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May 10, 2011

Withers: Mosley case good news for press

By Spear's

The decision from Strasbourg will be applauded for its good sense and vital protection of free speech

Below is reaction to the European Court of Human Rights decision in the Max Mosley privacy case from Amber Melville-Brown, media and reputation management expert at international law firm Withers LLP

Amber Melville-Brown says:

“The decision from Strasbourg will be applauded for its good sense and vital protection of free speech. This is a success for the media, but it will be a success for society as a whole if the media will show equal measures of good sense in not abusing the trust that the European Court has placed in it to act responsibly and will use this opportunity to ensure that it serves its own interests in seeking to publish real stories of significant public interest and not as an excuse unfairly to invade the private lives of members of the public.  

“It is without doubt that free speech is an essential commodity for a thriving democracy. But free speech should not be used as a shield to protect the wilder excesses of Fleet Street from prying into, pouring over and publicising details of private lives where there is no justification for doing so, save an insatiable appetite for titillation and a commercial imperative in serving it up to the public.

“There is a strong media and political wind behind changes to our media laws, with a new Defamation Act in consultation stage and various vociferous complaints about the evils of privacy injunctions being shouted from the rooftops of the redtops, in Parliament by politicians and now being Tweeted across the blogosphere.”

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