European Court of Human Rights

Acquittal of a drunk driver does not exclude civil liability

In December 2020, the European Court of Human Rights issued its judgment in Papageorgiou v Greece (application No. 44101/13), holding that despite his prior acquittal, the imposition of civil liability on a driver for causing an accident under the influence of alcohol did not violate the presumption of innocence. The case provides an opportunity to discuss how the outcome of criminal proceedings impacts drunk drivers’ liability for damages.

New rulings on liability for online comments

The European Court of Human Rights has held that an NGO operating an online blog cannot be held liable for comments posted by internet users because the organisation quickly deleted the offending posts. Meanwhile, the Warsaw Court of Appeal has held the publisher of a news site liable even though it was not notified of the unlawfulness of comments before being sued. These new rulings provide an occasion for sharing a few remarks about online defamation.

Grzelak v Poland

The failure to offer ethics classes in Polish public schools, resulting in absence of a grade for this subject in the student’s transcript, constitutes unlawful discrimination on religious grounds, the European Court of Human Rights has held.