Case of European Court of Human Rights, June 04, 2009 (case Standard Verlags GmbH v. Austria (n° 2))

Resolution Date:June 04, 2009

Remainder inadmissible No violation of Art. 10


Information Note on the Court’s case-law No. 120

June 2009

Standard Verlags GmbH v. Austria (n° 2) - 21277/05

Judgment 4.6.2009 [Section I]

Article 10

Article 10-1

Freedom of expression

Conviction for defamation arising out of newspaper report on rumours about the then Austrian President’s marriage: no violation

Facts: The applicant was the owner of the Der Standard daily newspaper. In 2004 the newspaper published an article commenting on rumours that the wife of the then Austrian President intended to divorce and had close contacts with two men, an Austrian politician and a foreign ambassador. The presidential couple and the politician concerned brought successful defamation proceedings against Der Standard. The applicant company was ordered to pay compensation of EUR 5,000 to the President, EUR 7,000 to his spouse and EUR 6,000 to the politician and to publish the court’s judgment.

Law: The domestic courts had given “relevant” and “sufficient” reasons to justify the interference with the applicant company’s right to freedom of expression and had not transgressed their margin of appreciation. In particular, balancing the various interests concerned, the courts had duly considered the claimants’ status as public figures but had nonetheless found...

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