Protection of sources for unpublished documentary film material

Supreme Court order of 20 November 2015, HR-2015-02308-A, (case no. 2015/1462), criminal case, appeal against order v. A (Counsel Kim Gerdts), Norsk Redaktørforening (intervener) (Counsel Vidar Strømme) v. The public prosecution authority (Counsel Jan F. Glent)

Justices: Ringnes, Webster, Stabel, Tønder, Skoghøy

In connection with the investigation of a case into violations of section 147 d of the Penal Code of 1902, the police had seized unpublished video footage from a documentary film-maker, see section 197 subsection 2, second sentence, of the Criminal Procedure Act. The film-maker was working on a film documenting why Norwegian citizens allow themselves to be recruited as foreign fighters in Syria. The Supreme Court overturned the seizure. The material was fit to reveal unidentified sources, causing section 125 to come to apply. In its considerations pursuant to section 125, the Supreme Court took into consideration that weighty public interest concerns spoke in favour of granting the prosecuting authority access to the material. On the other hand, strong concerns for the protection of sources were also present in the case, and any doubts as to whether the protection of sources must yield, should favour the protection of sources. Given the weighing of interests and the broad protection of unpublished material fit to reveal the identity of unidentified sources established by the ECtHR pursuant to Article 10 of the ECHR, there were no grounds on which to yield the protection of sources.

Read the whole order