- Created by: channyx
- Created on: 20-03-20 22:34
The imposition upon a German media company of an injunction preventing it from reporting on the arrest and conviction of a television actor for a drug offence was a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.10. The interference with the media company's right to freedom of expression was not proportionate.
The applicant German media company (AS) complained about an injunction preventing it from reporting on the arrest and conviction of a television actor (X).
X was mainly known for playing the part of a police superintendent. AS had published two articles giving details of X's arrest for unlawful possession of a small amount of cocaine, and his subsequent conviction following a full confession. X instituted proceedings against AS and sought an injunction. The regional court held that the articles amounted to a serious interference with X's right to the protection of his personality rights, and that neither the nature of the crime committed, nor X's identity, nor any other circumstances justified publication of the articles.
It held that X was not exceptionally well-known and was accused of an offence which was not particularly spectacular and could be regarded as fairly common in the entertainment world. The appeal court upheld that decision, but differed in its appraisal of how well-known X was. AS complained to the instant court about the injunction, relying upon the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.10.
Held: Complaint upheld. (Judges Lopez Guerra, Jungwiert, Jaeger, Villiger and Poalelungi dissenting)
(1) Where the right to freedom of expression was being balanced against the right to respect for private life, the relevant criteria laid down in the case law were:
(a) whether the article contributed to a debate of general interest;
(b) the subject of the article and how well-known the relevant…