Invasion of privacy and conditional free arrangements in the ECHR
In MGN v UK 39401/04 (18 January 2011) the Fourth Section of the European Court of Human Rights today held that the finding by the House of Lords in Campbell v MGN  AC 457,  UKHL 22 (6 May 2004) that MGN had invaded Naomi Campbell’s did not violate Article 10 of the Convention. However, the ECHR went to hold that the conditional fee arrangement (CFA) which increased the costs recoverable by Campbell from MGN (and approved by the House of Lords in Campbell v MGN  UKHL 61 (20 October 2005) was contrary to Article 10. Some relevant extracts from the judgment:
II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 10 OF THE CONVENTION CONCERNING RECOVERABLE SUCCESS FEES
157. The parties devoted extensive submissions to the precise nature of this complaint. The Court considers that the applicant’s core complaint concerned the recoverability against it, over and above the base costs, of success fees which had been agreed between Ms Campbell and her legal representatives as part of a CFA. …
198. The Court will examine whether success fees recoverable against unsuccessful defendants are “necessary in a democratic society” to achieve [the legitimate aim of the protection of the rights of others within the meaning of Article 10(2)].