"... X was arrested in public, in a tent at the beer festival in Munich. In the Court of Appeal’s opinion, that fact was a matter of important public interest in this case, even if that interest did not extend to the description and characterisation of the offence in question as it had been committed out of public view."
"(he) had himself revealed details about his private life in a number of interviews (...). In the Court’s view, he had therefore actively sought the limelight, so that, having regard to the degree to which he was known to the public, his “legitimate expectation” that his private life would be effectively protected was henceforth reduced (see, mutatis mutandis, Hachette Filipacchi Associés (ICI PARIS), cited above, § 53, and, by converse implication, Eerikäinen and Others, cited above, § 66)." (... ) it should also be pointed out that all the information revealed by the applicant company on the day on which the first article appeared was confirmed by the prosecutor W. to other magazines and to television channels. "
"The severity of the sanctions imposed on the applicant company, the Court considers that, although these were lenient, they were capable of having a chilling effect on the applicant company. In any event, they were not justified in the light of the factors set out above."
"Despite the margin of appreciation enjoyed by the Contracting States, the Court considers that there is no reasonable relationship of proportionality between, on the one hand, the restrictions imposed by the national courts on the applicant company’s right to freedom of expression and, on the other hand, the legitimate aim pursued."
"120. ... that irrespective of the question whether and to what extent the first applicant (the Princess) assumes official functions on behalf of the Principality of Monaco, it cannot be claimed that the applicants, who are undeniably very well known, are ordinary private individuals. They must, on the contrary, be regarded as public figures... ."
"122. The Court observes that the Federal Court of Justice concluded that the applicants had not adduced evidence of unfavourable circumstances in that connection and that there was nothing to indicate that the photos had been taken surreptitiously or by equivalent secret means such as to render their publication illegal. The Federal Constitutional Court, for its part, stated that the publishing company concerned had provided details of how the photo that had appeared in the Frau im Spiegel magazine had been taken, but that the first applicant had neither complained before the civil courts that those details were inadequate nor submitted that the photo in question had been taken in conditions that were unfavourable to her.
123. The Court observes that, according to the case-law of the German courts, the circumstances in which photos have been taken constitutes one of the factors that are normally examined when the competing interests are balanced against each other. In the present case it can be seen from the decisions of the national courts that this factor did not require a more thorough examination as the applicants did not put forward any relevant arguments and there were no particular circumstances justifying an injunction against publishing the photos. The Court notes, moreover, as pointed out by the Federal Court of Justice, that the photos of the applicants in the middle of a street in St. Moritz in winter were not in themselves offensive to the point of justifying their prohibition."
Both decisions are well worth a much, much closer read, in particular since they summarise the case law very well and are properly reasoned. This Kat will also be interested to see whether the reasoning of these two judgments will be discussed in the Leveson inquiry in the UK. There is one thing this Kat is quite convinced of: Princess Caroline will continue her quest for privacy and the next generation is following in her footsteps. Her daughter, the beautiful Charlotte Casiraghi, has herself already filed several high profile privacy law suits in Germany, see here (in German). This litigious family might indeed provide this Kat with interesting case law until her retirement....