Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Public’s Right to Information Regarding Sports Events

  • Katrien Lefever
Part of the ASSER International Sports Law Series book series (ASSER)


The European Court of Human Rights has considered the freedom of expression and the right to information, included in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, as an important foundation for the development of a democratic society and each individual. The European Court for Human Rights applies a broad definition of the notion “information,” particularly everything that can play an important role in the development of a democratic society. In this chapter, it will be analysed whether live and full sports coverage could be protected under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and whether only highlights of sports events or also live and full access to these events could fall under the scope of this Article. It will also be examined whether States have a positive obligation to intervene in order to ensure public’s access to live and full sports coverage. The analysis of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights could be approached in different ways. It is important to realise that the objective of the analysis of Article 10 in this chapter is to underpin the assumption of this book and not to serve as a legal positivist analysis.


Public Authority Democratic Society European Convention Official Document Sport Event 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Legislation and Policy Documents, International United Nations

  1. United Nations (1948) Universal declaration of human rights, 10 December 1948. Accessed 18 Aug 2010
  2. United Nations (1966) International covenant on civil and political rights, 16 December 1966. Accessed 18 Aug 2010
  3. Human rights committee (2010) Draft general comment No. 34, CCPR/C/GC/34/CRP.2Google Scholar
  4. Human rights committee (2011) General comment No. 34, CCPR/C/GC/34. Accessed 17 Aug 2011

European Union Charters

  1. European Union (2000). Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union. OJ (2000) C 364/1Google Scholar


  1. European Parliament and Council Directive of 10 March 2010 on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services (Audiovisual Media Services Directive). OJ (2010) L 95/1Google Scholar

Council of Europe Conventions

  1. Council of Europe (1950). Convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, CETS No. 005, 04 November 1950. Accessed 18 Aug 2010
  2. Council of Europe (2008) Convention on access to official documents, 27 November 2008. Accessed 21 Aug 2010

Case Law Court of Justice

  1. CJ, RTL Television GmbH v Niedersächsische Landesmedienanstalt für privaten Rundfunk Judgment, Case C-245/01, 23 October 2003, ECR I-12489Google Scholar

European Court of Human Rights

  1. ECHR, Handyside v. the United Kingdom, 7 December 1976, Application no. 5493/72Google Scholar
  2. ECHR, Sunday Times v. the United Kingdom, 26 April 1979, Application no. 6538/74Google Scholar
  3. ECHR, Leander v. Sweden, 26 March 1987, Application no. 9248/81Google Scholar
  4. ECHR, Müller and Others v. Switzerland, 24 May 1988, Application no. 10737/84Google Scholar
  5. ECHR, Verlag GmbH and Klaus Beermann v. Germany, 20 November 1989, Application no. 10572/83Google Scholar
  6. ECHR, Groppera Radio AG and others v. Switzerland, 28 March 1990, Application no. 10890/84Google Scholar
  7. ECHR, Autronic AG v. Switzerland, 22 May 1990, Application no. 12726/87Google Scholar
  8. ECHR, Informationsverein Lentia and others v. Austria, 24 November 1993, Application no. 13914/88; 15041/89; 15717/89; 15779/89; 17207/90Google Scholar
  9. ECHR, Jresild v. Denmark, 23 September 1994, Application no. 15890/89Google Scholar
  10. ECHR, Goodwin v. the United Kingdom, 27 March 1996, Application no. 17488/90Google Scholar
  11. ECHR, Buckley v. the United Kingdom, 25 September 1996, Application no. 20348/92Google Scholar
  12. ECHR, Laskey, Jaggard and Brown v. the United Kingdom, 19 February 1997, Application nos. 21627/93, 21826/93, 21974/93Google Scholar
  13. ECHR, Bladet Tromsø and Stensaas v. Norway, 20 May 1999, Application no. 21980/93Google Scholar
  14. ECHR, Wille v. Liechtenstein, 28 October 1999, Application no. 28396/95Google Scholar
  15. ECHR, Özgür Gündem v. Turkey, 16 March 2000, Application no. 23144/93Google Scholar
  16. ECHR, Sener v. Turkey, 18 July 2000, Application no. 26680/95Google Scholar
  17. ECHR, VGT Verein gegen Tierfabriken v. Switzerland, 28 June 2001, Application no. 24699/94Google Scholar
  18. ECHR, Sigma Radio Television Ltd. V. Cyprus, 21 July 2011, Applications nos. 32181/04 and 35122/05Google Scholar
  19. ECHR, Colombia and others v. Turkey, 25 June 2002, Application no. 51279/99Google Scholar
  20. ECHR, Perna v. Italy, 6 May 2003, Application no. 48898/99Google Scholar
  21. ECHR, Garaudy v. France, 24 June 2003. Application no. 65831/01Google Scholar
  22. ECHR, Timpul Info-Magazine and Anghel v. Moldova, 27 November 2007, Application no. 42864/05Google Scholar
  23. ECHR, TV Vest AS & Rogaland Pensjonistparti v. Normay, 11 December 2008, Application no. 21132/05Google Scholar
  24. ECHR, Khurshid Mustafa and Tarzibach v. Sweden, 16 December 2008, Application no. 23883/06Google Scholar
  25. ECHR, Társaság a Szabadságjogokért v. Hungary, 14 April 2009Google Scholar
  26. ECHR, Kenedi v. Hungary, 26 May 2009Google Scholar

