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Journalist wins freedom of speech case in Strasbourg

Björk Eidsdottir v. Iceland  | 2012

Journalist wins freedom of speech case in Strasbourg

This is great.
This is a major victory for all of us in the press.

Björk Eidsdottir, reported by Visir, 10th July 2012  - © Photo MAN magasín / Ásta Kristjánsdóttir 

Background

Björk Eidsdottir is a journalist. She published allegations from a dancer in a strip club, that the owner of the club had kept his staff under effective house arrest and made them work as prostitutes. The club owner sued Ms Eidsdottir for defamation. He succeeded and she was ordered to pay damages.

Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights

The article concerned a matter of public interest. It was published in good faith and with due diligence. In particular, it quoted members of the strip club’s staff, and the owner speaking in his defence. Making Ms Eidsdottir liable for defamation in these circumstances had breached her right to freedom of expression.

Follow-up

The Icelandic authorities organised training seminars for judges and other legal professionals in Iceland to help avoid similar violations in the future.


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