The conviction of an advocate to a fine for criticism at the criminal court hearing violates the freedom of expression
Čeferin v. Slovenia 16/1/2018 (no. 40975/08)
Complaint of an attorney regarding his conviction to a double fine because of criticism he has brought to the audience against an expert, defending the defendant, which the Court regarded as contempt of the court. Violation of lawyer’s freedom of expression because his statements were made within the limits of criticism.
The applicant, Peter Čeferin, is a Slovenian national who was born in 1938 and lives in Grosuplje (Slovenia).
Mr Čeferin is a defence lawyer and the case concerned his complaint about being fined twice for contempt of court for making critical statements about, in particular, expert witnesses during the trial of man he had been defending in a murder trial.
Relying in particular on Article 10 (freedom of expression), Mr Čeferin complained about the two fines, saying that his statements had remained within the bounds of fair criticism.
THE DECISION OF THE COURT
Violation of Article 10
Just satisfaction: EUR 800 (pecuniary damage), EUR 2,400 (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 3,000 (costs and expenses) (echrcaselaw.com editing).