ECtHR found there was a violation of freedom of expression in all the below-mentioned cases against Portugal:
- Lopes Gomes da Silva c. Portugal, 28 September 2000
- Colaço Mestre and SIC – Sociedade Independente de Comunicação, S.A. v. Portugal, 26 April 2007
- Campos Dâmaso v. Portugal and Laranjeira Marques da Silva v. Portugal, 24 April 2008 and 19 January 2010.
- Público – Comunicação Social, S.A. and Others v. Portugal, of 7 December 2010
- Conceição Letria v. Portugal, 12 of April 2011
- Pinto Coelho v. Portugal, 22 March of 2016
- Antunes Emídio v. Portugal and Soares Gomes da Cruz v. Portugal, 24 September 2019
- Pais Pires de Lima v. Portugal, 12 February 2019
Pais Pires de Lima v. Portugal, as in L.P. and Carvalho v. Portugal concerned a complaint following a civil judgement ordering a lawyer to pay damages to a judge whose personal and professional honour and reputation he had attacked.
Apart from Antunes Emídio v. Portugal and Soares Gomes da Cruz v. Portugal - that concerns both a journalist and a doctor - all the other cases mentioned above followed national civil and/or criminal judgements against journalists.
The ECtHR has not explicitly excluded the possibility of maintaining criminal defamation laws. However, it has criticised the usage of such laws on numerous occasions. The ECtHR has suggested that the imposition of a criminal sanction alone may be sufficient for the finding of a disproportionate remedy and, therefore, a violation of Article 10 of the ECHR.
Jurisprudence cited explicitly by the ECtHR in L.P. and Carvalho v. Portugal
- on the need for interference "in a democratic society":
Handyside v. The United Kingdom, 7 December 1976 (Series A no.24), and which it recalled in Morice v. France ([GC], no.29369 / 10, §§ 124 to 127, ECHR 2015). For the principles relating to the freedom of expression of lawyers, Morice judgment, (cited above, §§ 132 to 139) and to the Gouveia Gomes Fernandes and Freitas e Costa v. Portugal (no.1529 / 08, § 46, 29 March 2011). Finally, given that, in the present cases, the measures in question were aimed at the protection of "the reputation and the rights of others", the ECtHR refers to the principles governing the balance between the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Article 10 of the Convention and, on the other hand, the right to respect for private life enshrined in Article 8, which it recently recalled in the Medžlis Islamske Zajednice Brčko and others v. Bosnia and Herzegovina ([GC], no 17224/11, § 77, 27 June 2017);
- On the alleged damage to the alleged reputation of the judge in L.P
Since these accusations were transmitted only to the High Judiciary Council - and therefore not made public-, these would be either way very limited, mutatis mutandis: Bezymyannyy v. Russia, no 10941 / 03, § 42, April 8, 2010);
- On the severity of the sanctions applied
Likely to produce a dissuasive effect for the legal profession as a whole, in particular when it comes to lawyers defending the interests of their clients (see, mutatis mutandis, Gouveia Gomes Fernandes and Freitas e Costa, cited above, § 54, and Erdener v. Turkey, no 23497/05, § 39, 2 February 2016).