Quotes from caselaw 1: Campbell v MGN [2004] 2 AC 457 – The importance of privacy to liberty

“Privacy lies at the heart of liberty in a modern state. A proper degree of liberty is essential for the well-being and development of an individual”

– Lord Nicholls, Campbell v MGN [2004] 2 AC 457 at [p.12]

This is part of our new “quotes from caselaw” series, looking to bring you short snippets from leading judgments on privacy, which highlight its importance and development.

The Murray factors applied to the Meghan Markle case – when is there a reasonable expectation of privacy?

The England and Wales privacy of Murray v. Associated Newspapers [2007] EWHC 1908 (Ch) set out a number of criteria applicable to establishing whether there was a reasonable expectation of privacy in the matter at issue. This is one of the two part test for an action of misuse of private information to be made out.

The recent Markle case for misuse of private information applied the Murray criteria in by rote. The circumstances in which a publicised letter to the claimant’s father breached a reasonable expectation of privacy were broken down in a illustrative way, highlighting the effectiveness of the Murray criteria:

Factor One: Role and Status

(1) The claimant was a prominent member of the Royal Family,
and in that sense a public figure, who had a high public profile, and about whom much
had been and continued to be written and published; this is an important feature of the
background and the circumstances but

Factor Two: Was the nature of the activity she was engaged with private?

(2) the nature of the “activity” in which she had
engaged was not an aspect of her public role or functions; she was communicating to
her father about his behaviour, its impact on her, her feelings about it, and her wishes
for the future; and

(3) she was doing this in a letter sent to him alone, privately, by
means of a courier service.

Factor Three: What was the intrusion complained of?

(4) The “intrusion” involved the publication of much if not
most of the information in the Letter by way of sensational revelations over four pages
of a popular newspaper and online, to a very large readership; and that, in broad terms,
was the purpose of the “intrusion”.

Factor Four: Was there any consent to the intrusion?

(5) There was no consent, and it is beyond dispute
that this was known to or could have been inferred by Mr Markle and the defendant.

Factor Five: What was the impact of the disclosure?

(6) The unwanted disclosure was likely to cause the claimant at least some distress,
especially as it was done with the co-operation of her father, and in the context of a
detailed and critical response by him to the content of the Letter.

Factor Six: How was the information obtained?

(7) The information
was given to the defendant by the claimant’s father.

Big brother is watching you, in compliance with the European Convention of Human Rights

Revisiting the case of Big Brother Watch and Others v. the United Kingdom

The operation of the UK’s surveillance services, MI5, MI6, GCHQ and the Metropolitan Police Service and their interaction with human rights (“Convention rights”) have historically been obscure to safeguard the interests of national security. The specifics of policy and practices when conducting national surveillance and its interaction with the private lives citizens have only come to light since the whistleblowing of Edward Snowden in 2013, catalyzing closer scrutiny of their potential to impinge upon the democratic freedoms.

Continue reading

A brief introduction to the concept of privacy under English Law – Parts I, II & III

Below we present a compiled summary of our highly popular introduction to the concept of privacy under English Law, this covers early developments, the integration of private individuals rights,  the widening of the concept and early 21st Century data protection issues:  Continue reading

Citation: Article 8 and the “outside world”: privacy, reputation and employment – Hugh Tomlinson QC

An excellent and highly insightful piece written by Hugh Tomlinson QC on the application of the Article 8 right to privacy and a reconciliation with domestic law.

Inforrm's Blog

The Article 8 right to respect for private life has many facets and has often seemed in danger of uncontrolled expansion.  The Court of Human Rights has often noted that private life is “not susceptible to exhaustive definition”, embracing “multiple aspects of the person’s physical and social identity”. 

View original post 1,313 more words