Dutch Court - "convicted murderer does not have “right to be forgotten”"
15-06-2015, 15:06  / ნანახია: 1869

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"Third Dutch Google Spain Ruling: convicted murderer does not have “right to be forgotten” – Emiel Jurjens

 

"The ground-breaking Costeja González judgment of the ECJ was followed in the Netherlands by several proceedings about the ‘right to be forgotten’. This was also the objective of recent preliminary relief proceedings brought by a convicted killer. Having served his term, he has been trying to erase all online links between his name and the crime. In these attempts he met with resistance from an interest group and the father of his victim, who make online publications about the murder."

 

"he freedom of expression of the defendant is the other side of the story. The court considered the following about this:

“In our society we agree that we have to act with great restraint when restricting the possibilities for citizens to express themselves in words, also if such expressions concern other persons. After all, expressing one’s thoughts and feelings to others is essential of being human.

The right of expression is only restricted in exceptional cases by the due care and propriety that must be observed towards others in society.”

 

There is no such exceptional case here. The court observed in this context that it is relevant that the defendants are not using their freedom of expression in an “excessive” way, “for example by only publishing the claimant’s name in order to harm him”. The Court considered the motives of the defendants to be “respectable”.

 

Apart from the freedom of expression, the Court also held that the public “[has] a great interest in having access to information about serious offences”. This means that freedom of information is also at stake here.

Given the significant interests of the defendants on the one hand and the limited interest of the claimant on the other hand, the balance of interests was in favour of the defendants. The judge denied all claims."

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