For those following the privacy case of Von Hannover and Springer v Germany, due to be heard by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in October, the International Forum for Responsible Media blog offers a neat summary and full copy of the submission made by the Media Lawyers Association.
The case, which Inforrm says is likely to result in an important clarification of the relationship between Articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) and the media, is based on two complaints over the publication of information or images relating to an individual. The first – Von Hannover – refers to a complaint by Princess Caroline of Monaco against photographs taken of herself and her husband on holiday, one of which made it into the press before she took out an injunction, while the second – Springer – is a complaint by publishing group Axel Springer over a ban on reporting the arrest and criminal conviction of an actor.
In a useful summary of the MLA Submission, Inforrm provides the following bullet points:
- Article 8 does not create or require the creation of an “image right”.
- Publication of a person’s photograph (or image) does not, of itself, necessarily engage their Article 8 rights’ whether this is so depends upon all the circumstances; a certain level of seriouness is required before there will be any interference with the right.
- The right to reputation is not a Convention right. Publication of a defamatory statement about a person does not, of itself, interfere with their Article 8 rights.
- It is vital, in any balance between the Convention rights under Articles 8 and 10, that media reporting upon all matters of public interest or public concern is strongly protected.
- The reporting of court proceedings (in particular, criminal proceedings) requires wide and strong protection.