Oct 012010
 October 1, 2010  Posted by  Court, Non-U.S.

UTV reports:

Van Morrison has secured a High Court injunction banning the publication of a newspaper article about his private life.

A judge also granted the Belfast-born singer’s application to stop the News of the World from printing photographs of him, his home and of businesswoman Gigi Lee.

But Mr Justice Gillen declined to impose a so-called super injunction in the case, describing it as “too wide an ambit”.

His ruling was delivered following a behind-closed-doors hearing at the High Court in Belfast.

In his affidavit Mr Morrison, 65, set out how he performed in public but regarded his private life and personal relationships as an area to be kept away from scrutiny or comment.

After noting that the public does not have a legitimate interest in knowing Van Morrison’s private affairs, the judge reiterates the same point I’ve made on this blog many times:   the public’s interest in something doesn’t make it a matter of public interest.  But then he seemingly draws a line as to where a free press stops and where privacy rights begin:

“This article and these photographs go beyond the margin or appreciation allowed to a free press. They constitute an unacceptable intrusion into the private lives of these plaintiffs.”

Mr Justice Gillen said the value of Mr Morrison’s home, its location, the work carried out on it at the behest of Ms Lee, detailed descriptions of furnishings and decorations, guests to the house, the delivery of food, and the state of his marriage were all “classic illustrations” of intrusion into their private lives.

Read more on UTV. While I actively support Van Morrison’s right to privacy, I do think it would be better if the UK just actually codified privacy law so that it applies to all instead of being determined on this type of case by case basis.

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