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The use of hidden cameras navigating between investigative journalism and voyeurism

Professeure de droit constitutionnel à l’Université de Genève


Dominique HÄNNI
Doctorante et assistante au département de droit public de l’Université de Genève

24 fvrier 2015 - Cour eur. dr. h., Haldimann e.a. c. Suisse

Haldimann is the European Court of Human Right’s first judgment concerning the admissibility of hidden cameras as a means of investigative journalism. The case arose from a criminal conviction of four journalists for having recorded and broadcast an interview with a broker using hidden cameras to denounce malpractice in the field of insurance brokerage. The Court’s ruling adopts a favourable stance towards consumer protection journalism. In its ruling finding a violation of freedom of expression, the Court emphasized the fact that the journalists had blurred the broker’s face and that the program contributed to a debate of general interest. The subsequent case-law confirms that the Court does not give carte blanche to journalists. This article revisits the Court’s reasoning. It suggests that the criteria used in Haldimann to assess undercover reporting using hidden cameras requires some adaptations to strike a fair balance between freedom of expression and the right to privacy.


Documents proposés :

Cour eur. dr. h., arrêt Haldimann e.a. c. Suisse, 24 février 2015