Fri, Nov. 28, 2008

Defendant Unidentified in News

CK - Washington.   May German media publish the names of criminal defendants in their court reports? That is the central issue in the matter 1 BvQ 46/08, involving media concern N24 and the presiding judge of the Oldenburg court, addressed by the German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe on November 27, 2008.

The Karlsruhe court declined to issue a TRO in favor of N24 that challenged a lower court order disallowing media reports without an anonymized or pixelated identification of a defendant.

The constitutional basis for the challenge is article 5 of the federal constitution, the guarantee of freedom of the press. That guarantee is subject to a balancing against other constitutional protections, in this instance the so-called personality rights of the defendant. [German Law, German Constitution, Press Freedom, Injunction, Supreme Court, Bundesverfassungsgericht]


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