Human rights court dismisses Mosley action

10th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

The European Court of Human Rights dismissed Tuesday a case brought by former world motorsport chief Max Mosley, who sought to impose press curbs after he was embroiled in a sex scandal.

He took the case to the Strasbourg-based court arguing that British law had failed to protect his private life and sought a change in the law that would force newspapers to warn people before exposing their private lives.

The seven judges said in a statement they had found no violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects private and family life.

Mosley, 70, had already won a case in a British court against the News of the World tabloid that published a front page story entitled "F1 boss has sick Nazi orgy with 5 hookers."

But he argued that he remained a victim of a violation by the UK of his right to privacy, as the 60,000 pound (69,000 euros) damages he received in his action against the paper was unable to restore his privacy after millions of people had seen the embarrassing report.

The court ruled that the European Convention on Human Rights "does not require media to give prior notice of intended publications to those who feature in them."

Mosley, who acknowledged paying five women for sex, said the event depicted in the paper was a prison fantasy and challenged the claim that the episode was Nazi-themed.

The Strasbourg ruling is likely to be seen as a welcome respite by the British media amid growing anger at so-called "super-injuctions" -- privacy orders granted by courts to celebrities which bar mention that they even exist or to whom had been granted.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said last month that he felt "uneasy" about some of these injunctions.

Cameron said judges were using human rights legislation "to deliver a sort of privacy law" and added that it should be up to parliament to decide on the balance between press freedom and privacy.

These "super-injunctions" are currently at the centre of a scandal because names of celebrities granted such orders have been revealed on Twitter.

Published in March 2008, the British tabloid story labelled Mosley "a sadomasochistic sex pervert" and posted a video of the episode, secretly recorded by one of the participants, on its website.

The video was viewed 1.4 million times.

© 2011 AFP

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