Tuesday 17 August 2010

Britain could get first privacy law via Parliament

Britain could get its first privacy law through Parliament to stop judges creating one via the courts, the Daily Telegraph reports today.
In an interview with the Telegraph, Lord McNally, a Liberal Democrat minister in the Ministry of Justice, suggests that the right to privacy could be enshrined in law after a number of celebrities and sports stars were awarded “super-injunctions” to gag the press.
Lord McNally said: “There has been a general consensus that a new piece of legislation that clarifies, consolidates and removes some of the more dangerous aspects of the way case law has grown up is something that is desirable.”
He also told the Telegraph: “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."
Lord McNally said super-injunctions were “something that has grown up by stealth, rather than by considered desire of Parliament and therefore they will be in the sights when they look at the reform of the law”.
  • The Telegraph is cautious on a privacy law, noting: "Campaigners for freedom of speech will fear that any new privacy law could frustrate investigations by journalists that are clearly in the public interest, such as the Daily Telegraph’s inquiry last year into MPs’ expenses."
  • The Daily Mail today says the Premier League footballer who took out a super-injunction on Friday to gag a Sunday tabloid from writing about his private life is an England player.

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