Federal Supreme Court, Civil, Tribune de Genève case, 5A_792/2011

Document type
Court Decision
In the so-called Tribune de Genève case, the Swiss Supreme Court held that a newspaper is civilly liable (Article 28 of the Swiss civil code) when it hosts on its website the blog of a user whose content infringes on the personality rights of a third party. According to the Supreme Court, this liability is justified by the fact that the newspaper contributes to the diffusion of the infringing content to the public and a large circle of readers. The entity hosting the blog can be ordered to eliminate infringing contents on personality rights. Furthermore: (1) The Swiss Supreme Court explicitly clarified that the liability incurred by the infringement of personality rights is not related to the control over the infringing content. Put differently, since this type of liability does not require any fault (wilful intent or negligence), the question whether the ISP has control over the content posted in the blog or not is irrelevant. (2) The Swiss Supreme Court stated that ISPs will not face increasing actions for compensation as a result of this judgment because such actions typically require the demonstration of fault. (3) The Swiss Supreme Court considered that, in any event, serious consequences for ISPs that would result from the application of the existing law should not be fixed by the judiciary but by the legislature. 
Topic, claim, or defense
Defamation or Personality Rights
Document type
Court Decision
Issuing entity
Highest Domestic/National (including State) Court
Type of service provider
Host (Including Social Networks)
Issues addressed
Trigger for OSP obligations
OSP obligation considered
Block or Remove
Monitor or Filter
Type of law
General effect on immunity
General intermediary liability model
Takedown/Act Upon Knowledge (Includes Notice and Takedown)