European Court rejects Max Mosley appeal

Max Mosley
Former motorsport boss turned privacy campaigner Max Mosley has had his appeal to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights rejected. Mosley had hoped to overturn a May ruling establishing that media outlets were not required to notify the subjects of stories in advance of publication. But the court today announced that that judgment would be final.

Solicitor Mark Stephens, who represented Index on Censorship, the Media Legal Defence Initiative and other interested parties in the case, said today: “This decision by the Grand Chamber and the previous decision by the court underline the recommendation made by the UK parliament’s Culture Media and Sport Committee. This is a great day for free speech in Britain and throughout Europe.”

Index on Censorship news editor Padraig Reidy commented: “Index submitted its concerns about Mr Mosley’s prior-notification plans as we recognised the threat such an obligation would pose to investigative journalism. While privacy is of course a concern, forcing newspapers to reveal stories would have a serious chilling effect.”

Interebrew ruling a victory for reporters

This is a guest post by Michael Smyth

European Court of Human Rights upholds protection of journalists’ sources
In Financial Times and ors v United Kingdom (Application no 821/03), the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) unanimously confirmed the importance of the protection of journalists’ sources as part of the media’s right to freedom of expression.

Five media organisations had been ordered by the High Court in London in 2001 to hand over a document they had each received from an anonymous source. The order was upheld on appeal, so they appealed further to the ECtHR, arguing, among other things, that the order was an interference with their right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The ECtHR agreed.