Peter Noorlander of the Media Legal Defence Initiative has a post up on Index on Censorship warning that the European Court of Human Rights must reject Max Mosley’s prior notification action or risk grave consequences for the free media.
Such a rule would be disastrous for investigative reporting of all kinds — by the media as well as by NGOs. It would mean that a local paper that has been leaked documents showing corruption in the local council, for example, would be forced to notify those named in the story. The subjects would without doubt take out an injunction, probably on grounds of breach of confidence, and the story could not be published for months…
A guest comment from Peter Noorlander on the Free Speech blog over at IndexOnCensorship.org.
After outlining the details of this week’s Times case (the newspaper group was disputing the UK’s application of libel laws where the ‘internet publication rule’ allows for libel action every time archived material is accessed on the internet) Noorlander gives his own take on the judgement.
“This leaves a disappointing and weak judgment from the European Court of Human Rights,” he writes.
After winning damages in his case against News of the World this summer, Max Mosley is taking a case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) today, to ask for a change in law, which would require editors to contact the subjects of revelations about private life before publishing.