Vegeterians dislike McDonald’s

The European Court for Human Rights passed a decision in favor of two British vegetarians who once disputed the famous corporation «McDonald’s».

In 1984 David Morris and Helen Stil demonstrated by the „McDonald’s” snackbars and spread cards where the world-famous network of “restaurants” was accused of selling “food harmful for health”, “hunger in the third world countries” and “tropical woods destruction”. In response, the McDonald’s management brought an action to London’s court against them, having accused them of defamation. At that time the case was won by “the harm representatives”.  

313-days long trial became the most prolonged trial in the history of the English law. According to the court decision Helen and David were to compensate to McDonald’s material losses of 40,000 pounds. 

Despite the fact that the McDonald’s management didn’t require paying this money, the indignant vegetarians lodged a complaint against Great Britain (№ 68416/01) to the European Court for Human Rights.

As it is noted in the press-release of the European Court, the British state didn’t give the complainants legal advisors, while McDonald’s made use of numerous experts for which they paid themselves.

The court unanimously made a decision on violation by the United Kingdom of the article 6 § 1 (the right for just assize) of the European Convention for Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and infringement of the article 10 of ECHR (the right for freedom of utterance).

The court obliged the government of Great Britain to pay Morris and Stil compensation, correspondingly 15 and 20 thousand Euro for “moral damage” and  47 311 Euro for other expenses of plaintiff.

Olena Holyuk

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