NOT AGAIN! ‘EU Judges’ Behind ‘Victory For Evil’, Says Sun

10 July 2013 by

the_sun_gotcha21Updated – headline now corrected | Remember when The Sun was reprimanded by the Press Complaints Commission for muddling up the European Union and our local Court of Appeal in a story about a human rights judgment? You probably should because it happened just two weeks ago.

Well, despite telling the PCC that they would incorporate the issue into its staff training programme, The Sun has been at it again following yesterday’s European Court of Human Rights ruling on whole life sentences. The politics section of its website currently shows this on the sidebar:

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 13.21.31

And its Twitter feed (361,338 followers) shows this, when you click yesterday’s tweet:

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 13.29.15

The story itself is fine, in the sense that it correctly identifies the judges behind the ‘victory for evil’ as being those in the European Court of Human Rights, not the European Union. I understand that the physical paper version was also fine.

It is worth reminding ourselves of why the PCC reprimanded The Sun for the last mix up:

It is an important role of newspapers and magazines to publicise and analyse judicial rulings, but this public interest is served only insofar as such reports inform rather than mislead. While a headline, by its nature, can only ever summarise, it was inaccurate for the subheadline of the article to have attributed to the European Union responsibility for a decision by domestic courts based on the European Convention on Human Rights… This is a clear failure to take appropriate care over the accuracy of the coverage and a breach of the Editors Code, which was particularly significant at a time when the roles of both the EU and the Convention were a matter of major public debate.

Anyway, there it is. Plus ca change. In my post about the PCC ruling I offered The Sun to provide some training for them on these issues, and repeated that offer in an email to the management. I have as yet had no response.

If you would like to complain to the PCC,  just click here.

Update, 18:28 – The headline has now been corrected, after I tweeted The Sun’s Political Editor.

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 18.27.01

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  1. Can we really be sure this was merely an editorial error ?

    It would appear to be part of a pernicious campaign to use the public’s scepticism of the EU to abolish, one of the few remaining checks the individual has on the state,,the Human Rights Act 98 .

    We need to guard against such manipulation, and this shows vigilance of the media is the only way.

  2. James Wilson says:

    Not that I’m defending the Sun, but just wondering if I’m correct in remembering that the infamous Gotcha headline was before they realised the Belgrano had been sunk and the consequent loss of life (you can see from the headline that they only reported “holed cruiser”)?

  3. Theo Hopkins says:


    I am an occasional reader of this blog and a total legal amateur. But from time to time I write letters to my local newspaper (Western Morning News, Devon and Cornwall) defending human rights or correcting gross misunderstanding of the issues. These are in response to the welter of letters opposing human rights written from a Daily Mail/UKIP perspective. My own letters are usually published.

    I would really like you to use a blog post to simply defend human rights against the assumptions in a deluge of letters that say “What about the rights of victims?”, that I myself could then use in letters in reply to the “victims” thingy. (Indeed, often the “victim” thing occurs in comments on this blog such as the recent post on whole life tariffs). OK, I understand that victims have their right looked after by the fact that nasty murderers are in jail, but there must be more in reply than this.

    (I would have sent you an email to yourself on this issue but I don’t have your email address short of asking the Guardian.)

    Theo H

  4. Amit Malik says:

    It appears as if ‘The Sun’ is on some kind of a personal vendetta against judges. Albeit, it is entirely a subjective and personal opinion; however, it is beyond my comprehension, why, otherwise, the newspaper will go after judges who are bound by nothing else but justice and are the protectors of people’s freedom and rights?

    A complaint with PCC must be launched!

  5. forcedadoption says:

    I don’t know what the fuss is about.The European Court only demands a periodical review and there is nothing to stop the review board deciding that certain prisoners should remain in prison……….

  6. Abi says:

    The BBC also reported it incorrectly, as the CJEU instead of the ECtHR.

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