French law to fully protect journalists' sources

12th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 11, 2006 (AFP) - The right of journalists to protect the identity of their sources is to be fully enshrined in French law, France's justice minister said Wednesday.

PARIS, Jan 11, 2006 (AFP) - The right of journalists to protect the identity of their sources is to be fully enshrined in French law, France's justice minister said Wednesday.

Pascal Clement said an amendment would be made to an 1881 press freedom law to provide for the protection, which would also be extended to whistleblowers and others who gave sensitive information to reporters.

The new legislation could only be suspended in "exceptional" cases, Clement said, "when the nature of the infraction and particular gravity justify it."

The decision reinforces a journalistic privilege already recognised by French courts under a 1993 law which states that a journalist called as a witness to testify about information received "is free not to reveal the origin" of the information.

The European Court of Human Rights has also called source protection by journalists one of the "founding stones" of press freedom.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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