Full case report

Sabou & Pircalab v Romania

Reference Appl no: 00046572/99
Court ECtHR

Judge J-P Costa P

Date of Judgment 28 Sep 2004


Summary

Human Rights – Criminal Defamation – prosecution of journalists – whether prosecution and conviction were breaches of Articles 8,10 and 13 ECHR


Facts

The applicants were journalists who wrote articles alleging unlawful land acquisition and judicial corruption. A complaint was made by the judge accused and a prosecution for criminal defamation was brought. Sabou was convicted and sentenced to 10 months imprisonment, banned from journalism and had his parental and electoral rights suspended. Pircalab was fined and suspended.


Issue

Whether there had been breaches of articles 8,10 and 13 of the Convention.


Held

Allowing the appeal. There had been a breach of all three articles and the applicants would be awarded damages.


Comment

Once again criminal convictions against journalists for writing articles others disagree with are declared unlawful by the European Court of Human Rights.