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EU General Court confirms ban on Russian Today

Together with Ronan Ó Fathaigh (Institute for Information Law, University Amsterdam) we published a blog analysing and critically commenting the EU Court’s judgment of 27 July 2022 in RT France v. Council. The General Court of the European Union found that the ban on RT France in the EU did not violate the right to freedom of expression and media freedom, under Article 11 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The blog raises a set of questions regarding the General Court’s reasoning, and argues that the judgment represents a deeply-problematic application of European and international free expression principles.

The blog especially expresses concerns about the one-sided approach, and arguably flawed and selective application by the General Court of ECtHR case law on Article 10 ECHR. The General Court’s judgment in RT France risks eroding the fundamental right of freedom of expression and information as a cornerstone for a democratic society, respect for the rule of law, and media freedom “without frontiers”; while these principles and values, also according to the EU Rule of Law Report 2022, are “the bedrock of our society and our common identity”.

Ronan Ó Fathaigh and Dirk Voorhoof, “Case Law, EU: RT France v. Council: General Court finds ban on Russia Today not a violation of right to freedom of expression”, Inforrm’s Blog, The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog, 19 August 2022.

An updated and elaborated version is published as an article in Communications Law: Ronan Ó Fathaigh and Dirk Voorhoof, “Freedom of Expression and the EU’s ban on Russian Today. A Dangerous Rubicon Crossed”, Communications Law – The Journal of Computer, Media and Telecommunications Law, 2022/4 (ISSN 17467616), 186-192.

See also Dirk Voorhoof, “EU silences Russian state media: a step in the wrong direction”, Inforrm’s Blog, The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog, 8 May 2022 (link) and (link).

Published in News