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110 Penn St. L. Rev. 599 (2005-2006)
The Carolina Verdict: Protecting Individual Privacy against Media Invasion as a Matter of Human Rights

handle is hein.journals/dlr110 and id is 609 raw text is: The Caroline Verdict: Protecting Individual
Privacy Against Media Invasion as a Matter
of Human Rights
Robin D. Barnes*
The European Union's Court of Human Rights is leading the way in
recognizing the continuing duty of democratic societies to protect the
sphere of privacy that not only leaves its citizens secure in their person
and   property, but also    cultivates  family  dignity, privacy   and
opportunities for self-determination. On June 24, 2004, in Case of Von
Hannover v. Germany, the European Court of Human Rights radically
altered the rules governing the unauthorized publication of expos6s that
offer intimate details of celebrities' private lives.'
This case, which involved a woman of enormous courage and
celebrity, is less momentous for its visibility than for its considerable
value to democracy. While most celebrities remain relatively secluded,
convinced they lack power against the media, Princess Caroline of
Monaco has been resolute in her quest for justice.2 After fighting in the
German courts for nearly ten years, Caroline Von Hannover took the
case for protection of her privacy to the European Court of Human
Rights.3 Invariably, others will benefit from her perseverance in ways
that she could not as she waded through the appellate process.4 In Von
* Professor of Law, University of Connecticut School of Law. I'd like to thank
participants of the DEFAMATION, MEDIA AND PRIVACY CONFERENCE held at the Mainz
Media Institute, Johannes Guttenburg University. Mainz, Germany, June 8-9, 2005. In
addition, I offer special thanks for the comments, editing and research assistance
provided by Julia Sitarz and Linda LeFever, and for the comments offered by Kaaryn
1. Von Hannover v. Germany, 2004-II Eur. Ct. H.R. 294.
2. See id.; see also Daniel Kaboth, Germany: The Publicity of Privacy, LEGAL
WEEK, July 29, 2004 [hereinafter Kaboth, Germany] (describing Princess Caroline's legal
efforts in the courts of various European countries to protect her privacy).
3. Jonathan Coad, Europe: Public Image, LAWYER, Aug. 2, 2004, at 17 [hereinafter
Coad, Public Image].
4. See Von Hannover, 2004-Ill Eur. Ct. H.R. 294, for the complete procedural
history. Cf. Kaboth, supra note 2 (chronicling Princess Caroline's appeal to the ECHR
after the German courts upheld an injunction prohibiting the publication of photographs

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