Landmark freedom of expression case concerning parliamentary reporting restrictions goes to the Strasbourg Court

Can Yeginsu and Anthony Jones are acting for Media Legal Defence Initiative, the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Mass Media Defence Centre, Ossigeno Per L’Informazione, and Media Development Centre in the case of Iván Szabolcs Mándli and Others v. Hungary, in which the European Court of Human Rights will examine the circumstances under which journalists may be forbidden from entering and reporting from public fora, such as parliamentary premises.

The applicants in the case against Hungary are six journalists who, in April 2016, were subject to an indefinite ban preventing them from entering the premises of the Parliament of Hungary to carry out their work. The reasoning behind the imposition of this ban was said by the Chief Press Officer of the Parliament to be due to the journalists’ refusal to leave certain areas within the building, in violation of a particular Ruling of the Speaker of the Parliament. Before this time, the journalists enjoyed regular access to the parliamentary premises and engaged in interviews with Members of Parliament.

The issues raised by this case are of increasing public importance considering the trend of parliaments inside and outside Europe to restricting the media from accessing and reporting from their premises, including recent examples in Ghana, Uganda, Macedonia, Malaysia, and Poland. For more information on the case, please follow the following link here.

Chambers has in recent years built a substantial reputation in the field of freedom of expression, acting in a range of landmark cases before the UK higher courts, foreign courts, and international tribunals on behalf of journalists, writers, publishers and international media organisations. For further details of this area of Chambers’ work, please follow this link to Public Law & Human Rights.