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Germany

Berlin Will Not Question Celebrity-Protection Ruling

Despite extensive criticism from media bosses, Germany's government on Wednesday said it will not push for a revision of a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights curtailing reporting on the private lives of celebrities. German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries said after talks in Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's cabinet that the government would have no guarantee of winning a revision of the European ruling. She added that the directorate from Strasbourg had little influence in German courts and that it would most likely be overthrown in a higher appeals process. The minister also dismissed arguments that the ruling prevents journalists from reporting on politicians by saying that the ruling only applied to celebrities. Leading publishers and editors in the country had criticized the so-called Caroline-verdict (named after a lawsuit filed by Princess Caroline of Monaco) as tantamount to censorship.

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