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From von Hannover (1) to von Hannover (2) and Axel Springer AG: do competing ECHR proportionality factors ever add up to certainty?

Von Hannover v Germany (2) 40660/08 [2012] ECHR 228 and Axel Springer AG v Germany 39954/08 [2012] ECHR 227

Robin Callender Smith

Keywords: privacy; celebrity out-and-about pictures; celebrity ‘par excellence’; Article 8 ECHR; Article 10 ECHR

The factual balance between what is found to be an intrusive picture of a celebrity figure ‘out and about’, entitled to Article 8 ECHR privacy rights, and the same picture taken in apparently newsworthy circumstances – where Article 10 ECHR rights to impart information may prevail – is a fine one. A decisive element may be, as in this case, the fact that the pictures in question were not taken surreptitiously.

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