Privacy and the Media

a)   Case A - Article 8, Human Rights Acts (HRA) clearly provides that ‘everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life’ which includes his extra-marital affair. Moreover, Falcon may have valid points about the importance of the family unit, which could help society. These may be disregarded if his affair was made public and his reputation ruined. Maybe he should claim a breach of confidence because when Sandy Sparrow consented to the affair she agreed to secrecy and betrayed that confidence when she went to the press.

In opposition, there is a legitimate public interest as he is a politician elected by the public so the public will want to know what he does, especially when related to his work.   An exception to the right to privacy stated in Article 8 is ‘for the protection of health and morals’ (HRA). An affair wouldn’t normally be public interest, rather public curiosity. In his case it is different because he is making speeches about the significance of the family unit, yet his actions (i.e. the affair, termination of his child) suggests otherwise, questioning his morals. The press may see it in the public’s interest to know of his integrity in the matter as the public elected him. Also the fact that he is a government minister giving high profile speeches means he is in the public eye, so he shouldn’t have had an affair if he did not want it published. Clearly in this case public interest far outweighs Falcon’s right to privacy so the Daily Globe should be allowed to publish!

Case B - There is a genuine public interest as he attempted suicide in public and not at home or a private place. The footage of Colin having a knife and then being stopped by the police would clearly portray the effectiveness of the cameras in protecting the public and preventing crime. Two exceptions stated in Article 8 (HRA) to breaching privacy are ‘for the prevention of disorder and crime, for the protection of health...’ The crime prevented here was suicide...