15 mai 2011

Participant of a sadomasochistic Nazi orgy lost his case, Mosley v UK, 48009/08

News of the World made public a video where Max Mosley, former head of Formula 1, participates in a sadomasochistic “Nazi” orgy with 5 prostitutes. The orgy client got £ 60 000 from the journalists as damages but continued in Strasbourg.

The 7 judges chamber of the ECtHR recognized him a “victim”, since the £ 60 000 did not cover the absence of pre-notification before publishing the video seen 1.4 million times in 2 days (§§ 11, 67, 72, 73).

However the ECtHR did not accept that the absence of pre-notification violates the right to private life (Article 8 of the Convention), since:

1) A pre-notification requirement would not stop the journalists. Such a requirement would unavoidably have a public interest exception, and the fact of feeling yourself good in performing a Nazi (in an SM orgy) raises a public concern (§ 127).
2) A pre-notification requirement would violate the freedom of expression of journalists under Article 10 of the Convention (§ 129).

11 media companies and NGOs filed their observations.

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