Monday, 4 October 2010


Officials and activists from the European Federations of Journalists met at the NUJ headquarters in London to take part in a roundtable on protection of sources only days after the European Court of Human Rights delivered another historic judgment strengthening the right of journalists to protect their sources. The case taken up by Dutch publishers Samoma Uitgevers owners of Autoweek caused huge concern following an earlier judgment which appears to weaken these rights. Back in 1996, the same court set a high benchmark for the protection of journalistic material in the case of Bill Goodwin, reporter at The Engineer magazine, who successfully fought an order to reveal confidential information.

I opened the roundtable with EFJ president Arne Konig which involved delegates from several European unions as well as legal experts. EFJ Vice-President, Philippe Leruth, delivered an EFJ paper on protection of sources and three journalists, Bill Goodwin, Colm Keena and Eamonn McDermott, presented the cases they have been involved in. The keynote speakers were Morgan Johansson, Rapporteur for the Council of Europe on protection of sources, and Alex Guedj, French lawyer who fought cases at the ECHR.

The meeting ended up with an important discussion on how to strengthen the campaign and defined strategies for the EFJ affiliates.

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