ekint embléma

Police officers have faces again

standpoint 2017-02-17 | Fb Sharing

EKINT's standpoint has been approved by the Constitutional Court: police officers' faces do not have to be blurred out in the news

In its decision of 14 February 2017 the Constitutional Court confirmed that newspapers and news sites do not have to blur out the faces of police officers while on duty.

Four years ago EKINT offered to turn to the Constitutional Court in the case of journalists who had been punished for publishing police officers’ faces by the courts. We wanted to put an end to the unconstitutional judicial practice through a constitutional complaint. In our view the clear identification of police officers is an indispensable element of the control of public power. If the police officer does not have a face, public power becomes unaccountable.

In 2014 EKINT achieved a major success when in the case of Index news site the Constitutional Court annulled the court decision which condemned Index for showing the faces of police officers in photos taken while on active duty and called upon the court to conduct a new proceeding. At this point, however, something unprecedented happened in fundamental rights litigation: the court went against the Constitutional Court decision and made a decision unfavourable for Index again. 

In view of the fact that in the case of Index the Supreme Court passed a decision which was contrary to the Constitutional Court decision, we submitted another constitutional complaint. 

With its decision passed on 14 February 2017, the Constitutional Court now ensures that its decision on police officers’ faces shall be fully met by the courts. 

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