Max Mosley's crusade against newspapers breaching personal privacy will head next week to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

In 2008, the former FIA president was the subject of an investigative piece by the News of the World showing the then 67-year-old Mosley engaged in what the tabloid alleged was Nazi-themed sado-masochistic sex with prostitutes.

The Briton won a round of legal action against media outlets and then filed against the United Kingdom, asking that individuals be given the chance to argue in court before newspapers can publish stories about personal lives.

A media lawyer told the Press Gazette that, if successful, Mosley's action could "imperil investigative journalism" and lead to newspapers "folding".

"There will be a radically different press if he is successful with a lot of the colour taken away," said Caroline Kean.

The case will begin on Tuesday with opening addresses by barristers, but the outcome is not expected to be known for some months.

"Proper investigative journalism should not be affected (by the action); unlawful sex exposes should be," said Mosley's lawyer Dominic Crossley. "There needs to be a proper practical remedy for privacy rights that works."

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