Biased judge also in the ECHR

Equal rights has many meanings. Equality between genders, people of different colors or classes. One of the equalities is being treated equally by the authorities.

The insanely streched out case of Rightsholders vs. The Pirate Bay was filled of unequal treatment. As you, my regular readers, know. In the first court case there was the judge who just happened to be the chairman of a pro-copyright association (and a board member of another). The same organisations that was asking governments for harsher sentencing for those who in any way could harm their business. He was also on some boards and in some friend circles with the lawyers from the opposiing side. The judge was responsible to try himself for biasness but decided he had no such biasness. There was the jurors, where one for instance had run his own record companies. That juror got replaced. There was still biased jurors left, that we could not get replaced.

After finding out the judge had these ties (revealed by the swedish public radio) we filed a complain about him being biased. It was tested by another person with ties to the copyright industry (and he was also working together with some of the opposing lawyers), and there was no legal way of getting him replaced. He decided that there was no bias, and there was no bias in himself.

In the appeal court, there are two judges. Both of them had been members of the same pro-copyright organisation as the previous judge. We asked to test their biasness and the supreme court said there was no conflict of interest. That the same pro-copyright organisation is in parts funded by the opposing side was not an issue. Their views was not an issue – since the judges no longer were members.

The supreme court decided to not test the case at all, which was a quite huge surprise to everyone in Sweden. The case itself has many issues that needs a precedent (and had no such to rely upon), so everyone was quite surprised. Including all of our lawyers.

Legally there was few options left. As we noticed, the swedish legal system is really small and everyone knows eachother, and there are very few rules against corrupt or biased rulings. This probably comes from a time where honesty and ethics was more important than cash and favors to important people, one of the things that globalization has changed quite dramatically all over the world. We decided to appeal to the one place where this should not be a problem – the European court of human rights, ECHR.

We wanted the ECHR to test if our human rights has been violated in the swedish court case. This means that we filed an appeal not against the copyright holders, but against Sweden as a nation.

The ECHR should be free of any biased views on the case, or of Sweden. There’s one judge from every country in Europe that has ratified the convention it is based on. For me it was a surprise when I saw that a Swedish judge, Helena Jäderblom, had been involved in the case. It felt a bit strange considering that the case is against Sweden, but apparantly that was not a problem. Even though judges are nominated by each country by their governments – in this case, the same government that our case was against.

When investigating Helena Jäderblom a bit more two things struck me quite hard. She was the special investigator for the Swedish government on how to implement the IPRED law in Sweden. IPRED is short for Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive, a directive which the copyright industry has been pushing to get for a long time. It gives companies the right to monitor the internet and sue someone for infringment on their rights, without having to go through the police. The law was instated in Sweden in 2009. I was one of the people that protested against this law. We held demonstrations, did lots of interviews, wrote lots of debate articles and such in order to stop the law from being instated. I was very public and critical on the law and the work of the government. Helena Jäderblom was working with the enforcements of intellectual property rights during 2009-2012, on behalf of the Swedish government.

Those of you who has followed the TPB case remember that the whole case started with Hollywood getting the White House to threaten Sweden with trade sanctions if they did not stop TPB. During this period the swedish minstry of justice went to the White House and had lots of discussions about TPB. The minsiter of justice, Thomas Bodström, was being investigated for this affair. He put a “top secret” label on 747 documents which we still have not been able to read, about the discussions going back and forth between the US and Sweden. The minstry told the prosecutor in the TPB case what the US had threatened with, and not long after the prosecutor sent out a memo to the minstry saying that TPB did nothing illegal, there was the raid against TPB. The effect was obvious.

What had been decided and said between US and Sweden is still top secret. Except for; you guessed it, Helena Jäderblom. She was working for the ministry of justice during this period – as what’s called “departementsråd”, i.e. the top civil person in the minstry, directly under the minister!

So what can we do right now? Nothing. You can’t appeal decisions at ECHR. Not even if there’s questionable behaviour with their judges.


#1 Aelius Blythe on 04.03.13 at 10:53

“So what can we do right now? Nothing.”

Wow. That just……. sucks, brokep. This case was so broken right from the beginning. It’s hard to believe that this is what passes for “justice”, especially at the highest levels and in something called a “human rights” court. Super saddening. 🙁

Well, at least nobody looking back at this will be able to say “Hey, at least they got a fair hearing at THIS court or THAT court, so really justice was served.” They will just look back at the case and think “HOW did that happen?” because all the flaws and injustices are out in broad daylight.

#2 visrat on 04.03.13 at 11:33

The entire system is fucked.
Across borders & cultures, corruption is everywhere.
It’s laughable sometimes, but other times just plain sad.

No matter what happens, you are a personal hero of mine (& many others I’m sure) for having the courage of your convictions and daring to question the antiquated ‘leaders’ we all suffer under.

I just hope you get to a position where you can rest and enjoy the fact that you’ve helped change the world. Fuck knows you deserve it.

#3 DreZato on 04.03.13 at 11:50

the internet is a nation state we have our own laws on what is fair and just, there is one race (user) and one religion (code) and we will not have the strive it freedom stopped by anyone

#4 Klas on 04.03.13 at 11:51

Till att börja med, urk.

Men, bara en ren språkfråga:

Bias är inte helt rätt översättning av jäv.
Jäv i juridisk mening handlar om man kan anse att personen har ett ekonomiskt eller personligt motiv som gör att hen tjänar på att fatta ett visst beslut.
Bias handlar om att man är partisk, med betoning på förutfattade meningar.

