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Role of The European Convention on Human Rights

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Words: 1011 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Jul 17, 2018

Words: 1011|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Jul 17, 2018

The European Convention on Human Rights(ECHR) is an international treaty which was drafted in 1950 in order to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms within Europe. Many countries signed up to this convention including the United Kingdom. If an individual’s rights are in breach and they are unsuccessful in receiving a remedy within the United Kingdom through the Human Rights Act. They are able to take the matter further using this convention and will be remedied via the European court of human rights.

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The case of R v Blackman revolved around the media appealing to the courts to allow the release of video clips showing a Royal Marines Sergeant killing an individual in Afghanistan as he posed a threat to the life of others. The Military of defense requested that these clips were not released to the public as it could cause a direct threat to the life of others and this would violate article 2 of the ECHR which outlines that everyone has the right to life. The media claimed that there was no direct threat and that, the clips should be released. They made this argument on the grounds of article 10 of the European convention on human rights. This article states that an everyone had the right to freedom of expression. It was held that article 2 was of paramount importance compared with article 10 and therefore the video clips could not be released. This case highlights the limits on article 10.

Article 10 states that everyone has the right to freedom of expression. It is often challenged by the media during cases regarding information they may have published. This suggests that there are some limitations to this article and it may not prevail where another article is found to be more significant. This has been demonstrated in many cases such as the case of, Campbell v Mirror Group Newspapers[1].

The media captured and published photographs of Naomi Campbell whilst she was leaving her Narcotics Anonymous meeting. The faces of other individuals who attended the meeting were blurred in order to shield their identity. The images were published alongside other information regarding the model's drug addiction, for example, the number of the meeting she had attended. Naomi stated that disclosing her drug addiction should be justified as it was in the public interest. Under section 13 of the Data Protection Act 1998, she claimed for damages due to the breach of confidentiality and demanded compensation for the publication of the extra details. Both allegations were sustained during the trial however the decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal and Naomi appealed. The appeal court held that any ordinary individual would be offended if such private information reading themselves was published. Therefore, the appellants right to a private life under article 8 were greater than the rights of the media under article 10 and she was reimbursed. Thus, it is not for the media to decide what they can publish. Although the model is in the public domain, she still has the right to a private and family life. This right is protected under article 8 and should be respected by everyone including the media. The onus lies upon Naomi to decide what information regarding her personal life she wishes to disclose to the public. This is one example of the limitations of article 10. Courts should outweigh both rights where there is a dispute the favor should lie in the right which prevails. Article 10 should not be made an absolute right as it would rule over other rights which are of more significance e.g. the right to a private life, right to life.

Another case which illustrates the limitations on article is Attorney General v Davey [2013][2]. Two immediate proceedings centred two submissions made by the claimant required that an order of committal was served upon the two defendants. The accused were in breach of their duty as jurors. The first individual exposed information regarding the case which he was trying it. He posted a message on Facebook about the case despite the judge advising that no such activity is permitted. The second individual ignored his oath and the judge’s instructions, and researched upon the case he was trying. He gained access to additional information and then disclosed it to other member of the jury. Both activities amounted to contempt of court. The jurors risked their roles by demonstrating unfairness and disrespecting their oath. It was held by the Divisional Court that both parties had generated a genuine jeopardy of intrusion with the management of justice. They had undermined the justice system by their actions. Both individuals were found guilty of contempt of court. This case illustrates the limitations on article 10. Although everyone is entitled to express themselves freely there can be situations where this right will not reign over the other rights. Although the two individuals have freedom of expression, this right cannot be anticipated to be more significant compared to article 6- right to a fair trial. Allowing article 10 to dominant article 6 would mean putting such trials in danger as well as endangering the verdict as it would not be delivered fairly. Therefore, article 10 should not be made an absolute right as there may be situations were courts need to consider what right is important and allowing article 10 to dominate would mean that courts would have to disregard other rights. They would simply make a decision based on article 10 only.

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Article 10 is not an absolute right and should not be either. Each court needs to determine where article 10 can rule over other rights, depending on the circumstances. Each case differs in terms of facts and circumstances so allowing article 10 to be an absolute right would be unfair. Most of the rights within the ECHR are subject to limitations in order to protect the public interest. The limitations have not been established as such, however, there are guidelines which can be followed, these have demonstrated in the above cases.

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Role of The European Convention on Human Rights. (2018, May 20). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/role-of-the-european-convention-on-human-rights/
“Role of The European Convention on Human Rights.” GradesFixer, 20 May 2018, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/role-of-the-european-convention-on-human-rights/
Role of The European Convention on Human Rights. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/role-of-the-european-convention-on-human-rights/> [Accessed 30 May 2024].
Role of The European Convention on Human Rights [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 May 20 [cited 2024 May 30]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/role-of-the-european-convention-on-human-rights/
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