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Max Mosley cracks the whip again

Categories: McKennitt v. Ash +
Wednesday, Mar 11, 2009

Our old friend Roy Greenslade writes (in today’s Evening Standard) about his fears of an approaching privacy law in the UK, this following Max Mosley’s appearance before a Parliamentary Select Committee hearing on press and privacy yesterday. As Greenslade shows, one of the striking things about practically any form of privacy legislation is how completely unworkable they would be: what Mosley has suggested does in reality amount to prior restraint. Which of course is an SBT, a Singularly Bad Thing.

On which subject: proponents of increased privacy rights in the UK, such as Desmond Browne QC, often argue that fears of privacy legislation are misplaced, because Parliament has already introduced such legislation in the form of the European Human Rights Act. But that argument is itself misplaced, it seems to me, precisely because the ECHR is not a privacy law.

My criticism, and others’ too, of the McKennitt v. Ash verdict, for example, was that it struck the wrong balance between Article 8 and Article 10, much too much in favour of the former. It is in striking that skewed balance between the two that a form of privacy law is being introduced, and by an unelected body, i.e the judiciary.

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