Nilsen v United Kingdom: ECHR 9 Mar 2010

The applicant had been convicted of the most serious offences including several violent murders, and was held under a whole life tarriff. He wished to publish his autobiography from prison.
Held: The application was inadmissible. He had nothing serious to say in the public interest, although the policy applied in his case would not have prevented even him from engaging in such serious debate. To the contrary, the applicant wished to use his memoirs as a platform to seek to justify his conduct and denigrate people he disliked and his manuscript contained ‘several lurid and pornographic passages’ and highly personal details of a number of his offences. The applicant did not take issue with the description of his crimes as being ‘as grave and depraved as it is possible to imagine’. Even in such an extreme case, the Court was careful to distinguish between the causing of offence to members of the public, which would not be a sufficient justification for restricting article 10 rights, and ‘an affront to human dignity’, which would, that being itself a fundamental value in the Convention.
[2010] ECHR 470
Human Rights
See AlsoDennis Andrew Nilsen v United Kingdom ECHR 27-Nov-2008
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Cited by:
CitedBritish Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Ahmad Admn 11-Jan-2012
The BBC wished to interview the prisoner who had been detained pending extradition to the US since 2004, and now challenged decision to refuse the interview.
Held: The claim succeeded. The decision was quashed and must be retaken. If ever any . .

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Updated: 23 April 2021; Ref: scu.450215