Misuse of private information constitutes a serious limitation on free speech. Everyone, including celebrities and other public figures, has a right to protect their private information. Whether the media can publish private information about an identifiable individual, without their consent, will depend upon an ‘intense’ scrutiny of the facts. The court decides where the balance is to be struck between the competing rights, Articles 8 and 10, by considering each item of information (including any photograph) to determine whether its publication is ‘proportionate’.
Media organisations, making decisions every day about what to publish, in books, articles and television programmes, have to try to second-guess what a court might think about the inclusion of any private information, particularly when there is a risk of an injunction.
Read more on Inforrm’s Blog.
Note: This is Part 2 of an edited extract from a paper presented to the 22nd Sweet & Maxwell Annual Judicial Review Conference on 19 November 2010. Part 1 was posted on Inforrm’s Blog on 25 November 2010.