Information Note on the Court’s case-law 187
Truckenbrodt v. Germany (dec.) - 49849/08
Decision 30.6.2015 [Section V]
Civil rights and obligations
Complaint concerning length of domestic proceedings challenging withdrawal by a judge of photographer’s accreditation to take pictures in court: inadmissible
Facts - In the Convention proceedings, the applicant, a journalist, complained under Article 6 of the Convention of the excessive length of proceedings he had brought before the Federal Constitutional Court concerning a decision by a judge to withdraw his accreditation to take pictures when covering a high profile court case.
Law - Article 6 § 1: The Court had already found in a previous case (MacKay and BBC Scotland v. the United Kingdom, no. 10734/05, 7 December 2010) that the right to report matters stated in open court could not be counted among rights which are civil in nature for the purposes of Article 6 § 1. Accordingly, a general reporting restriction had to be regarded as an exercise of public authority which could in no way be regarded as decisive for the private rights and obligations of any one media outlet.
German law did not contain a specific right for a journalist to take photographs in connection with a court hearing. A restriction on the taking of photos could be imposed by the judge presiding a hearing pursuant to section 176 of the Court’s Act, as had occurred in the applicant’s case. In the absence of any specific right to take photographs in connection with a court hearing, the decision of the presiding judge on the admission or restriction of journalists to take photographs had to be regarded as the exercise of public authority in maintaining order in court and not as a determination of rights which were civil in nature for the purposes of Article 6 § 1.
Conclusion: inadmissible (incompatible ratione materiae).
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This summary by the Registry does not bind the Court.
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