Aug 182010
 
 August 18, 2010  Court, Featured News, Laws, Non-U.S.

Christopher Hope reports:

Britain could get its first ever privacy law to stop judges creating one by stealth through the courts, a justice minister said.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Lord McNally suggested that the right to privacy could be enshrined in law after a number of celebrities were awarded so-called “super-injunctions” to gag the press.

The concerns arose from a series of cases in which celebrities used the court to obtain injunctions to prevent the press from discussing their private lives. Such injunctions, abhorred by the press, have led to accusations concerning what some here might call “activist judges.”

He conceded that there were concerns that a privacy law had been created through successive rulings by judges. Some, such as Mr Justice Eady, have been heavily criticised.

Lord McNally said: “There was a danger that we were getting towards having privacy law by judicial decision. If we are going to have a privacy law it should be openly debated and freely decided by Parliament.”

The number of injunctions, in which a court orders a newspaper not to publish a story, has risen since the 1998 Human Rights Act. Lord McNally said that the newer “super-injunction” was “something that has caused concern and is something that will be dealt with”.

Read more in The Telegraph.

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