29 August 2014

The right to privacy IS the right to free speech


Caroline Thompson
Associate | UK

Lord Neuberger, the president of the Supreme Court (and big legal cheese), has called for a rethink on privacy law in a speech to the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents' Club. Lord Neuberger dismissed the idea of the right to privacy as freedom of expression's polar opposite, describing the right to privacy as ‘not, in fact, really a separate right, but, in truth…an aspect of freedom of expression'. He continued to explain that the right to privacy allows certain statements to be made but remain private and argued that any attempt to interfere with a private communication was in fact a ‘fight between two competing claims each based on freedom of expression' rather than a show down between Article 8 and Article 10. The President went on raise concerns about the suitability of domestic privacy law in the Internet age, stating that he considered it ‘inevitable' that the law would have to be updated in light of developments which allow information to be transmitted and received instantaneously around the globe via the Internet. Whether or not the Government will take the hint and act on Lord Neuberger's recommendations remains to be seen — so watch this space. You can read Lord Neuberger's speech in full here.

Caroline Thompson Associate | London

Category: Blog