Haider v. Austria
18 Oct 1995
18 October 1995, Application No. 25060/94 (European Commission of Human Rights)
|Theme:||Media regulation: general issues; Broadcasting|
|Sub-Issues:||Media and elections; Public service broadcasting|
|Test:||Positive obligations, importance of FOE|
|Decision:||Inadmissible; no violation of freedom of expression (Article 10 ECHR)|
European Commission on Human Rights: Austria
The applicant was the leader of the right-wing Austrian Freedom Party. During an election TV interview the applicant was questioned about his party's attitude to foreigners. He complained of a lack of objectivity in the interview. He also complained that the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation was not exercising its duty of plurality by failing to advertise the findings of the European Commission in another case in which he was involved challenging the State monopoly over broadcasting (Information Lentia v. Austria).
Importance of FOE
Freedom of expression does not entail the right of a politician to be interviewed in a particular manner. Politicians must accept close scrutiny of their every word and deed by journalists and the public at large, particularly where they make statements susceptible of criticism. It is in the interests of free political debate that journalists make critical and provocative statements when interviewing politicians, particularly as the latter have the opportunity to respond immediately.
Public Service Broadcasting and Positive Obligations
Freedom of expression does not include a general right for any private citizen or organisation to access broadcasting time in order to put forward his opinion, save in exceptional circumstances. These would include a situation where one political party was excluded from broadcasting facilities at election time when other parties were accorded such facilities. Failure to report on the European Commission's finding in the case cited did not amount to an interference with the applicant's rights under Article 10.
Download the full text here
Receive immediate or weekly updates on the right to freedom of expressionSubscribe
Help us support lorem sit ipsum dolor amet
Your donation dummy text about what their money does.Donate