Strasbourg Observers

View posts from: Freedom of Expression

  • 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 […]

  • Stijn Smet

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 […]

  • Guest Blogger

One man banned: Russia’s treatment of solo protests scrutinised in Novikova v Russia

May 09, 2016

by Daniel Simons and Dirk Voorhoof One-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 […]

  • Guest Blogger

The Grand Chamber strikes again by finding no violation in freedom of expression case Bédat v. Switzerland

April 11, 2016

By Dirk Voorhoof It is common knowledge among “Strasbourg observers” that the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights does not have the best reputation of late in relation to the freedom of expression. In Palomo Sánchez v. Spain, Animal Defenders International v. United Kingdom, Mouvement Raeliën Suisse v. Switzerland, Delfi AS v. […]

  • Valeska David

Insulting a politician right after her death: Does the ECHR protect the reputation of the deceased?

February 08, 2016

By Valeska David At the end of 2014, when deciding on the admissibility of a case brought by Stalin’s grandson, who sued a newspaper and the author of an article for defamation of his grandfather, the ECtHR stated that the heir of a deceased person could not claim a violation of the latter’s article 8’s […]

  • Guest Blogger

Cengiz and Others v. Turkey: a tentative victory for freedom of expression online

January 05, 2016

By Marina van Riel, Resident Fellow, Open Society Justice Initiative, New York (*) On 1 December 2015, the European Court of Human Rights released a judgment in the case of Cengiz and Others v. Turkey. The main question put before the Court was whether the blocking of the popular video-sharing website YouTube constituted a violation […]

  • Corina Heri

The Problem with Insularity: On the Court’s View of Anti-Abortion Campaigning in Annen v. Germany

December 15, 2015

By Corina Heri On 26 November 2015, the ECtHR published the Fifth Section’s judgment in Annen v. Germany. The majority in that case found a violation of the applicant’s freedom of expression under Article 10 ECHR by an injunction that prohibited him from distributing anti-abortion leaflets outside a day clinic and from publishing the names […]

  • Guest Blogger

Grand Chamber challenges male-oriented view on keeping silence over mistress and lovechild in pivotal privacy case

November 12, 2015

By Dirk Voorhoof * The Grand Chamber’s judgment delivered on 10 November 2015 in Couderc and Hachette Filipacchi Associés v. France elaborates on the appropriate standard for privacy and the media under European human rights law. In essence, the Court discussed the public-interest value of a disputed article published in the magazine Paris Match, revealing […]

  • Guest Blogger

Journalist must comply with police order to disperse while covering demonstration

October 26, 2015

By Dirk Voorhoof * Recently, the Council of Europe Task Force for Freedom of Expression and Media published a book under the title “Journalism at risk. Threats, challenges and perspectives”. Since a Grand Chamber judgment of the European Court of Human Rights of 20 October 2015, a new threat for journalistic freedom has obviously emerged, […]

  • Guest Blogger

Criminal conviction for denying the Armenian genocide in breach with freedom of expression, Grand Chamber confirms

October 19, 2015

By Dirk Voorhoof *   On 17 December 2013 the European Court of Human Rights had ruled by five votes to two that Switzerland had violated the right to freedom of expression by convicting Doğu Perinçek, chairman of the Turkish Workers’ Party, for publicly denying the existence of the genocide against the Armenian people (see […]

  • Guest Blogger

ECtHR accepts strict application of data protection law and narrow interpretation of journalistic activity in Finland

August 12, 2015

By Dirk Voorhoof, Ghent University After proceedings at the national level during eight years, and after a preliminary ruling by the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg on 16 December 2008 (Case C-73/07), the European Court of Human Rights (Fourth section) in Strasbourg has delivered a controversial judgment in the domain of protection of personal […]

  • Guest Blogger

Delfi AS v. Estonia: Grand Chamber confirms liability of online news portal for offensive comments posted by its readers

June 18, 2015

By Dirk Voorhoof, Ghent University On 16 June 2015 the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has delivered the long awaited final judgment in the case of Delfi AS v. Estonia, deciding on the liability of an online news portal for the offensive comments posted by its readers below one of its […]

  • Guest Blogger

“A great victory for the whole legal profession”

May 06, 2015

by Inger Høedt-Rasmussen (Copenhagen University) and Dirk Voorhoof (Ghent University) The Grand Chamber in its judgment of 23 April 2015 in the case of Morice v. France has overruled an earlier finding of non-violation of the right to freedom of expression of a lawyer (Chamber judgment Fifth Section, 11 July 2013). The Grand Chamber found […]

  • Flutura Kusari

EU Review Wrongly and Superficially Applies ECtHR Precedent on Whistleblowing

April 16, 2015

By Flutura Kusari The report drawn up by law professor Jean Paul Jacqué that reviews EULEX’s handling of the whistleblowing case of Maria Bamieh (briefly explained below) reveals that European Union institution employees reporting irregularities do not enjoy protection under the right to freedom of expression. The expert’s narrow and wrong interpretation of whistleblowing protection […]

  • Guest Blogger

Can the right to freedom of expression justify the reporting about Monaco’s reigning monarch’s illegitimate child?

April 15, 2015

By Dirk Voorhoof Today, the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR held a hearing in the case of Couderc and Hachette Filipacchi Associés v. France (App. no. 40454/07). The hearing is webcasted and can be viewed on the Court’s website, here. The case concerns the right of privacy and reputation of Monaco’s reigning monarch conflicting with […]

  • Guest Blogger

Response to comment on Rubins v. Latvia: adjudication is not erroneous at all

April 14, 2015

By Dirk Voorhoof, Ghent University I disagree with the analysis of and the comments on the Rubins v. Latvia judgment by Elena Sychenko, posted on 13 April 2015 on Strasbourg Observers, finding that the judgment is an example of an erroneous adjudication and is granting protection to blackmailing. I consider the judgment a well balanced […]

  • Guest Blogger

Rubins v. Latvia: Does Article 10 ECHR Protect Blackmailers?

April 13, 2015

This guest blog post was written by Elena Sychenko, Ph.D. student at the University of Catania, Law Faculty, Labour Law Department. The recent case of Rubins v. Latvia has received much attention from lawyers. Commentators assumed that the Court established a protection of employees not covered by whistle-blowing provisions[1]  and believed that the Court contributed […]

  • Guest Blogger

ECtHR Vindicates Hidden Camera’s Role in Watchdog Journalism

March 12, 2015

This guest post was written by Flutura Kusari, Ph.D. researcher at the Human Rights Centre of Ghent University, and Nani Jansen, Legal Director of the Media Legal Defence Initiative. Haldimann and Others v. Switzerland, a decision of the European Court of Human Rights (the “ECtHR”) published on 24 February 2015, backed the investigative methods of […]

  • Corina Heri

The Fourth Section’s Curious Take on Article 10 in Petropavlovskis v. Latvia: Two Comments

January 28, 2015

This guest post was written by Corina Heri, Ph.D. researcher at the University of Zürich, Switzerland, and visiting researcher at the Human Rights Centre, Ghent University[1] In its recent judgment in Petropavlovskis v. Latvia, the European Court of Human Rights considered whether the domestic authorities’ refusal to naturalize a government-critical activist constituted a punitive measure […]

  • Weichie

Announcement: Event on Whistleblowing in Europe

November 28, 2014

We are proud to announce – on very short notice – an exciting event on whistleblowing in Europe, organized in Ghent by our Human Rights Centre colleagues Dirk Voorhoof and Flutura Kusari. The event links in neatly with Dirk Voorhoof’s recent post on this blog on the ECtHR judgment of Matúz v. Hungary. Below, you […]

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