Bästa översättningarna av jäv jag hittade:
1. partial
2. having a stake in the outcome
3. not disinterested

#5 Love on 04.03.13 at 12:13

well, shit.

#6 Mat on 04.03.13 at 12:19

Jarvis Cocker said it best in his song “Cunts are still running the world”

#7 Lucky Dials on 04.03.13 at 13:40

It’s all tainted. In every goverment, every country. It looks like, most of the time, the wrong people are in the right job. Very sad.

#8 jibb on 04.03.13 at 13:43


#9 Gwyn on 04.03.13 at 14:57

Little wonder that the Wikileaks guy Julian Assange is wary of going to Sweden for a little chat when Sweden could equally as well go and visit the Ecuador embassy in London to talk.
That meeting would produce the same result – except the ability to snatch and render him to the good-ole US of A would not be an option.
We maintain that it’s the principle not the money that drives TPB, Well, why don’t we put our money where our mouths are and pay an annual subscription to TPB to keep being supplied with site updates. With taxes we have to fund the opposition, I’d like to help fund the oppressed so they could have some resources too.
Because I appreciate what they are doing.

#10 Mette on 04.03.13 at 15:20

One thing you can do – have to do – is to keep fighting, raising the public awareness of the preposterous legal system.

#11 slindes on 04.03.13 at 17:39

The more facts I read about how Sweden law works in practice, the more worried I get.

#12 Alex on 04.03.13 at 18:33

This is so sad and so crzy that the system has corrupted itself before our very eyes, bowing to the gods of money and of power.

I live in New Zealand, where our own government has done the same thing with Kim Dotcom, but fortunately we realised our mistake almost immediately after everything became public.

#13 Kristina Svartholm on 04.03.13 at 20:47

Here is a quote from Rick Falkvinge:

“…There is the idea among people with money and power that they have the right to control what other people can say about them. Unfortunately, they are starting to enforce that idea with what amounts to mafia tactics, using the threat of courtrooms as their battlefield, and using intimidation to squelch dissent. (The Pirate Bay themselves were victims of law in this very manner.)

As this war on freedom of speech escalates, we would do well to study the methods for staying online that The Pirate Bay has pioneered….”

Peter, please remember the importance of what you did create and what you have fought for all those years!

#14 .Shez. on 04.03.13 at 22:19

Well it’s good to know that Suede,Europe ,USA & co still need to improve too 🙂 and like the rest of the world they shall understand that they too, belong to the developing countries…hehe 🙂 and the more you will scratch… the more you will realize that nobody is really controlling anything…but still, in your own way do not be silent…

#15 Medusa Canibal on 04.04.13 at 04:27

This rotten political structure is indeed an invisible prison. Public exposure is a very questionable tactic but what else can we do. I’m following this story to do some ACTION!

#16 2013 Spring News Snippets | What world? on 04.04.13 at 11:52

[…] […]

#17 “Why I Pulled Out of The Pirate Bay Trial,” An Artist’s Perspective | TorrentFreak on 04.05.13 at 08:49

[…] Rights Court but this application was rejected last month. Peter Sunde, one of the defendants, pointed out this week that one of the key judges is not particularly neutral when it comes to copyright, […]

#18 GEE on 04.05.13 at 11:54

This is just a test, a bump on the road. Its hard being the pioneers. Its obv a justitiemord but what can you do? Its in their hands, but whats in yours is the future, a life after this shit too you know. What you need is to not get down and surrender to these fools but keep resisting. People will follow

#19 “Why I Pulled Out of The Pirate Bay Trial,” An Artist’s Perspective | on 04.05.13 at 14:01

[…] Rights Court but this application was rejected last month. Peter Sunde, one of the defendants, pointed out this week that one of the key judges is not particularly neutral when it comes to copyright, […]

#20 “Why I Pulled Out of The Pirate Bay Trial,” An Artist’s Perspective | What is torrents? on 04.05.13 at 18:23

[…] Rights Court but this application was rejected last month. Peter Sunde, one of the defendants, pointed out this week that one of the key judges is not particularly neutral when it comes to copyright, […]

#21 Voltaire on 04.05.13 at 21:00

Welcome in the EU Brokep, where money rules everything like in the US…For sure all that was business related as usual, I mean US lobbies just wanted to show their strength & power once more, unfortunately. US industry against a few “terrorists” w/o bombs or weapons, but who can change the world. Strange no ? Perhaps, still it remains intolerable.
Come on, at least arte broadcast TPB AFK in Western Europe at the beginning of the week :
Although I’d already watched it a few weeks ago, I enjoyed watching it once again last Tuesday.
Thanks for all that you’ve done until now. Good luck for the future !

#22 SignorChavallo on 04.06.13 at 15:02

Hello Peter,

watched TPB AFK and I liked the movie, I read your review and I understand what you mean. Anyway for me I barely knew anything about you three, the history of TBP or the trails. The way the trails where held, with biased judges and so on is something I would not have expected. For me as someone new to the discussion on the tbp issue the movie was very interesting, and since movies are always subjective I think Simon did a great job.

Think your ideas with flattr are interesting.


#23 Ralph on 04.06.13 at 17:23

Bases on arte broadcast TPB AFK i remember my experience with TPB. So i was affectedly to writingin My Blog. The results was a small history.

I wish you good luck …