Keeping secrets in the age of tweets is going to be somewhat of a challenge. Britain’s privacy law is a mess and increasingly unsustainable. Taking common law principles of fairness, add a dash of European human rights legislation, a lucrative tabloid trade in kiss and tells stories and ineffective press watchdog, touch or banks about service justice and the technology that makes everyone into a publisher and what do you get? The mess of Britain’s privacy laws. Now, under sweeping review by jointly both Houses of Parliament.
The latest and most spectacular episode involves a married footballer, Ryan Giggs at Manchester United who went to court to stop news organizations reporting on his alleged affair with a woman who the judge said they had been trying to blackmail him although she denies this. Mr Giggs gained the remedy sought but not the result of which is that his private life became a public scandal with his name featuring in fans Calls in state in use as a catchphrase on talk shows broadcast by 75,000 Twitter users and ultimately on May 23 mention in the House of Commons by Liberal Democrat and P John Fleming. Ordering a parliamentary inquiry: a minister David Cameron said the situation was unsustainable. Few would disagree.
Britain, unlike France, does not have a formal privacy law. European Convention on human rights, Inc International in 1998 made things messier by trying to clashing principles which has a strong defense of freedom of speech and more qualified right to the respective private life. Judges as Parliament has requested them had been chewing over that ever since and issuing closely reasoned rulings that also reflect the press complaints commission definition of public interest journalism. For example, the courts ruled that the daily Mirror was justified in 2001 in printing most parts of the story about a model Naomi Campbell is in drug rehabilitation clinic because it exposed as a reprieve but not the accompanying pictures which intruded on her privacy.
Punishing those who gratuitously destroy privacy is one thing and features in legal systems all over the world. Held his first identify rape victims reason Apple are usually severe. The real problem comes when judges try to protect privacy by stopping newspapers from breaching it in the first place. The argument is a strong one and a breach of privacy causes irreversible harm. In libel cases, untruthful damage to reputation can be restored by an apology and damages the once embarrassing private information is and is close comments as public the matter how litre is punished. However, the practical difficulties of protecting court-ordered privacy are increasingly daunting.
Anonymity orders are often issued against newspapers a few hours before publication as an interim measure tendering for hearing. That may keep the offending material from the hearing publication explicitly in the mainstream media. But it does not prevent coyly coded references to a story appearing which can be glaringly obvious to those in the know. That does not stop story or perhaps exaggerated or incorrect versions of it appearing on blogs, Twitter and Facebook. Tracing the identities of those who post such illicit material on social networking sites mostly based overseas may prove to be impossible.
Once the news is out on the Internet, brings fiercely competitive tabloids become frenzied in their attempts to reveal the full story first. Mr Giggs’s case, the big breach came in a Scottish paper the Sunday Herald, ignore the injunction issued by the London court. This is a legal grey area in Scotland has its own legal system and proven lawyers usually make sure they apply for an interview to their to match any injunction obtained elsewhere. However, Mr Giggs did not.
The court’s inability to stem the tide of technological fields had risks eroding the authority of the whole legal system. But secrecy corrodes it too. Some anonymity orders in recent years have been accompanied by drastic restrictions have even denied their existence and may not be recorded. These are the so-called super injunctions which are rare, and minimize any problem in occurrence. The same race around secrecy and family law cases. Some MPs fill the judges have got to be three weeks, for example, by becoming too fond of ordering litigants to talk nobody about the case.
This raises the questions. When one kind of supremacy of a court order clashes with the sovereignty of Parliament. Britain’s unwritten constitution is frustratingly fuzzy. Mr Henning’s remark came in flat defiance of two senior judges reconsidered the rejected applications with Misty’s injunction, in light of careful legal arguments and in expertise. Mr Henning’s party leader Nick Clegg rebuked him saying that NPC dislikeable to change it rather than flouted. It is unclear who might punish him, or how.