ECHR Grand Chamber – A German newspaper had published a story or stories about the arrest and conviction of a well-known TV actor, together with photographs, and various restraining-type orders had been issued by the German courts in relation to this. The propriety of these orders came before the ECHR.
Held: the German courts had gone too far: ‘In order for art 8 to come into play, however, an attack on a person’s reputation must attain a certain level of seriousness and in a manner causing prejudice to the personal enjoyment of the right to respect for private life. The Court has held, moreover, that art 8 cannot be relied on in order to complain of a loss of reputation which is the foreseeable consequence of one’s own actions such as, for example, the commission of a criminal offence.’
The Court went on to consider the balancing exercise which had to be conducted between the two articles and set out various criteria relevant to that exercise: ‘The Court notes that the articles in question concerned the arrest and conviction of the actor X, that is, public judicial facts that may be considered to present a degree of general interest. The public do, in principle, have an interest in being informed – and in being able to inform themselves – about criminal proceedings, whilst strictly observing the presumption of innocence. That interest will vary in degree, however, as it may evolve during the course of the proceedings – from the time of the arrest – according to a number of different factors, such as the degree to which the person concerned is known, the circumstances of the case and any further developments arising during the proceedings.’
39954/08,  ECHR 227, 32 BHRC 493,  EMLR 15, (2012) 55 EHRR 6
European Convention on Human Rights 8 10
Cited – Hannon and Another v News Group Newspapers Ltd and Another ChD 16-May-2014
The claimants alleged infringement of their privacy, saying that the defendant newspaper had purchased private information from police officers emplyed by the second defendant, and published them. The defendants now applied for the claims to be . .
Cited – PJS v News Group Newspapers Ltd SC 19-May-2016
The appellants had applied for restrictions on the publication of stories about their extra marital affairs. The Court of Appeal had removed the restrictions on the basis that the story had been widely spread outside the jurisdiction both on the . .
Cited – Richard v British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Another ChD 26-May-2017
Disclosure of Journalists’s Source ordered
The claimant had been investigated in connection with allegations (not proceeded with) of historic sexual abuse. The first defendant received information in advance of a search of the claimant’s house, and filmed and broadcast this from a . .
Cited – Richard v The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Another ChD 18-Jul-2018
Police suspect has outweighable Art 8 rights
Police (the second defendant) had searched the claimant’s home in his absence in the course of investigating allegations of historic sexual assault. The raid was filmed and broadcast widely by the first defendant. No charges were brought against the . .
Cited – ZXC v Bloomberg Lp CA 15-May-2020
Privacy Expecation during police investigations
Appeal from a judgment finding that the Defendant had breached the Claimant’s privacy rights. He made an award of damages for the infraction of those rights and granted an injunction restraining Bloomberg from publishing information which further . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Human Rights, Defamation, Media
Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.450756