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18 January 2011

Strasbourg rules on privacy and conditional fees

A mixed day for the UK mainstream media.

By David Allen Green

Today’s European Court of Human Rights decision in the Naomi Campbell case is a mixed result for the mainstream media in the United Kingdom.

On the one hand, the court has ruled by six judges to one that the development by the English courts of privacy law since the Human Rights Act 1998 is not an infringement of the right to free expression of the mainstream media.

However, the court also unanimously ruled that the current conditional fee arrangements frequently used for privacy – and defamation – cases are a disproportionate violation of the right to free expression.

The full judgment appears at Index on Censorship.

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A good summary of the case is at the Inforrm blog.

David Allen Green is legal correspondent of the New Statesman.