Freedom of Speech

“We often come into action where freedom of expression and privacy collide. ”

Media is one of the focus areas of Kennedy Van der Laan. Our Media team is known for its expertise in the field of freedom of expression. We combine our expertise with a no-nonsense, practical approach.

Clash Between Freedom of Expression and Privacy

Conflicts about publications often occur when the freedom of expression and the right to privacy collide:

  • When is a publication unlawful?
  • May I use material that has been “obtained illegally” for my story?
  • May I record a conversation, and if yes, may I do this surreptitiously?
  • Do I have to swipe the Internet clean if I am ordered to delete a publication?
  • When is an intermediary on the Internet liable for third-party content?
  • Can anyone who is depicted in a photograph protest against its publication on grounds of portrait right?
  • What are the rules for bringing news about suspects and convicts?
  • Is the journalistic right of non-disclosure an absolute right?

This is the field of tension in which the attorneys of the Media team feel at home.

Urgent Cases

We run an extensive litigation practice and also have broad experience in handling very urgent cases. We regularly conduct proceedings in which we already appear in court within a few days, or sometimes − for example in an upcoming TV broadcast − only a few hours after accepting the case.

Various Media Clients

Our clients include several national daily newspapers, public and commercial television broadcasters, TV and film production companies, magazine and book publishers, blogs and internet providers. The attorneys of the Media team give guest lectures on media and law at various universities.

Chambers Europe 2014 – TMT – Band 1

What the team is known for Experienced IT team with an impressive record of advising on international privacy mandates. Acclaimed for its understanding of defamation and freedom of speech matters in the media field, and also handles regulatory and copyright issues. Clients include broadcasters, publishers and newspapers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) “The real talent of the team is its ability to work under extreme pressure and still get the job done.”

“For media-related litigation it is at the top of the league. The team has a very strong track record in these matters, varied experience and deep knowledge of the area.”

“The team has excellent knowledge of the relevant legal fields combined with great business understanding.”

What’s new? NRC Media and De Persgroep Publishing are among the firm’s new clients.

Work highlights Represented TMG in a litigation against Dutch TV broadcasters concerning the attempted publication by the client of a weekly TV guide.

Represented KRO in defamation proceedings.

Notable practitioners Clients say Joost Linnemann “brings things to the table in an extremely clear way and is very strong at thinking strategically and assisting us to move forwards in the process.” He is noted for his work on international projects.

Practice group head Patrick Wit “is a very business-oriented lawyer who brings good advice and experience to projects,”say market observers. He handles outsourcings, telecoms projects and litigation.

Jens van den Brink has an excellent reputation for media projects, particularly unlawful publications and freedom of speech matters. “He is very easy to work with, hands-on in his approach and provides good, practical advice,” say clients.

“We were very impressed with Christien Wildeman and the way she prepared and handled our case,” enthuse clients, adding: “She always has a strong argument and clearly really knows the background of the matter.”

Hester de Vries “is one of the best on the market for privacy matters,” say respondees. Her clients include international banks and infrastructure operators.

Significant clients Audax Publishing, De Persgroep, IDTV, PowNed, Reed Business.

Legal 500 EMEA 2014 – Media and Entertainment – First tier firm

Kennedy Van der Laan has ‘relevant industry knowledge and a down-to-earth approach’. The practice recently defended broadcasting company KRO in defamation proceedings brought by Ryanair. Other clients include De Persgroep Publishing, Telegraaf Media Group and MTV. Practice headJens van den Brink is ‘a very good strategic lawyer’.

Criminal Conviction for Leaking State Secrets to De Telegraaf

Introduction The Court of Appeal of Amsterdam has convicted two former employees of the AIVD, a man and a woman, in criminal proceedings for leaking...

02 april 2013 

European Court of Human Rights Emphasizes Importance of Satire and Citizen Participation in Public Debate

Casse-toi, pov’ con! In Eon v. France the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR; judgment available only in the French language) ruled that the...

27 march 2013 

European Court of Human Rights: Copyright Enforcement May Be in Conflict with Freedom of Speech

Last month, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) rendered an interesting judgment: Ashby Donald et al. versus France. Three photographers...

19 february 2013 

Journalistic Privilege Reinforced in ECHR Ruling De Telegraaf v. the Netherlands

On 22 November 2012, the European Court of Human Rights (“ECtHR”) rendered its judgment in the case between the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf and...

31 december 2012 

Freedom of Expression or Defamation?

Judgment of the Supreme Court, 8 May 2012 LJN: BV9188 The Facts Three tramps were standing in the hall of a shopping mall. The police approached...

29 may 2012 

European Court of Human Rights Has Rendered Von Hannover II judgment – More Freedom for Entertainment Press

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) rendered its judgment on 7 February 2012 in the Princess Caroline of Monaco II case. Just like the case...

28 february 2012 

Freedom of Expression in Employment Law

Palomo Sanchez and others/Spain There have been proceedings between a Spanish company and four of its employees about the question of whether...

06 december 2011 

The Court in Tros v. Pretium: Article 10 of the ECHR Applies to Order to Surrender Video Footage

Court of The Hague in Preliminary Relief Proceedings 25 February 2011, KG ZA 11-137, (Tros v. Pretium) Telecom company Pretium has been in...

28 march 2011 

European Court of Human Rights (Naomi Campbell case): English Success Fee Conflicts with Freedom of the Press

Recently, the long-awaited judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of MGN Ltd. - editor of the newspaper The Daily Mirror -...

24 february 2011 

European Court of Justice: Spanish Newspaper Allowed to Link Moroccan Royal Family to Drugs Trafficking

In 1995 the Spanish newspaper Diario 16 reported on the discovery of almost 5000 kilos of hashish in the false bottom of a lorry of the “Domaines...

24 february 2011 

European Court: Conviction of Gossip Magazine for Publication of Portrait of a Suspect in Violation of the Freedom of Speech

A discussion of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights dated 6 April 2010 The Finnish National Conciliator arrived home late at...

16 july 2010 

European Court of Human Rights: Conviction Le Pen for Hate Speech was Justified - Dark Clouds Gathering over Wilders?

A discussion of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights dated 20 April 2010 Statements Le Pen Have Resulted in a Conviction in...

25 june 2010 

GeenStijl vs Nijmeegse Stadskrant: copying of interview allowed with a reliance on the journalistic exception

Court of Amsterdam 12 May 2010, published on MediaReport (in Dutch) In 2008, alderman Van Hooft of Nijmegen was interviewed by a journalist. In...

25 june 2010 

Gondola Affair - Municipal Councillor May Accuse Former Alderman of Corruption

A discussion of the Baljé / Stoelinga judgment of the Court of Appeal of The Hague of 16 March 2010 Municipal councillor Stoelinga of Delft...

29 april 2010 
Jens van den Brink

Jens van den Brink

Attorney, Partner

  • Jens van den Brink Attorney, Partner +31 20 5506 843
  • Christien Wildeman Attorney +31 20 5506 899