We are not saying that injunctions shouldn’t exist, but the privacy law that effectively came into force in the late noughties has never been properly appraised.
Until it is, those interim injunctions, which were granted to give both sides (and the courts) time to work out what should and should not be reported, are still just sitting there. A blanket ban on anything in those 50+ cases, including all the stuff that should be properly reportable.
Sure, a few committees have talked a good talk, and put out a paper that sounds good in theory. Everyone loves to voice the fact they believe in open justice, but there’s been very little appetite to re-fight these battles from either the press, the lawyers or the philanderers.
And, really, what reason do they have?
Well, here’s one.
Part of the Tory policy at the last election was to unshackle Britain from the European Human Rights Convention. If the hard right of the party gets their wish and the Human Rights Act 1998 is scrapped then it’s possible that could spell serious trouble for those wanting the protection of the courts.
Because no Human Rights Act means no Article 8.
And no Article 8 means no enshrined right to a private life.
So maybe they want to start thinking about getting their affairs in order, and get the finer details of these cases hammered out while the going’s still good. Because there’s no telling what might happen next.
It’s not as if the anti-Europe Murdoch and Associated Papers have anything to gain from getting rid of Article 8 now, have they…?