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    ECHR rejects Max Mosley’s bid for press pre-notification requirement

    In response to an application by Max Mosley for a declaration that the UK has a positive obligation to require the media to warn people in advance that they intend to publish material affecting their right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the UK does not have to introduce such a rule in order to comply with Article 8. The court noted that Article 10 of the Convention (which guarantees freedom of expression) gave only a limited scope for limitations on the freedom of the press, provided that publication was in the public interest. Having regard to factors such as the chilling effect that a pre-notification requirement might have, which would affect all areas of journalism including the vital ones of political and investigative reporting; the court’s significant doubts as to the effectiveness of such a requirement; and the wide discretion which ought to be permitted to contracting states in this context, the court concluded that Article 8 did not oblige contracting states to impose a pre-notification requirement. The ruling will come as a relief to the press, which has consistently argued that a pre-notification requirement would threaten legitimate press freedom. (Mosley v United Kingdom, Application no. 48009/08, 12 April 2011.)

    PLC IPIT & Communications 12.05.2011