ECHR on right to respect for private and family life of pop singer

On 21 February 2017, the European Court of Human Rights rendered its decision in the case of Rubio Dosamantes v. Spain (application no. 20996/10). The Court held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the ECHR. The case concerned a complaint by the pop singer Paulina Rubio that her honour and reputation had been harmed by remarks made on television about her private life. The Court found that Ms Rubio’s fame as a singer did not mean that her activities or conduct in her private life should be regarded as necessarily falling within the public interest. The fact that she could have benefitted from media attention did not authorise TV channels to broadcast unchecked comments about her private life. The Court reiterated that certain events of private and family life were given particularly careful protection under Article 8 of the Convention, meaning that journalists had to show prudence and precaution when talking about them. Thus the spreading of unverified rumours or the limitless broadcasting of random comments on any possible aspect of a person’s daily life could not be seen as harmless. The national authorities should have assessed the TV programmes in question, to distinguish between and to weigh in the balance those matters which were intimately part of Ms Rubio’s private life and those which might have had a legitimate public interest.

The summary of the decision is available online: Link

The judgment is available online in French: Link