Chamber delivered its judgment in Magyar Helsinki Bizottság v Hungary. The applicant NGO (Magyar Helsinki Bizottság) complained that the refusal of police departments to disclose information on the appointment of […]

  • Ronan Ó Fathaigh

Polish mayor’s private prosecution of local journalist for insult violated Article 10: Ziembiński v. Poland (No. 2)

August 12, 2016

By Ronan Ó Fathaigh The European Court’s Fourth Section has held in Ziembiński v. Poland (No. 2) that a newspaper editor’s conviction for describing local government officials as “dim-witted” and a “numbskull” violated the editor’s Article 10 right to freedom of expression. The judgment may prove decisive for future prosecutions of journalists under article 216(2) […]

  • Ronan Ó Fathaigh

Kurski v. Poland: Ordering politician to publish apology for defaming Polish newspaper violated Article 10

July 14, 2016

By Ronan Ó Fathaigh The European Court’s Fourth Section has held that a successful civil action by a newspaper against a Polish politician for alleging the newspaper had an “agreement” with an oil corporation to finance the newspaper’s “mass propaganda” against his political party, violated the politician’s freedom of expression. The opinion in Kurski v. […]

  • Guest Blogger

Baka v. Hungary: judicial independence at risk in Hungary’s new constitutional reality

July 12, 2016

By Pieter Cannoot, academic assistant and doctoral researcher of constitutional law (Ghent University) On 23 June 2016 the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights held that Hungary violated the right of access to a court (article 6, §1 ECHR) and the freedom of expression (article 10 ECHR) of András Baka, the former […]

  • Guest Blogger

European Court upholds criminal conviction for purchasing illegal firearm as a form of ‘check it out’ journalism in Salihu ao v. Sweden

June 29, 2016

By Dirk Voorhoof and Daniel Simons Investigative 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 […]

  • Weichie

Fürst-Pfeifer v Austria: “A one-sided, unbalanced and fundamentally unjust judgment”?

June 16, 2016

By Stijn Smet In Fürst-Pfeifer v Austria, the majority of the Fourth Section of the ECtHR ruled that the applicant’s right to private life was outweighed by the freedom of expression of an online publication and offline newspaper. In one of the fiercest and most poignant dissenting opinions I have read to date, judges Wojtyczek […]

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