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privacy laws
uk newspapers
freedom of speech
having an affair
famous person
family values
back door
instinct
The Latest Super Injunction - Privacy Laws Through The Back Door?
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Another day and another super injunction. The UK newspapers are full of discussions about the latest super injunction. Yesterday judges put in place a super injunction to protect the family of a well known married actor who has allegedly been having an affair. The judges have said that this injunction applies not just to the UK but America and the internet. I haven’t done a search of the internet, but I would be very surprised indeed if the name wasn’t already floating about somewhere in cyber space, so I do wonder how enforceable that part of the injunction is.

However, not for the first time, much is being made of whether the judges are introducing privacy laws through the back door and the impact on our freedom of speech. I find it difficult to decide the rights and the wrong of these cases. Personally I have absolutely no interest in the sex lives of footballers, actors or any other famous person. If they want to be unfaithful to their spouses or partners, why do I need to know about it?

Without a doubt there are some young women now who have a ‘relationship’ with someone famous and then want to exploit their own position and make money by releasing pictures and describing all the salacious details. That in my view is despicable. I don’t care that I’m not allowed to hear about cases like this.

So should these super-injunctions be used all the time? No I don’t think they should. It’s not difficult to imagine cases where a vulnerable woman or man finds themselves being exploited by someone rich and famous. Should that then come out in the press? My instinct is to say yes, but only if the vulnerable person has their identity hidden. Of course that probably wouldn’t sell as many newspapers and the vulnerable person won’t have the well paid barristers to fight on their behalf.

If someone like a politician is running on a ticket of ‘family values’ at the same time as having an affair would I want to know about it? Yes I would and I believe the public have the right to know. We’re supposed to have some trust in our politicians and that sort of hypocrisy is nauseating. If a sports star is being paid millions of pounds to endorse products that give the impression of clean living, then yes I would want to know about it. (Yes I do mean you Tiger Woods)

So here’s the dilemma. When should we know and when shouldn’t we know? Is this latest super injunction another step by the judiciary to introduce a privacy law through the back doors? I don’t think I know the answer, but I do think it’s something that needs to be debated. If there needs to be some sort of law introduced then it should be done so through Parliament, not by unelected judges.


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