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Interventions & Amicus Briefs

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Media Defence Files Intervention at European Court to Protect Anonymity Online

Media Defence has filed a third-party intervention before the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Koumiotis v Greece to protect anonymity online. The case concerns criminal proceedings against the applicant, the owner and manager of an online blog. The applicant, following a series of posts criticising a businessman, was convicted of slanderous defamation. The…

UKSC hears case on malicious falsehood claims with implications for press freedom

The UK Supreme Court has heard argument over two days in the case of George v Cannell and another. The question the Court has to decide is - What does a claimant need to demonstrate to rely on s3(1) of the Defamation Act 1952 in a claim for malicious falsehood? The Facts The respondent sued the…

European Court of Human Rights issues judgment in Hurbain v Belgium, expanding the application of the ‘right to be forgotten’

On 4 July 2023, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) Grand Chamber delivered its judgment in the case of Hurbain v Belgium. The judgment upheld the lower chamber’s finding that an order to anonymise the subject of an article did not violate the publisher’s freedom of expression. Media Defence, along with a number of…

European Court of Human Rights issues important judgment on the right to protest in Bryan and others v. Russia

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has today issued its decision in the case of Bryan and others v. Russia. The ECtHR found that Russia had violated the applicants’ rights to freedom of expression and to liberty and security by arresting and detaining them following the protest organised by Greenpeace activists on its Arctic…

ECtHR Grand Chamber decision in Sanchez v France raises serious concerns over online speech

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has handed down its judgment in Sanchez v France. Media Defence intervened with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in the case. The relevant events took place in 2011 and 2012. The applicant, a politician, was charged with the offence of incitement to hatred or violence following…

Media Defence intervenes before Colombian Constitutional Court in a challenge to the law on criminal defamation

Media Defence has filed an intervention before the Constitutional Court of Colombia in a constitutional challenge to two provisions of the Colombian Penal Code. Under Articles 220 and 221 of the Penal Code, individuals accused of making “dishonourable accusations” can face up to four-and-a-half years in jail. Those accused of libel face up to six…

Media Defence interviene ante la Corte Constitucional de Colombia en una impugnación a la ley de difamación penal 

Media Defence ha presentado un escrito de amicus curiae ante la Corte Constitucional de Colombia en una demanda de inconstitucionalidad contra dos disposiciones del Código Penal colombiano. Según los artículos 220 y 221 del Código Penal, las personas acusadas de hacer "imputaciones deshonrosas" pueden enfrentarse a penas de hasta cuatro años y medio de cárcel,…

European Court Grand Chamber finds conviction of whistle-blower in Luxleaks case breached his right to freedom of expression

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has held that the criminal conviction of Luxleaks whistle-blower Raphaël Halet in Luxembourg in 2016 was a violation of his article 10 right to freedom of expression. In doing so, the Grand Chamber has made some important observations about the vital role whistle-blowers increasingly…

Censorship of street art in Colombia: the MOVICE mural and the ‘false positives’ scandal

To celebrate our 15th anniversary, we look back at some of the cases we have worked on that have had positive outcomes for freedom of expression. To start with, we are highlighting the landmark MOVICE mural case, in which the Colombian Constitutional Court ruled in favour of justice and human rights. The ‘false positives’ scandal…

Legal Factsheets

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Defending the Media in Satire Cases: Factsheet

Satire is not an easy concept to define. Jonathan Greenberg, in The Cambridge Introduction to Satire, manages to summarise the diverse satirical writings of raunchy Restoration-era poets, the author Salmon Rushdie and New York Times food critic Pete Wells as all sharing one key attribute: "…none of the writing is merely a work of aggression…

Defending the Media in Defamation Cases: Factsheet Copy Copy

Defamation can be described in a number of ways – but is broadly understood as the communication of a false statement that unjustly causes harm or detriment to legal or natural person's reputation. Defamation laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  Therefore, the first step in defending any defamation claim is to identify the applicable jurisdiction…

Defending the Media in Defamation Cases: Factsheet Copy

Defamation can be described in a number of ways – but is broadly understood as the communication of a false statement that unjustly causes harm or detriment to legal or natural person's reputation. Defamation laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  Therefore, the first step in defending any defamation claim is to identify the applicable jurisdiction…