We reported in IRIS, the legal newsletter of the European Audiovisual Observatory (Strasbourg) and in De Juristenkrant about an interesting judgment by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) finding a violation of the right to freedom of journalistic reporting of the public broadcasting organization of the French Community in Belgium (Radio-télévision belge de la communauté française, RTBF). The case concerns a civil judgment against the RTBF by the Belgian courts for having breached the right to respect for private life (as protected by Article 8 ECHR) and the right to be presumed innocent (as protected by Article 6 ECHR), following a report on the RTBF about suspicious acts by a couple, involved in sexual exploitation. In view of the importance of the media in a democratic society and of the domestic authorities’ limited margin of appreciation in respect of a television programme about a subject of considerable public interest, the ECtHR found that the Belgian courts had not balanced in a pertinent way the right to respect for private life and the presumption of innocence with the RTBF’s right to freedom of expression and journalistic reporting on a matter of public interest.
Judgment by the European Court of Human Rights, Second Section, in the case of RTBF v. Belgium (no. 2), Application no. 417/15, 13 December 2022
See also: https://merlin.obs.coe.int/article/9654
And: Dirk Voorhoof, “Meer ruimte voor kritische gerechtsjournalistiek: EHRM veroordeelt België in RTBF-zaak”, De Juristenkrant 2023/462, 1 en 3.