General Court

  1. GC, FIFA v European Commission, 17 February 2011, Case T-68/08 (not yet published in ECR)Google Scholar
  2. GC, FIFA v European Commission, 17 February 2011, Case T-385/07 (not yet published in ECR)Google Scholar
  3. GC, UEFA v European Commission, 17 February 2011, Case T-55/08 (not yet published in ECR)Google Scholar


  1. Akandji-Kombe JF (2007) Positive obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. A guide to the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights—Human rights handbooks, No. 7. Strasbourg: Council of Europe. Accessed 15 July 2011
  2. Barendt E (1995) Broadcasting law: a comparative study. Clarendon, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  3. Barendt E (1992) Fundamental freedoms. In: Dommering E et al (eds) Information law towards the 21st century. Kluwer, Deventer, pp 13–25Google Scholar
  4. Castendyk O (2008) Article 4 TWFD. In: Castendyk O et al (eds) European media law. Kluwer Law International, Alphen a/d Rijn, pp 429–455Google Scholar
  5. Closs W, Nikoltchev S (2005) Political debate and the role of the media. European Audiovisual Observatory, StrasbourgGoogle Scholar
  6. Council of Europe (2007) Freedom of expression in Europe: case law concerning article 10 of the European convention on human rights. Council of Europe, StrasbourgGoogle Scholar
  7. Craufurd Smith R, Bottcher B (2002) Football and fundamental rights: regulating access to major sporting events on television. European Public Law 8(1):107–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cucereanu D (2008) Aspects of regulating freedom of expression on the internet. Intersentia, AntwerpenGoogle Scholar
  9. Dommering E (2008) Article 10 ECHR. In: Castendyk O et al (eds) European media law. Kluwer Law International, Alphen a/d Rijn, pp 35–81Google Scholar
  10. Harris D et al (2009) Law of the European convention on human rights. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  11. Herr R (2011) Can human rights law support access to communication technology? a case study under article 10 of the right to receive information. Accessed 18 Aug 2011
  12. Fenwick H, Gavin P (2006) Media freedom under the human rights act. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  13. Gratton C, Solberg HA (2007) The economics of sports broadcasting. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  14. Helberger N (2005) Controlling access to content—Regulating Conditional Access in Digital Broadcasting. Kluwer Law International, The HagueGoogle Scholar
  15. Hins W, Voorhoof D (2007) Access to state-held information as a fundamental right under the European Convention on Human Rights. European Constitutional Law Review 3:114–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hutchins B, Rowe D (2009) From broadcast scarcity to digital plenitude: The changing dynamics of the media sport content economy. Television New Media 10:354–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lefever K et al. (2010) Watching live sport on television: a human right? The right to information and the list of major events regime. E.H.R.L.R. 4:396-407Google Scholar
  18. Lewis A, Taylor J (2003) Sport: law and practice. Butterworths, LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. Macovei M (2004) A guide to the implementation of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights—human rights handbooks No. 2. Strasbourg: Council of Europe. Accessed 14 July 2011
  20. Marauhn T (2007) Freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association. In: Ehlers D (ed) European fundamental rights and freedoms. De Gruyter Recht, Berlin, pp 97–129Google Scholar
  21. Mowbray A (2004) The development of positive obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights by the European Court of Human Rights. Hart, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  22. Nicol A et al (2009) Media Law & Human Rights. Oxford University Press Sharland, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  23. Parrish R, Miettinen S (2009) Sports broadcasting in community law. In: Blackshaw I et al (eds) TV Rights and Sport. Legal Aspects. T.M.C. Asser press, The Hague, pp 9–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rozakis C (2008) The European protection of freedom of expression: some recent restrictive trends, seminar on the European Protection of freedom of expression, Strasbourg, 10 October 2008. Accessed 18 Aug 2010
  25. Saltzman R (2000) Television news access to exclusively owned sporting events: a comparative study. Sports Lawyers Journal 7:1–28Google Scholar
  26. Scheuer A, Strothmann P (2004) Sports as reflected in European media law Part I. Iris Plus. Accessed 19 August 2010
  27. Voorhoof D (1995) The media in a democratic society. Article 10 of the European convention on human rights. In: Council of Europe (European Media Law Forum) (ed), Legal problems of the functioning of media in a democratic society. Llubljana, pp 39–74Google Scholar
  28. Voorhoof D (1996) Art.10 EVRM en de vrijheid van de media. Jaarboek Mensenrechten 1995–1996. Maklu Uitgevers, Antwerpen/ApeldoornGoogle Scholar
  29. Voorhoof D (2004) Artikel 10—Vrijheid van meningsuiting. In: Vande Lanotte J, Haeck Y (eds), Handboek EVRM—Deel 2 Artikelsgewijze commentaar Volume I. Intersentia, Antwerpen, pp 837–1050Google Scholar
  30. Voorhoof D (2009) Freedom of expression under the European Human Rights System. Inter-Am Eur Hum Rights J 2(1–2):3–48Google Scholar
  31. Voorhoof D, Cannie H (2010) Freedom of expression and information in a democratic society: The added but fragile value of the European convention on human rights. Int Comm Gazette 72:407–423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Weinstein J (2009) Extreme speech, public order, and democracy: lessons from the masses. In: Hare I, Weinstein J (eds) Extreme speech and democracy. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 23–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© T.M.C. ASSER PRESS, The Hague, The Netherlands, and the author 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Law, Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and ICTKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

Personalised recommendations