Polanco Torres And Movilla Polanco v Spain: ECHR 21 Sep 2010

(French Text) The Spanish Newspaper El Mundo published an article defamatory of the petitioners. It was based on computer disks of company accounts authenticated by an accountant dismissed by the company. The Spanish Constitutional Court had applied a relevant principle of Spanish law described as ‘due diligence’, namely that if such publication is to be protected the journalist responsible for it must have taken ‘effective steps’ to verify the published information.
Held: The Spanish Newspaper El Mundo had published an article defamatory of the petitioners that was largely founded on computer disks of company accounts that had been authenticated by an accountant who had been dismissed by the company. The Spanish Constitutional Court had applied a relevant principle of Spanish law described as ‘due diligence’, namely that if such publication is to be protected the journalist responsible for it must have taken ‘effective steps’ to verify the published information.
Held: The Spanish Newspaper El Mundo had published an article defamatory of the petitioners that was largely founded on computer disks of company accounts that had been authenticated by an accountant who had been dismissed by the company. The Spanish Constitutional Court had applied a relevant principle of Spanish law described as ‘due diligence’, namely that if such publication is to be protected the journalist responsible for it must have taken ‘effective steps’ to verify the published information. The finding of the Spanish Constitutional Court that the requirement of due diligence had been satisfied was uphleld.The Court identified as relevant matters when considering restrictions on freedom of expression under article 10 necessary to protect the reputation of others ‘the degree of defamation involved’ and ‘the question of knowing at what point the media might reasonably consider sources as credible for the allegations’. The latter had to be considered from the viewpoint of the journalists at the time and not with the benefit of hindsight.
Josep Casadevall P
34147/06, [2010] ECHR 1341
Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights
Cited by:
CitedFlood v Times Newspapers Ltd SC 21-Mar-2012
The defendant had published an article which was defamatory of the claimant police officer, saying that he was under investigation for alleged corruption. The inquiry later cleared him. The court was now asked whether the paper had Reynolds type . .

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Updated: 28 February 2021; Ref: scu.424751