Denying journalist access to asylum-seeker ‘reception centre’ in Hungary violated Article 10 ECHR

* This blog post was written by Ronan Ó Fathaigh, IVIR/Univ. Amsterdam and Dirk Voorhoof, Human Rights Centre, Ghent University and Legal Human Academy

In Szurovecz v. Hungary, the European Court of Human Rights has held that a refusal to grant a journalist access to an asylum-seeker ‘reception centre’ in Hungary violated his right to freedom of expression under Article 10 ECHR. The ECtHR emphasised that newsgathering, including ‘first-hand’ observation by a journalist reporting on a matter of significant public interest, is an essential part of journalistic research and …read more

ECHR in Pihl v. Sweden: blog operator not liable for promptly removed defamatory user comment

Guest post by prof. Dirk Voorhoof, Ghent University.*

In its decision of 9 March 2017 in Rolf Anders Daniel Pihl v. Sweden, the ECtHR has clarified the limited liability of operators of websites or online platforms containing defamatory user-generated content. The Court’s decision is also to be situated in the current discussion on how to  prevent or react on  “fake news”, and the policy to involve online platforms in terms of liability for posting such messages. Although the Court’s ruling expresses concerns about imposing liability on internet intermediaries that would amount to requiring excessive and impractical forethought capable of undermining the right to impart information via internet, the decision in Pihl v. Sweden itself guarantees only minimal protection for the rights of internet intermediaries and …read more

Article 10 of the Convention includes the right of access to data held by an intelligence agency

Guest post by Dirk Voorhoof, Ghent University.*

In its judgment of 25 June 2013 in the case of Youth Initiative for Human Rights v. Serbia the European Court of Human Rights has recognised more explicitly than ever before the right of access to documents held by public authorities, based on Article 10 of the Convention (right to freedom of expression and information). The judgment also recognises the importance of NGOs acting in the public interest. The judgment contains a particularly important …read more