Access to information court judgement: European Court of Human Rights [Press Release]

  • Author: Open Society Foundations


In April 2011, the European Court issued its judgment in the case of Társaság a Szabadságjogokért (the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union) v. Hungary. In the case the Court did not recognise a general right to access to information, but did indicate that in some situations the state is bound not to hamper the free flow of information which is readily available and which is solicited by social watchdogs, such as the press or even some NGOs (such as in this case). Importantly, in para. 37, the Court pointed out that it "considers that it would be fatal for freedom of expression in the sphere of politics if public figures could censor the press and public debate in the name of their personality rights, alleging that their opinions on public matters are related to their person and therefore constitute private data which cannot be disclosed without consent."

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