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Friday, 3 June 2011

Mosley seeks referral to Grand Chamber

For this Kat, it feels just like another day, another privacy issue before the Courts. Yesterday Max Mosley's solicitors, Collyer Bristow, announced that Mr Mosley has made a request under Article 43 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Rule 73 of the Rules of the Court for his case to be referred to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. As will be recalled, last month the Fourth Chamber refused to his arguments that the UK government was obligated to implement a pre-notification requirement in privacy cases. See this Kat's earlier post here.

In written submissions, the esteemed Lord Pannick (at [9]) on behalf of Mr Mosley contends that a serious issue of general importance is whether the Grand Chamber should accept that:

'in cases where a newspaper, or other publisher, intends to disclose “intimate or sexual details of private life” (the phrase used by the Fourth Section at paragraph 125) the newspaper or other publisher should be required to give advance notice of the publication so that the individual concerned can seek an injunction from the court to prevent publication in breach of Article 8'.
One of the difficulties faced by Mr Mosley before the Fourth Chamber was its concern that he was not limiting the pre-notification requirement to 'intimate or sexual details of private life' (at [125]) and that accordingly a general obligation to give advance notification might inhibit investigative journalism. Lord Pannick confirms (at [10]) that Mr Mosley is 'entirely content to confirm that his argument is limited to such cases'.

Pre-notfication in such cases was an issue of very considerable general importance in the UK, as
'certain sections of the press, such as The News of the World, trade in the disclosure of intimate or sexual secrets of people's private lives' (at [12]).
In its press release, Collyer Bristow states that:
'Privacy has been the subject of considerable public and media debate in the last month and a ruling from the Grand Chamber of the Court is needed upon this important issue to close a clear gap in UK law'.
The next stage is for the request to be examined by five judges of the Grand Chamber, a process which can take up to 6 months.

The IPKat admires Mr Mosley for following through with his harsh criticism of the decision of the Fourth Chamber. However, he is not so sure that a limitation of the pre-notification obligation to sexual cases will be enough to secure the result which Mr Mosley so badly wants.

Merpel is not one for waiting, but she notes that the decision could be a very good or a very bad Christmas present for Mr Mosley.

1 comment:

ian josephs said...

Why kepp talking about injunctions to save the reputations of celebrities when mothers have their babies snatched at birt and are gagged so they risk prison if they complain.
The UK is the ONLY country in Europe (apart from Croatia and perhaps Portugal) to tolerate the barbaric practice of forced adoption.The severing of all contact FOR LIFE between children and their birth parents .In effect a LIFE sentence without the opportunity of being heard by a jury, often imposed on parents who have committed no crime but who are said to be a risk to their children following predictions by overpaid charlatans working closely with the local authority.
Yes the UK family courts then mete out "PUNISHMENT WITHOUT CRIME" The ONLY people in the UK who are punished without crime are parents whose children have been "confiscated" by the hundreds, because those children are said to be "at risk" of emotional abuse!.
Even worse the UK is the ONLY country in the world to GAG parents who wish to protest publicly when their children are taken.
The right of all citizens to protest publicly against what they perceive to be oppression by the State is what separates democracy from tyranny.
Long may it remain so !

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