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Aaron Rathmell acts for successful applicant in Pal v United Kingdom ECHR freedom of expression case

2nd December 2021

The European Court of Human Rights has handed down judgment in the case of Pal v United Kingdom in which Aaron Rathmell acted for the applicant, instructed by Advocate (the Bar Pro Bono Unit) with assistance by Hugh Tomlinson QC of Matrix Chambers.

The case concerned a decision by a police force to arrest and charge a journalist with the offence of harassment, in connection with an article and Twitter posts, and whether the police and domestic courts had recognised the applicant’s Article 10 ECHR freedom of expression and carried out the appropriate balancing exercise between potentially competing rights.

The European Court clarified the article 10 ECHR right as it applies to journalists and bloggers, gave guidance for balancing that fundamental right against other rights that may be in issue when complaints are made to police, and found that the applicant’s rights had been violated both by her arrest and prosecution, making a declaration and damages award accordingly.

Please see the judgment here.

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