Press fears over princess privacy ruling

A privacy ruling won by Princess Caroline of Monaco in June could have “profound implications for freedom of information across Europe”, according to the World Association of Newspapers.

It has urged the German government to appeal against the European Court of Human Rights decision, which is binding on British law.

The Princess complained about pictures in German magazines showing her on holiday with her family. The ruling said: “The public does not have a legitimate interest in knowing where Princess Caroline is and how she behaves in her private life.”

Writing to the German justice minister, the WAN said: “We are seriously concerned that the decision seeks to extend a public figure’s right to privacy to include public places and to narrow the definition of freedom of expression by effectively introducing a public interest requirement.

“If the decision of the Court of Human Rights is left unchallenged, it would have a significant and deleterious impact on freedom of expression in many parts of Europe…We are seriously concerned that the ruling would significantly alter the delicate balance between the right to privacy, Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and right to freedom of expression, Article 10.”

The deadline for lodging an appeal against the ruling was September 24.

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