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Privacy Law - No Pre-Notification Required

Written by Jody Tsigarides on 13 May 2011

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The European Court of Human Rights has held that no pre-notification requirement in relation to the publication of personally sensitive material should be implemented.

The ruling comes after Mr Max Mosley appealed to the European Court of Human Rights after a UK High Court ruling in relation to his case against the News of the World newspaper.

As a brief overview the case involved the publication by the News of the World of explicit footage and photographs involving Max Mosley. Mr Justice Eady who heard the case awarded damages to Max Mosley but this prompted an appeal to the ECHR on whether or not organisations should be made to notify the subject of any explicit/ damaging footage/ information before it is published in order to allow the subject the opportunity to obtain an injunction to prevent its release in line with the right to privacy under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.

The action was defended by many organisations who argued (amongst other things) that prior notification was inconsistent with the right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the Human Rights Act.

The European Court of Human Rights rejected the appeal on a number of grounds including the issue of how to penalise those who do not pre-notify and also that it could potentially conflict with and be incompatible with Article 10.

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