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Interventions & Amicus Briefs

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Media Defence intervenes at ECtHR in case concerning costs regime in English defamation cases

Media Defence has submitted a third party intervention at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in the case of Malkiewicz and others v UK. The case relates to a defamation action brought against the applicants over an article published in a Polish language newspaper based in London. The proceedings lasted around six years, and went…

Emilio Palacio Urrutia v Ecuador: The judgment paving the way for anti-SLAPP regulations in the Americas

This month at Media Defence, we focus on Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, also known as SLAPPs. SLAPPs are a form of legal harassment that have the purpose of driving information that is in the public interest into the darkness. These types of cases – aiming to silence speech on matters of public interest –…

Strasbourg court finds Russia’s ‘foreign agent’ law unlawful

The European Court of Human Rights has handed down its long-awaited judgment in the case of Ecodefence and others v Russia. The Court considered over 60 separate challenges brought by NGOs against Russia’s foreign agent laws. One of the challenges was brought by our partner organisation Mass Media Defence Centre. Media Defence submitted a third-party…

Media Defence and EFF intervene in Sanchez v France

Media Defence and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have intervened in a case at the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR, which concerns online users being held liable for third party comments. In Sanchez v France a French politician was charged with incitement to hatred on religious grounds following comments posted on the ‘wall’ of his Facebook account…

Judgment in Moya Chacón vs Costa Rica

In February 2022, we intervened in the case of Moya Chacón vs. Costa Rica. FLIP, El Veinte and Media Defence submitted a joint amicus brief to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (the Court). The Court will assess whether a civil penalty against two journalists violated their freedom of expression. The case Ronald Moya Chacón…

Wieder and Guarnieri v UK: Media Defence intervenes in case concerning UK cyber operations abroad

Media Defence has filed a third-party intervention in the cases of Wieder and Guarnieri v United Kingdom at the European Court of Human Rights. The cases are about allegations of interference by UK intelligence agencies with the communications and related data of an Italian national living in Berlin, and a US citizen living in Florida.…

European Court of Human Rights hands down judgment in Ilıcak v. Turkey (no. 2)

On 14 December 2021 the European Court of Human Rights found violations of the applicant’s rights guaranteed under Articles 5 § 1 and 10 in the case of Ilıcak v Turkey (no. 2). Ms Ilicak is a renowned journalist, columnist and editorial writer. In July 2016, following the attempted coup in Turkey, she posted tweets…

UK violated journalist’s free speech rights by arresting, charging her under Protection from Harassment Act

The ECtHR has found that the UK violated the right to freedom of expression of a journalist when she was arrested and prosecuted. Rita Pal was charged under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, after she published a news article online and posted several Tweets about an individual who subsequently complained to the police. She…

Strasbourg court’s right to be forgotten decision will impact public interest reporting

In a worrying expansion of the application of the 'right to be forgotten' the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) has decided that a journalist may be held liable for failing or refusing to de-index information published on the Internet. In Biancardi v Italy the applicant, an editor of a newspaper, complained that he…

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

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…