Secret Filming and the Right to Inform under an European Constitutional Perspective: The Case of Alpha Doryforiki v. Greece
2(2) Rivista di diritto dei media 410, 2018
9 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2019 Last revised: 26 Oct 2019
Date Written: 2018
In the case in question, the European Court of Human Rights dealt with the boundaries of the right to inform in relation to use of secret tools of recording by journalists to conduct interviews on matters of public interest. In particular, the facts involved three videos secretly filmed involving a Greek politician. These videos were broadcasted on TV by the applicant which, then, was sanctioned by the Greek authorities. Regarding the first video, the Court ruled that the Greek Courts had violated the applicant, as broadcaster, freedom of expression by imposing sanctions for having secretly filmed video of a politician in a gambling arcade. However, the Court held that there had been no violation in respect of the two other videos filmed secretly on private premises. In its reasoning, the ECtHR observed that the Greek authorities had not considered that the first video was not recorded on private premises and, consequently, the interference with the official’s privacy rights under art. 8 ECHR was, therefore, significantly less serious than the interference related to the other two videos where the Greek courts ruled in favour of the right to privacy of the politician, taking into account, in particular, the modalities exploited to obtain information together with the journalistic duties and obligations of the broadcaster.
Keywords: Freedom of Expression, ECHR, Journalism
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