Yesterday, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled in favour of our client in a case against Lithuania over violation of the right of freedom of expression.
Lithuanian courts unduly ordered our client to retract his public opinion
The ECHR ruled that there had been a violation of a person’s right to freedom of expression established in Article 10 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms when the Lithuanian courts ordered our client to refute his publicly expressed opinion.
The Lithuanian court ruled that part of the statement could not be considered an opinion – a value judgement, but was instead a statement of facts, which was not accurate. Our client was obliged to refute the statement. Disagreeing with the final decision of the Lithuanian courts, in 2020 he consequently lodged an application to be examined by the ECHR.
The ECHR’s ruling is principally important for Lithuanian case law
The ECHR’s consideration of the issue of the distinction between the expression of an opinion and statement of a fact, as well as whether the obligation to refute an opinion complies with the Convention, has been very relevant for Lithuanian courts. The court ruling on this matter will have a significant impact on Lithuanian case law.