The media were successful in both the judgments handed down this morning by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. The judgments made it clear that the right to privacy has to be carefully balanced against contribution which a publication makes to a debate of general interest. In both cases, taking account of the nature of the individuals involved and the publications the right to freedom of expression prevailed over the right to privacy.
The judgments demonstrate the need for a careful balancing exercise in privacy cases. Both cases involved “popular journalism” and show that, even in this area, privacy is not a “trump card”. The judgments will be welcomed by the media as showing that the Court of Human Rights remains sensitive to the need to protect its freedom of expression.