“In Medžlis Islamske Zajednice Brčko, the Court could have avoided yet another compilation exercise, leading to yet another multi-factor balancing test being set loose in its already intricate free speech case law. The Court could have followed the various dissenting opinions’ emphasis on the private nature of the letter. The Court could have applied its Zakharov line of case law to find that the NGOs did not overstep the limits of acceptable criticism of a civil servant on matters of public concern. But this, of course, would not have led to the majority’s (desired) outcome. In that sense, the Court’s judgment in Medžlis Islamske Zajednice Brčko makes most sense, to me at least, when read as a post-hoc rationalisation of the majority judges’ personal attitudes towards the factual allegations made in the letter.”
Imagine, if you will, two scenarios. The first involves four NGOs writing a private letter to the highest authorities of a Bosnian city. “According to our information”, the NGOs state in the letter, the newly appointed Serbian director of a public radio station has displayed a problematic attitude towards Muslims and Bosniacs.
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