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Czech Case law, Czech law, Czech legal news, News, Uncategorized

Prague – the capital of the Czech Republic attracts more celebrities and studios – How could well-known and therefore public figures protect their privacy to fully enjoy the stay in the Czech Republic?

Prague has been chosen by many foreign celebrities as a destination for holiday and getting the right magic atmosphere but also as a place for Hollywood studios to shoot and produce their movies on much lower costs with high standard of professionality and facilities as Prague has a long history in film production.

The Czech studios opened doors for Korean production of Lovers in Prague with their stars, Indian Bollywood studios with latest movies starring Katrina Kaif, Hrithik Roshan, Danny Denzongpa, Ron Smoorenburg, Jimmy Shergill in Bang Bang or Chinase movie productions with latest film entitled Somewhere Only We Know directed by Xu Jinglei with main actor Kris Wu. Among celebrities spending time in Prague are Tom Cruise, Steven Segal, Brad Pitt, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Alain Delon, Whoopi Goldberg, Catherine Zeta-Jones and many others. The singers and groups having their concerts in the Czech Republic usually stay longer to enjoy the Prague. Various others come here for their reasons like Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian.

How could the well-known and therefore public figures protect their privacy to fully enjoy  the stay in the Czech Republic?

The answer is to be found in the Act on International Private Law, Act. No. 91/2012 Coll.[1] and the New Civil Code (see previous post)

The Act deals with the applicable law and jurisdiction (forum). This Act stipulates, in relations with a cross-border element the law of which state shall govern private-law relations including the application of other laws than the designated applicable law and legal status of foreigners and foreign legal entities in private-law relation.

The Czech courts shall have jurisdiction in proceedings when the procedural provisions stipulate a local jurisdiction of a court in the territory of the Czech Republic.

Capacity of a foreigner to be a party to proceedings as well as the procedural capacity shall both be governed by the law of the state of the foreigners habitual residence; it shall however be sufficient for the foreigner to possess such a capacity under the Czech law.

Foreigners and foreign legal entities shall have the same rights and obligations in the area of personal and property rights as the citizens of the Czech Republic and the Czech legal entities.

The Czech courts shall act in proceedings under the Czech procedural provisions, while the parties shall enjoy an equal status when exercising their rights.

Proceedings initiated in another state shall not prevent from initiating proceedings on the same cause of action between the same parties before a Czech court. If the initiation of proceedings before the Czech court occurred later than the one in another state, the Czech court may, in justified cases, stay the proceedings should it be assumed that a foreign bodyʼs decision is to be recognized in the Czech Republic.

Judgments of foreign courts and judgments of foreign authorities on rights and obligations which would be, based upon their private-law nature, decided by courts in the Czech Republic, as well as foreign court settlements and foreign notarial acts or other public documents on these matters, shall be effective in the Czech Republic provided a certificate of the foreign authority confirms the judgment has become final and provided it has been recognized by the Czech public authorities.

From above mentioned, the jurisdiction of Czech courts and Czech law is applicable even for foreigners that were or will be present in the Czech Republic and their personal right (either privacy, image, dignity) was infringed or will be most probably breached by stalking.[2] Therefore the defamation legislature applies and the foreigner might seek the protection under the Czech Civil Code and under the Czech process.

What might be done before landing to the Czech Republic to protect the personal rights?

As in previous posts stated, interim (preliminary) injunction is fast and effective measure to protect the privacy when there are at least some indication that the person will be followed.

What might be done when the infringement occurs during the stay?

  • Injunction to stop infringement
  • Bring a claim in civil proceedings under the Protection of personal rights clause
  • Use the criminal law for stalking or breaking into someone’s home

What to do if Czech media use of spread the defamatory, intimate or otherwise infringing information?

According to Olivier Martinez v MGN ECJ case 509-9: “In the event of an alleged infringement of personality rights by means of content placed online on an internet website, the person who considers that his rights have been infringed has the option of bringing an action for liability, in respect of all the damage caused, either before the courts of the Member State in which the publisher of that content is established or before the courts of the Member State in which the centre of his interests is based. That person may also, instead of an action for liability in respect of all the damage caused, bring his action before the courts of each Member State in the territory of which content placed online is or has been accessible. Those courts have jurisdiction only in respect of the damage caused in the territory of the Member State of the court seised.” The Czech based infringer is therefore a subject to proceeding.[3]

The national reasoning shall be found in Art 101 of the Private International Law Act:

Non-contractual obligations arising out of violations of privacy and rights relating to personality, including defamation, is governed by the law of the state in which the violation occurred. Nevertheless the affected (injured) person may choose the law of the state in which

  1. a) the affected person has habitual residence or seat (registered office),
  2. b) the perpetrator has habitual residence or seat, or
  3. c) the result of a violating conduct appeared if the perpetrator could predict it.

Examples

 Tom Cruise in Prague

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in Prague (arrest of the photographer)

Paris Hilton in Prague (injury)

Kim Kardashian and Kenya West in Prague

[1] The New Private International Law Act was enacted as a part of the new legislation among New Civil Code and New Company Act.

[2] Intellectual property rights shall be governed by the law of the state which recognizes such rights and provides them with protection.

 [3] See post on New Civil Code

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About ondrejovae

Czech Attorney/Barrister located in Prague with specialization in media law and protection of personal rights

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Barrister

Dear readers and followers, I would like to make an announcement that I have opened my own legal office. The website of the office is www.ondrejova.cz

SHORT NEWS

Ferdinand Peroutka granddaughter has filed a defamation claim against the Czech state because of President Miloš Zeman’s public defamatory statements about Czech most famous journalist who was during the WWII held in concentration camp and in 1951 emigrated due to communistic regime.

Ringier AG and AXEL SPRINGER AG sold the main and the most successful publishing house in the Czech rep. (the tabloid newspaper BLESK, AHA, REFLEX) to CNC.

Rheinisch-Bergische Verlagsgesellschaft sold one of the main serious publishing house in the Czech rep.

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