Media Defence intervenes at ECtHR on question of when entry ban brings journalist within banning state’s jurisdiction

Media Defence intervenes at ECtHR on question of when entry ban brings journalist within banning state’s jurisdiction

Media Defence has intervened at the ECtHR on a question of when an entry ban brings a journalist within banning state’s jurisdiction. The case involves a Russian national residing in Finland following a granting of refugee status in 2012. The Latvian government imposed an entry ban on the applicant in 2022 on grounds of national security. Specifically, the ban was imposed because the applicant was alleged to have supported Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.

The domestic courts upheld the entry ban, and the applicant now claims violations of her rights under Article 6, the right to a fair trial, and 10, the right to freedom of expression. In respect of Article 10, the applicant alleges the entry ban was an act of retaliation for her activities as a journalist. In its Statement of Facts, the Court asks whether the applicant is within the respondent state’s jurisdiction for the purposes of Article 1* of the Convention.

The question of whether a journalist in one state who is banned from entering another state comes within the Article 1 jurisdiction of that state is important for press freedom. It affects the ability of journalists not just to impart information, but also to carry out essential journalistic functions such as investigations and newsgathering.

Media Defence’s written submission argues that a basis for jurisdiction in entry ban cases concerning freedom of expression can be found in the Court’s case law, and that in any case the Court’s jurisprudence to date reflects a settled practice of assuming jurisdiction in such cases.

* Article 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights obligates signatory states to ensure that everyone within their jurisdiction enjoys the rights and freedoms outlined in the Convention.

Read the Statement of Facts here.
Our intervention can be found here.

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Media Defence Strategic Litigation and Interventions.

Media Defence undertakes strategic litigation to improve the legal environment in which the media work and to secure justice when their rights are violated.

We bring cases on behalf of journalists, citizen journalists and independent media and as third party interveners.

Read about some of our other recent interventions here, here, and here.

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