Were these proceedings related to the Media Code?
No, the courts’ judgments concerned the publication of private photographs that were held in every case to be a legally impermissible infringement on the subjects’ personal lives, and thus unlawful.
The purpose of the Media Code is to protect the privacy of the Royal House while satisfying media demand for images of members of the Royal House in a personal setting.
The right to protection of one’s private life is enshrined in several international treaties, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the European Convention on Human Rights. This issue has also been addressed in judgments handed down by the European Court of Human Rights and various Dutch courts. In essence, these treaties and judgments provide that the right to freedom of expression, including freedom of the press, does not outweigh the right to privacy. Consequently, it is necessary to decide on a case-by-case basis if an infringement of privacy is legally justified. As a rule, public figures are expected to tolerate more invasions of their privacy than other people, but this tolerance is not unlimited. Courts have held that the publication of a private photograph is justified if it makes a contribution to a public debate on a matter of public interest. Ordinary holiday snapshots do not meet this criterion