Privacy: Submission to the Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions

In May 2011, in response to week after week of headlines about the iniquities and impracticalities of privacy protection in UK law, the Attorney-General announced the formation of a Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions.

The terms of reference of this Committee were to consider privacy and injunctions, including:

  • how best to strike the balance between privacy and freedom of expression, in particular how best to determine whether there is a public interest in material concerning people‚Äôs private and family life
  • issues relating to media regulation in this context, including the role of the Press Complaints Commission and the Office of Communications (Ofcom).

This report was originally written for the Committee, but also for a wider audience of those who may, like us, have been rather startled by the upsurge in anger and anxiety about privacy injunctions in the press in the early summer.

The report argues that the claims of those who attacked privacy protection within the law were misguided; shows how technological change has altered not only the cultural and practical constraints on privacy but also the role of the law; recognises the views of public; and suggests a route forward.

The MST’s director, Martin Moore, appeared in front of the Committee on 14 November.

Cover image from walknboston on Flickr (Creative Commons)