Freedom of Expression and Public Figures Term Paper by nikki77

Freedom of Expression and Public Figures
Looks at the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) over its definition of "public figure" and the prioritisation of freedom of expression .
# 149077 | 4,741 words | 32 sources | MLA | 2011 | IE
Published on Nov 24, 2011 in Law (International) , European Studies (European Union)

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This paper explains that the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) consistently has held that public figures must tolerate more from the press than "the average citizen"; however, the definition of a "public figure is not shared among national and European courts and within the jurisprudence of the ECtHR there has been inconsistencies in its definition. Next, the author reviews twenty-six cases seeking a common definition of "public figures" as related to Article 10 case law. The paper concludes that the Court's approach to defining the term "public figure" is still far from satisfactory; thereby, the Court needs to establish greater consistency in its approach to this definition if the right to freedom of expression and of the personal rights of individuals are to be adequately protected. The paper includes footnotes.

Table of Contents:
The Definition of "Public Figure" in Article 10 Case Law
Is the Court's Approach Satisfactory?

From the Paper:

"Equally, in Brasilier v. France , the ECtHR reiterated the assertion that politicians, as persons who have willingly placed themselves on a public platform, must endure harsher criticism than private individuals. The Court further reminded the parties that the Convention will be extremely reluctant in allowing restrictions on freedom of expression where political discourse or matters of public interest are at issue.
"The characterisation of politicians as quintessentially "public figures" was affirmed again in the more recent cases of Dabrowski v. Poland and Lepojic v. Serbia , both of which concerned the right of mayors to protection of their "reputation and rights". The Court held that there was a breach of the right to freedom of expression since the individuals claiming defamation had, by virtue of their position in society, opened themselves up to public scrutiny and even potentially defamatory statements.
"The ECtHR has also commented on the scope of permissible criticism being proportionate to the subject's statements or behaviour. In Lindon and Ors. v. France Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of the Front National, was the subject of a novel in which he was accused, albeit indirectly, of advocating racist killings."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Gavin Millar, "Whither the Spirit of Lingens?" (2009) 3 European Human Rights Law Review 277
  • Jeremy McBride, "Judges, politicians and the limits to critical comment" (1998) 23 European Law Review 76
  • M.A. Sanderson, "Is Von Hannover v Germany a step backward for the substantive analysis of speech and privacy interests?" (2004) 6 European Human Rights Law Review 631
  • Harris, O'Boyle and Warbrick, Law of the European Convention on Human Rights (2nd ed, Oxford University Press, 2009)
  • White and Ovey, Jacob, White and Ovey, The European Convention on Human Rights (5th ed, Oxford University Press, 2010)

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Freedom of Expression and Public Figures (2011, November 24) Retrieved August 06, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Freedom of Expression and Public Figures" 24 November 2011. Web. 06 August. 2020. <>