European Human Rights Court to rule in e-mail case Skip to content

European Human Rights Court to rule in e-mail case

The European Human Rights Court has decided to take up the case of Jónína Benediktsdóttir versus the Icelandic State, Fréttabladid reported. [18.03.08]

Benediktsdóttir appealed to the court when Icelandic courts ruled against her demand that her allegedly stolen personal e-mails would be barred from being published by newspaper Fréttabladid. The e-mails included information regarding the beginning of the case of Baugur Group versus the Icelandic state. After the ruling the e-mails were published in free newspaper Fréttabladid, which is part of a media company owned to a large extent by Baugur Group.

Benediktsdóttir has claimed that the ruling violated her human rights as the e-mails were her personal property and were allegedly stolen from her. The publication of the e-mails was not accepted by those who wrote them and Benediktsdóttir tried to have them barred from publication. The Sheriff of Reykjavík implemented a ban on the publication which was ruled against by the District Court of Reykjavík and then the Supreme Court of Iceland.

Benediktsdóttir claims that these rulings violated the 8th article of the human rights covenant which is about the invasion of private life and family. Her charge has now been taken up by the European Human Rights Court but only a few of the cases sent to the court are heard.

Legal experts say that the EHRC will almost certainly reach a verdict in the case. The first step taken by the EHRC is a list of questions that the court has sent to the Icelandic State. According to Fréttabladid the EHRC asks, among other things, questions whether the publication of the e-mails affected the charger’s rights to a private life and rights to exchange letters and if the rejection of the Icelandic courts was according to law.

The state has to answer the questions before June 26 or settle the case with reconciliation.

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